jarrett

write

i'm the basement on a monday night. that's not unusual; i'm usually in the basement, monday night or not. i'm drinking a light beer which is unusual but not in the sense that i usually drink heavy beer but that i don't really like drinking alcohol much at all. for a monday, monday wasn't bad. i had an eclectic mix of things to do around the house and one of those things included going into my crawlspace to check on my plants. what kind of plants? the weed kind. xxxx i got a pair of fake basketball jerseys in the mail today. there's a whole industry of fake shitty jerseys on the internet except they're not that shitty if you don't play basketball or even watch basketball. i wanted something cool to wear on my back deck and i got that. the bigger point, though, is that i wonder what it's like to work in a fake jersey factory. if they don't care about intellectual property do they care about worker rights? when people who work there go home—or do they go home?— and hang out with their friends or family do they say 'hey it was a great day at the fake jersey factory, made some really real looking fake ones but my boss wouldn't let me eat.' i suppose a job's a job right.

#write

it's 10:28 a.m. on a sunday and i'm drinking shitty instant coffee. why'd i have to choose the shitty instant coffee. i guess because i wanted to save the non-shitty instant coffee for a day when i felt like i deserved something better. i'm on the deck drinking the coffee. it's not as hot as it was yesterday, the coffee or the weather. xxxx i have ten years of battling a disability but i don't want to write about it. why don't i want to write about it? because tragedy is painful and when you're not out of the woods why do you want to talk about the woods? but i have to write about something; that's what writers do. they find something in their lives and then bash away on the fucking keyboard until it makes sense. but who am i trying to make it make sense for? xxxx i bought kerouac's on the road a few weeks back, but the original scroll edition. the original scroll edition is one long paragraph front to back and oh my god is it impossible to read. or is it just me? do people like the idea of one long line of thought? kerouac wrote on the road on a typeriter using a single roll of paper. i'm not trying to be kerouac; i just like his mechanics. except for all the barbiturates he took. also i'm never going to be able to read my writing on the steve allen show and that bums me out.

#write

clear thinking is hard work. but what about chaotic thinking? chaotic thinking is hard because you're flying through your mind at a thousand miles per hour not knowing where you're going to end up. where the hell is this next sentence going to go? no idea. but it's going somewhere. xxxx it's 2:27 p.m. on a Saturday and I'm sitting on my back deck. It's not as hot as it was the past week, but it's enough that i'm enjoying going back to the fridge to get a mason jar full of diet coke—it's got extra caffeine in it and the flavour is a delightful 'toasted vanilla.' i'm going to keep doing that until there's no more diet coke to drink then i'll switch to watermelon-flavoured soda water. it's the best soda water. xxxx i'm back to sending letters to people and i think that's great. the only problem is i'm using a new typewriter–well, an old one— and i haven't worked out all the problems yet—like the U key keeps sticking UUUUU and I keep referencing the fact that the U key is sticking in my letters so if I want to stop that i'll either have to switch to one of my other typewriters or fix this one but i'll likely have to do both. xxxx Speaking of meta, if you could only see all the red squiggles below all the words i'm typing. i'm not even looking at the screen right now. the sky is really blue today, and it's much more interesting than what i'm writing here. xxxx i always say you need to be writing about something, but what if nothing is something as long as it's earnest? i'm being earnest right now i think, even though i've just admitted to barely paying attention to what's on the screen. but if you take this for what it is— an insane writing exercise— it's earnest. and that's the best place to be in life—the valley of earnest intention. xxxx my mom has a couple radlers left in the fridge and she didn't say i COULDN'T drink them so i think i'm going to stop this and go drink that.

#write

it's 11:30 p.m. and justin bieber is in my ears. he's always in my ears. why is he always in my ears. i guess because he's a pop phenom and i'm a sucker for pop phenoms. wait now rita ora is in my ears. she's a phenom too. kind of. usually when i haven't written anything in awhile i talk about how i'm going to start writing more but i'm trying not to make promises in hopes i can convince my subconscious to write more garbage on here every day. no, not every day. maybe every other day. but who cares because i keep the dates off here so if you're reading this, everything is chronological starting from the date you're reading this. just count backwards and you'll be fine. man that rita ora is good. is there any benefit to putting unedited garbage like this out onto the internet? of course there is. this is my brain connected to my fingertips transferring energy to a screen. who cares what the hell i'm saying that's pretty goddamn cool. what am i going to do tomorrow? i have no idea. who cares. life's just the present. you think too much about the past and future and you forget what's in front of you. there's a song in my ears right now and i don't know what it is but i don't want to take my concentration off this screen, though i almost lost my concentration because i keep spelling concentration wrong and i have to go spellcheck and that means using the trackpad. ok fixed all the prior spellings of that word i'm not going to spell right now because i don't wanna stop this writing. am i done yet? i have no idea. yeah let's say i'm done. I'm just going to go to the end of this sentence. There.

