My Morning Ritual

catfeet.jpg Coffee, reading and posting on Echo, and a cat on me. This is Finney, stretching out on my lap. He waits for me to wrap myself in this fleece blanket, then jumps up. I think he just wants to curl up on the blanket and figures, “If the only way I’m going to get to be on this blanket is to sit on you, so be it.”

My agent’s holiday party was a lot of fun. I met Heather and Jon from I MET HEATHER AND JON. I read her blog every day, and the two of them were just so charming and attractive, and very tall, it turns out. But I think I’m in love. I want to marry them.

Then, I met the husband of one of the partners and I forget the name of his company, if he ever even told me, but he was explaining what he does, and then he was telling me about this program the military uses, which sounded scarily brilliant, in fact, it was all so utterly fascinating, I was riveted. But it gave me one of those moments where you are reminded of just how small you are in the universe. If you think about what everyone does every day, to keep the world going, to keep producing food, transportation, keeping people alive, safe, you know, as I am writing this I realize there is no way in a blog post that I am going to be able to convey what I want to convey. There is a huge, massive, amount of effort being expended each day, some of it incredibly interesting, we all have our part, but sometimes you are reminded of how small one’s part is, how little the contribution. Someone comes up with ideas for programs like this, implements them, there is a war in Iraq and there are people making decisions about things like wars, who are not necessarily the same as the people who design ways to fight them. Worlds away from me important decisions are being made. Which is not to say I agree with them, by the way, Iraq war bad. I’m just saying. There is just all this massive smartness churning all over the place and I’m just this spec, a sub-atomic spec, in fact, physics is centuries away from discovering the small thing that more adequately describes my place in the universe (and in time, oh God, if you throw in the perspective of time, forget it) and I am making the future-tiny-thing-to-describe-it contribution.

And that reminded me that there are all sorts of things that motivate me and one of them is self-loathing. I was very happy to learn years ago that I’m not the only one who sometime thinks to myself, “I hate myself, I hate myself,” and then, to break up the monotony, “God, I’m such an idiot.” Thank the fucking lord it’s not the only thing that motivates me, but man. I do hate myself sometimes. I feel better having gotten that off my chest, though.

I should pack it in today and go to a movie. Oh! But the Loser’s Lounge is tonight. That should be fun.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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