I’m not even telling you who made this.
This is the problem with blogs. The problem with blogs is you scribble out these inchoate ideas and toss them out into the world and expect people to intuit what you mean. Then they don’t and you’re frustrated. At yourself; at them; at the very nature of the blog format and the universe at large. I’ve only read one blog in my life and that was in the autumn of 2000 and it was my ex’s. He started writing it before we broke up and asked that I not read it. I respected his privacy until we broke up then said fuck it, I’m reading the fucking thing. Then I started getting high and then he started writing about me getting high. I have no idea how he knew but the day after I shot up for the first time, there he was writing about it. We don’t really speak now – his choice – and the one time I asked him how he knew this he demurred. I didn’t pursue it. What’s the point really. What was interesting was that I was reading his writing about me shooting up while I was shooting up. I still like it. Narrative-fucking-gold.
So as for the rest of you who have been reading blogs for years while I was getting high and going to prison, I have no fucking idea what a fucking blog is and what you should and shouldn’t put in it. So let me try this one more time.
First, I’d like to thank everyone who took the time and the question so seriously and I really appreciate your comments. Second, I know I framed the question as a blog-narrative issue which was only partly true but wasn’t and isn’t the real issue. The real issue is a moral one. Should I take advantage of special privilege because I can call certain people who will make things happen or should I work within the system like everyone else. I’m going to choose the later not because I have some martyr complex but because I believe in the system and I think it’s the right thing to do. I’m not better than anyone else here and if they can handle this than so can I. I thought I wouldn’t make it though prison. Scott started Bill In Exile™ because I was going to kill myself and he thought he could prevent it by giving me something creative to do. I made it though prison and came out infinitely better than I went in. This is not to imply prison has some sort of redemptive power. Quite the opposite. Everything is designed to remove your humanity and ensure you are reminded daily that your life is not your own.
But I learned to stop fighting. I’d been fighting my whole life. I fought my father, I fought New York, I fought the art world. And, metaphorically speaking, I fought prison. They could restrain my body but they couldn’t restrain my mind. So I read. History (Tony Judt’s “Post War” was a stand out), philosophy (Negri & Hardt, Plato, Spinoza, Emerson, Foucault, Derrida, Chomsky, Said), politics (Machiavelli, Sun Tzu) and literature. A lot of literature. Laurence Sterne, Trollope, Goethe, Cervantes, Voltaire, Shakespeare and Dante. Blake, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Dickens and Woolf. William Vollmann and Walt Whitman who are equals in so many ways.
And I learned what was the right thing. The right thing is to be honest, stick with your crew and don’t be greedy. Believe in the group. If you take care of them, they will take care of you. I witnessed such acts of caring and kindness it took my breath away. Men caring for each other. I don’t need special privilege. I will find a place to live when it’s time for me to have a place to live. Meanwhile, there are people who are ahead of me and I learned in prison you don’t cut the line. Not because you’ll get your ass kicked but because you’re not a man if you do. Today I’m a man. I’ll wait my turn.
Plus, there’s shit I only found out about today that you don’t know about yet.