#write

So picture this.

It's breakfast, my wife's at work, and I'm trying to get our two-year-old to eat his spaghetti.

(Don't ask—it's his favourite breakfast food.)

Jarrett Jr., spaghetti sauce smeared across his face and noodles flopping out his mouth, looks at me with a menacing stare only a two-year-old could give and whispers:

“Papa, you know I'm not real, right?”

I dropped my jaw, and the spaghetti.

Not real? I remember the labour my wife went through–I couldn't let this kid deny his existence. He might be top dog at his Montessori school, but he's still a pup in this house.

“Kiddo, I'm feeding you your morning spaghetti. You're real, and Mama and I love you to the moon.”

I held my breath and waited for his response. Had all the pasta cooked his brain?

“Papa, people on LinkedIn make up things all the time, like inspirational wisdom from an UberEats driver or some guy pretending to have a wife and verbose toddler. Everyone needs to chill. Maybe even try some spaghetti for breakfast.”

Is he right? 🤔🍝

Leave a comment below. 👇

#write

Close your eyes. You're watching a John Hughes film. It's the final scene. We're at a high school gym at the end of the homecoming dance. Anthony Michael Hall's learned too many hard truths in the plot preceding, but he's finally figured out the only truth that matters: Love looks pretty in pink. It's now just him and the girl he's been waiting for his whole life sitting on the gym floor, surrounded by streamers and glitter. Their heads lean in. Lips lock. The scene cuts to black.

Then this song comes on.

#music #write

o, dystopia! come closer! you're too far away. our faces find warmth in your cold blue light, that hue of hope a lighthouse for the lonely. take us to where we want to be, to saccharine-soaked realities. swipe, swipe, swipe, no, that's not the one. swipe, swipe, swipe, anxious thumbs on the run. THERE! the pretty girl, with the pretty smile, she knows who can save us, and while it ain't the lord jesus, she says she'll still please us. so click link in bio, and have CASSIESAVEU20 on your next online purchase.

#write

One more from the Scotland blog archives.

Thirteen years later and this schedule doesn't look that bad to me.

******

Jarrett’s Day: An Outline. Saturday, January 19, 2008

0830- Wake up. Go to bathroom, brush teeth; morning breath is the worst. Take retainer out; don’t leave it in the bathroom- that’s just gross. Why do you even wear a retainer? You put it in for a month straight, and then you don’t touch it for six. Consistency is key.

0835-0850- After three attempts to dial-up, access Internet to check e-mail. No new messages.

0850-0900- Put clothes on. Have a bowl of bran, drizzled with honey, and two pieces of toast- only toast if time is limited. Juice is optional, but welcomed.

0900-0905- Get food ready for deer and horses. Four buckets of food for the horses plus half a bail of hay. One bag of beet pellets for deer across the river, 3/4th a bag for stags closest to the lodge.

0905-0935- Walk mostly uphill and through mud with a 25KG bag on your left shoulder; you try to put it on your right shoulder, but it feels awkward. Once on the other side of the river, open bag of ‘SupaBeet’ and begin making 50-70 piles of pellets. Make sure pellets are properly spaced, or deer will fight like preschoolers. Walk back to lodge across uneven surfaces. Be careful not to roll ankle, or end up waist-deep in mud. Don’t try and walk across river- you aren’t Jesus, and you’ll end up wet. Two prior attempts should have taught you that.

0935-1015- Grunt work, including checking mousetraps. Depending on day, garbage bins may need to be taken up to the road- be sure to grumble all the way up the driveway.

1015-1045- Coffee. This includes fruitcake, and occasionally shortbread. More than one cup of coffee is a nice treat. Make sure not to say anything that will incriminate you- like ‘Oh, your dog’s been shitting in its kennel while you’ve been gone.’ ‘That only happens if it’s not taken out enough.’ ‘Oh, um, weird…’

1045-1230- Major tasks for the day. These range greatly, from doing yard work to watching deer being cut-up to walking dogs. Walking dogs isn’t interesting, but it requires the least amount of effort. Anything that involves water is depressing.

1230-1330- Lunch. Usually involves soup and toasted sandwiches. It’s rare for there to be leftovers, as you rarely cook. You’d like to, but frozen food keeps well and it’s so much easier to make. You somehow think a multivitamin balances it all out, but you’re being naïve. Try to have a ten-twenty minute nap, only to be woken by Andrew accusing you of ‘wanking.’ You deny these allegations.

