Of course, it's also echoingly familiar that I'm writing here when I should be writing an essay. This space is tricksome and filled with lush deceit. I feel like I am informing, nay, pontificating, and this act gives the sense of productivity. This is a lie, but a welcome one.
I stumbled into a series of westerns by accident. It all began with Hugh, whom we shall consider friend although really our knowledge of one another is a murky half-thing, ever caught twixt the dark tide and cold beach of mist-breathed comraderie. Our closest moments are those linked by dim shades and uncertainty, when a person might be inclined to reach out to any mooring, even one fell and serpentine.
But yes, this western kick I've been on, we shall lay the beast at Hugh's feet. He implored me to read Blood Meridian some months ago, which I did and have as of yet failed to return to him, along with two other of his Cormac McCarthy books that I have also since read. This in itself would scarcely constitute a "kick" as I suggested in the first sentence of this paragraph, but that does not tell the whole tale. I was perusing my parent's bookshelf when I stumbled upon a fittingly weathered copy of Lonesome Dove. I recalled not being especially fond of Larry McMurtry's style. In retrospect, this was not McMurtry's fault, but because at the time I was utterly under the spell of the tight, curt prose of Hemingway, and had no tolerance for slow musings and frequent repetitions. This time I was all for it though, and after the brutality of Blood Meridian I wanted to see how McMurtry dished out the Old West. McCarthy pulls no punches, and even kicks you in the groin a few times. McMurtry is gentler, but he has his moments. After finishing up Lonesome Dove I went on to the inferior-but-readable sequel Streets of Laredo. Throw in McCarthy's Cities of the Plain and that's a whopping four westerns in a few months. For someone whose previous count tallied zero, it's quite the upswing.
Why any of this matters I have no idea. There are perhaps links I could craft between my current state of mind and the notion of the Old West, but let's not get too pretentious about this. It was good reading, and of a sort I am not used to. For that it was welcome.
I was actually busting my writing chops at a pretty good clip for a while, but then I ran face-first into Fallout 3, which, you know, demanded a lot of time. That phase has more or less passed though. I just don't seem to stick with the games like I did a few years ago. I miss my damn writing group, but Laura's schedule is all hell and Andre I have not heard from in months and he does not respond to my entreaties. Hugh of course is a figment creature, and his lack of corporeal existence makes entertaining any notion of commitment on his part a sort of doomed proposition. I'd say it's a perfect time to complete a novel and shame them all into trudging forth, but I suspect the result would actually be somewhat the opposite. It would not be the shame of obligation they felt, but rather the shame of antipathy, whereby I would become a polarizing presence, ever distant, the cross that damns and denies their vampiric existence.
That concludes my navel-gazing, I'd best get to work.