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Can't describe this better than Jay himself. The following from Feb 27th entry in "Hello, NYC!" as he debates the pros and cons of participating in the trip:

"...One thing for certain: if I do go, I will not, under any circumstances, try to participate in the extrava-nonsense, but instead I go as the OBSERVER… nothing more! I will linger in the shadows, the outskirts, the background, the fringes. Turn around, there I am… watching. I embrace my role as carnival correspondent and spy. It suits my temperament. And besides, I know better than to try to integrate in a more participatory way; for I would doubtless fail."

And we think that sums it up pretty well.


Spring Broken i (11/13)

March 24, 1991

Choose a different dreamscape

The fact that I will soon be traveling back to NYC via autobus (that one mode I swore never again, yet there it is) gets me thinking about all my ambitions and aspirations yet to come and simultaneously pondering my (questionable? laudable?) life choices thus far. Which sends me in a self-interrogating spiral much like this… 

“Fool. Oh, you hopeless fool. Why do you continue to wish and visit this upon yourself?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know very well what I mean.”

“I most certainly do not.”

“Why do you continue this farce?”

“Farce? Spare me. You would have it no other way.”

“I would! Just check my journal. I’m constantly considering other paths.”


“You’re telling me that I would consciously prefer a fraudulent existence based on ego and imitation?”

“Yes I do. You quite well love walking around wearing that flimsy veil of haughty pretension and indifference and superiority that, frankly, is about as convincing as a threadbare grifter.”

“Excuse me?”

And at this point I arch one skeptical, knowing eyebrow at myself. Or perhaps a shared wink as me and myself meet somewhere in the middle in shared conspiracy. For of course it’s true. Side by side, as one, we shrug and bob our head and grin sheepishly and describe an arc in the dust with the toe of one foot, caught. Sure, okay, and why not. It’s fun being an “artist,” with or without quotes, and, hell, it does loosen things up a bit when you look at it that way. Painful, I suppose. I live in pretty much constant and authentic disappointment in myself for not working more, creating more and better, if that makes sense. And there’s plenty of confusion to go with it. Questions of self-worth, talent, blah blah blah, all that stuff that must never be spoken. But nonetheless, yes (that sheepish shrug again) there is also a deep-seated sense of relief and even (I confess) superiority that goes with the territory! And joy! Let’s not forget joy. It is considerable. I’m not “free,” heaven forbid no. No more than the next fool. Except, okay, yes. Maybe I am. Maybe a lot more than the next fool. Because I don’t frankly have much interest or intent to join the procession, the lockstep march toward a, gasp, career? (banish the thought!) or even a respectable existence. Not stapled to the usual nine-to-fiver, not me. Compensatorily poorer, perhaps. But poorer in a financial sense is all! So rich in my appreciation and engagement with the world! Ha ha haaaa! (This with a wild grin, verging on that of a maniac). And that poorness doesn’t alarm me either, much, yet. So I can basically pick up on a moment’s notice, regardless how ill-advised and irresponsible, and head to FLA, say, for weird and wacky adventure things, like those mentioned in preceding pages, and justify it in the name of “research” and “artistry.” And sure maybe I have no medical insurance, no “security” of which to speak, no savings either, and maybe that will catch and kill me someday, but not today. For today I’ll roam and revel as I please and justify it all as necessary for the creative soul. And sure I know that’s bullshit, and probably just as likely it’s just an excuse for a whole lot of bad and lazy behavior, and that it all goes inside quotes anyway, but so what? I’ll perpetuate the myth as long as I feel like it, as long as I can. Continue to scribble and scratch and see where it takes me, see where it leads. And if the world calls me phony, calls me a loser and a failure and posturer, calls me a “tortured and tormented pseudo artist type wannabe,” all in quotes and with sneering contempt, I’ll reply: “Okay. You’re right. Ain’t it grand?!”

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