1330-1600- More tasks. The weather has either gotten better or worse- it rarely stays the same. Apologize for sucking at every assignment, and try to get through rest of the day without creating more work for others. This is rare, but when it happens, it feels really good.

1600-1630- Horses require a full bail of hay. If they are hungry, they will run at you, and buck. This scares the shit out of you, so you throw the bail down and run like a baby. You quickly cut the bail strings, throw the hay down in four piles, and get the hell away from the horses.

1630-1800- Have a cup of coffee; sit in room until at least six. You may have eaten already, but you’re probably watching an episode of something, or you are taking a quick nap. Around 1730 you realize another day is over and you haven’t doing anything productive, and this destroys a small part of your soul. Put another ‘X’ on your ‘Chevy Nation’ calendar you took out of Rolling Stone; only forty-two more days left! You read the quote they have from Sean Paul for January, and wonder if it is necessary:

I wear sneakers all over the place. I get a reaction from people. They’re like ‘those are crazy!’- Sean Paul

1800-0000- Waste the night away- you earned it! You can’t go out, so read a magazine, watch that Arrested Development episode for the eighth time, or sleep some more! You want to write about your day, but you realize you can just copy and paste notes from the previous day, so you don’t. You spend some time on the Internet, but get very little done, because the thing’s so goddamn slow. You think you remember the Internet being faster in your previous life of technological pampering, but decide you must be mistaken. If you are lonely, you might buy something from Amazon to cheer you up.

0000- Take one tablet of Nytol. You have trouble sleeping because you know you’ve wasted an entire day, and spend most of the night thinking of ways to reclaim it. But you can’t, so you might as well dope yourself up and get to bed. Sleep tight- you get to do it again tomorrow!

#write

I found my old blog posts from my time in Scotland. I was 21 and took a year off after university to work outdoors on an estate in the Highlands and then travel eastern Europe and Scandinavia.

It's interesting to look back on earlier stuff I've written; there are things I'd do differently for sure— a few more edits, for better or worse— but I still see myself in there.

******

02/04/08-02/08/08

February 4th.

We took a sheep hostage. There’s a sheep farmer on the other side of the mountain, and one managed to make it over here. I ran after it and wedged it into the side of a small hill, but I didn’t grab it. (I’ve never handled sheep before.) I yelled to Andrew that I was near it, to which he replied, “But do you have it?” I told him I didn’t; I was just looking at it. “Well, grab it man!”

I didn’t grab it. I just kind of hovered around it. Andrew ended up grabbing the sheep by one of its horns (well, it only had one left) and it ripped off, and blood started pouring out – there was lots of blood. We carried it to the side of the road, and I held on to it while Andrew got the Land Rover. It tried to take a run for it, but I managed to hold it down.

Now it’s walking aimlessly around our stable. It has some hay, but that’s about it. I’m sure it will get picked up tomorrow. Oh, and I named it Mutton. Mutton the Sheep. Mutton’s wool is covered in blood now. And blue dye: it kind of looks like the French flag.

**

We walked the horses to the hill. The horses take the dead deer off the hill, as some of them can very far from the road. We must have walked two miles, maybe more. It felt like ten, but I’m a poor judge of distance.

I walked Sandy. He’s nicer than Delilah; she’s scary. She was using my back to scratch her nose today until she decided that she’d rather bite me. Game over.

**

The water from the river is tasty. It’s so cold and pure that it doesn’t even matter I had to drink it on my stomach.

February 5th

The sheep has been returned. Well, the owner showed up with whiskey on his breath, so hopefully the sheep made it home.

February 6th

We brought the horses home. Sandy was very happy; he doesn’t like it over there. He was leading me the whole way home. I liked his enthusiasm, so I ran for a bit with him. But then I realized I had no idea how to stop a running horse.

February 8th

It’s quite a thing to watch a female Jack Russell Terrier hump the side of a female Labrador. She just gives it and gives it, and the Lab just takes it; the last time the terrier was in heat, the Lab was humping her. I also watched the male Lab attempt to hump the Jack Russell for about ten minutes; it’s not physically possible. Even if he did get on top of her, it’d be like trying to fit a broomstick into a pencil sharpener. Ack.

**

We’ve been dragging lots of deer off the hill. We even cracked the skull open on one and I held half of its brain in my hand; it was still warm. I also got to saw a rib cage open.

Andrew shot a fox yesterday right in the neck, which left a nasty exit wound. I’m hoping to take the tail home; it’ll just get thrown out otherwise.

#write