Sunday, December 16, 2007

Frozen Peas

I didn’t leave the house today. Actually, I just went to 7-11, but it’s after midnight. So, I didn’t leave the house yesterday. I put myself together enough (but somehow forgot to button my fly) to bike around the corner and go to the only place open 24 hours in this city. I need something to make this toothache go away. Im not sure what I thought Id find at a convenience store that never has anything I need ever, but if there were pliers for sale I would have spent my last few yen on them.

I didn’t get out of bed until four (except to pee a few times). I heard the doorbell at about 11am. I didn’t budge. Whoever it was, I am sure I didn’t want to see them. I was awake, in bed (or on futon), but there was nothing to get me to actually leave my room. No plans, friends, work, ideas. I read a little bit. I stared at Owl Skunk.

Finally, I was a little hungry and got up and poured myself some cereal. If it weren’t for food I would probably just float away. It gives me purpose. I need some everyday. After the cereal I took a bath. It ended abruptly, as usual, fearfully jumping out of the hot water, convinced I just heard one of the paper doors slide open. Ive never lived alone, turns out Im horribly paranoid.

I could have drawn today, but I didn’t want to. The phrase creative paralysis keeps creeping into my head. I think about what I could be potentially painting or drawing and Im immediately bored of myself. The other day I started work on a watercolour still life of all the fruit people have been giving me. That isn’t what I want to be drawing. I think of working on my comic book, which I have resolved will mostly be about me and my lack of knowledge about anything else, and I am repulsed by the idea of drawing my face or hands again. At least not today.

My comic has turned into a monster. I don’t just feel guilty when I don’t work on it, I feel like I am turning my back on the one interesting thing I can accomplish in my life. Without it Im lost. And sometimes Im terrified to touch it.

I also don’t have a desk. And the aesthetics of a workplace are important. Sitting in my dirty kitchen or on the itchy tatami, fluorescent bulbs humming over my head, isn’t exactly an environment conducive to art-making. Or am I making excuses? Maybe I don’t have what it takes at all-- even though I can think of many examples of how little it actually takes.

Anyway, creative paralysis.

So now Im writing this. Im at home, on my internet-free laptop. It’s kind of like what a castaway stranded on a deserted island would do. With no one to talk to, no one who speaks my language (and not just English), I keep my sanity by keeping a record. A list to prove I existed. I am alone, in Japan, and trying to make the pain of my toothache go away by sticking frozen peas between my cheek and gums. And also, I took something that Im sure will knock me out for a few days.

Until then.


Dan said...

I empathize re the comic monster. My graphic novel has totally dominated my life for the last couple years and I'm so fucking close to being done, but the closer I get, the more daunting it becomes, and I constantly want to go back and redo the whole damn thing. Anyways, keep going.

Matt said...


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