No, my office assistants are not dead or sleeping off their hangovers: they’re conked out from the heat, because, as I told you yesterday already, the weather has decided to skip Spring altogether and now we’re in the middle of Summer.
Working from home is great, and normally I don’t miss AC at all, but it’s a little bit stifling in the room where I’m typing this, so I have taken off most of my clothes and feel like total trailer trash, but hey I’m working on a book on Henry Miller, so I might as well act the part.
The title of this blog sounds ominous (clickbait if you will) but I did have something of a breakthrough mentally today, and part of it is the boost that http://www.gofundme.com/henrymillerrocks has given me.
There are two more things that contributed to the above title:
1) On Sunday, Jon and I were at SFMOMA and we were looking at the works of mostly dead people: For some reason, my eye was drawn to texts like these Matisse (1869-1954), Diebenkorn (1922-1993) and Arbus (1923-1971).
There’s no way in hell that I could ever equal the contributions of above artists, but since I’ve published a few books, I have noticed that in library catalogues around the world I’m listed as Inez Hollander (1965-). Creepy huh? As if the world is waiting for you to die to fill in the missing bit of info. Over the weekend, I thought, well, what will that closing date be? The final curtain. The point of no return. And more important: How much time is granted me to finish the books I really want to finish?
2) Over the weekend, I received a Whatsapp from my sis in the Netherlands. In tears. She was cutting her holiday in France short because her 23-year-old nephew (from her husband’s side) was having some friends over in his new Amsterdam apartment and since summer has come to The Netherlands, too, he opened the doors onto the balcony, stepped outside… and came down, balcony and all. Dead. CPR yes, but dying on the way to the hospital.
A freak accident you may say, but it can happen to all of us. And we have to pay attention when these tragic accidents happen. It’s God’s or life’s way of saying to us: LIVE NOW. Don’t put off the things you’re passionate about. Honor these moments, honor the young man who died when his professional life had just begun, and tell people that life’s too short for other people to rain on your parade.
So… what did I do with this?
I had already stepped away from my Conflict & Abuse work for Nextdoor for two weeks or so because I have other clients, and more clients coming in, but there was always the understanding from Nextdoor that I could step back into the queue and open myself up again to fighting neighbors and (mostly) Trump voters who call me a cunt, asshole, racist (because my name is Inez and they think I’m Mexican), and fucktard when I suspend their accounts, because they have been violating Nextdoor’s Guidelines. People are very angry in this country and civility is something our grandparents seemed to have taken with them into their graves.
So I wrote my manager this afternoon and told him I was bringing back my Nextdoor laptop next week. After a full day of working conflict and abuse, I was usually drained and numb and indifferent and ready to do nothing for the rest of my day, my week, my month, my life, and you know what? I can’t afford to be generous with assholes anymore. They’re eating away at my life, my soul and that’s not worth any paycheck. So fuck them. They can yell and shout and poison the atmosphere with their belligerent behavior but I have a book to write. And more than one. They can go take their ball and play somewhere else because they can’t have access to my playground anymore.
So this afternoon, I wrote another chapter for my campus novel and I’m one or two chapters away from having a final first draft. And all of that in my undies. Henry would be so proud.
Do me a favor: share this blog. We live among the dead. Or as Henry Miller would say Death in Life is the worst thing that can happen to a person. Live now.