dawn-time dawnings: i’m writing a memoir!

I think I really am actually writing a coming-of-age memoir. I’m coming of age, I know that much. And I’m writing about it. Bloody oath I’m writing about – I can’t friggen stop writing about it. Some friends are telling me I need to get out of my mind, away from the computer – and what?, into their car!? No way Jose. I’m on my own trip, and today I’m fucking thrilled about it. Yesterday and the days before that? Not so much. Tomorrow? Who knows. But today I’m really actually writing a memoir. I wrote down a summary as a potential pitch recently, when i got excited about an unsolicited email from an agent. But now i can’t find it, which is good – it’s the sort of thing that should be written and re-written from scratch, even as an exercise for writing the actual damn thing. It was something like:

High-school suburban stoner makes it good in publishing before growing disillusioned with the industry and the whole entire industrialised West, heads to Thailand in pursuit of peace, returns an alcoholic, has a nervous breakdown, finds God, travels to Turkey thinking he’s got this peace thing under control, does a lot of hardcore meditation but returns to alcoholism nonetheless, returns to Australia, has another breakdown, catches up with God again and decides to share his story.

Something like that. If i rewrite it every day as i approach the idea of thinking about maybe extracting these Adventures in Sobriety posts and developing them into a manuscript, maybe in ten years i’ll have the concept distilled enough to fit it on a blurb that people might actually care to understand.

The summary i wrote for the agent was a lot more succinct and far less sarcastic and it sounded like a cliché, but whatever.

I have long maintained that clichés are clichés for a bloody good reason – when enough people can relate to an idea easily expressed by some phrase, story or experience, it can become cliché. Cliché gets a bad wrap among the over-educated arts elite, because there is this obessesion with originality – as though using cliché is somehow shamefully derivative. Not necessarily – it’s not the nature of the boat, it’s how you use it. I’m not sure if that really works, but you get the idea.

My superego gets in the way sometimes, suggesting I can’t tell stories for shit and who would care about my story anyway. But then my ego chips and says, Abhijan, you’re fucking awesome! Write this memoir and share it with whoever will listen. Your story is great – you’re a fucking trooper.

I don’t really care what either of them have to say. I’m going with my gut. I’m going with feeling on this one. And right now, the hours I spend sitting down at my journal getting longhanded with my story – they are the most peaceful hours I get, at a time when my life is in a seemingly constant state of upheavel and change.

So that’s what Adventures in Sobriety is about for now. All of the above.

I worry sometimes about whether putting this all up online is a kind of narcissistic exercise – a cry for help, a plea for attention. But right now I don’t care about that either – in one sense because i actually don’t care, but in another: i bloody do need help. Help!, i’m a drunk and a stoner.

But also it’s a cathartic process for me, and I’m arriving at insights I might never have arrived at if I hadn’t been scribbling away at this. So telling the story is as much for me as it might be for you. Of course I’m keen to hear if it resonates with you – that would be grand. We can learn from each other in sharing our stories. So bring it. Yes, I’m looking at you!

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getting home drunk

Trawling my journal this morning in search of anything approximating coherent, linear, sensical longhand narrative, i came across this, which could be an aphorism:

One of the fundamental things i know about getting home is it’s hard to do so when you’re drunk.

Insightful, no?

It goes on:

It’s fun to zig-zag your way around the streets when you’re 20-something, but as you enter the 30s you realise it’s lonely and cold outside, where you’ll most likely wind up if you don’t sober up and get home.

self-awareness + irony + memoir drafting makes Abhijan a happy little drug addict

I am documenting my story for (primarily) my own benefit, and it thrills me that i have arrived at a state of sufficient self-insight and light-hearted irony that i can say this, about myself, after my attempt to go trucking in the Riverland:

Now i’m aware that what happened in Berri was as much a consequence of [their] xenophobia and pride as it was a consequence of my being a drug-addicted vagrant university dropout with few skills other than substantive manuscript editing, philosophical enquiry and heartfelt conversation.

Would you read more of something like this? If i was to, say, actually commit to writing a memoir even though i have only ever been, temporarily, an E-grade celebrity. It would be a memoir with the (also primary) intention of helping others by sharing what i feel have been valuable insights gained on my journey through self-exploration and whatnot.

displacing the shame of impotence with our old friend, awareness

In the thick of a days-long muse attack, i see now that i am drafting a memoir essay about, among other things, the neurosis behind impotency: stay tuned to miss out on the gory details when i bail out and publish under a pseudonym or in some dark corner of the internet under the guise of an immersive-text experiment that no one will care to find.

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What I Talk About When I Talk About Cycling

I was excited about riding with F’s friends, because something I really dig about most of the cycling community is they are inclusive. I mean, it’s also a heavily stratified community where as I explained to C today, there are

people like me who spend three hundred bucks on a single-speed commuter and barely do any maintenance on it for two years but who love the shit out of that bike anyway,

and then there are those who spend twelve k on a bike and spend more time maintaining it than they do riding it,

and of course there are what Mum was thrilled to learn are called MAMILs, Middle-age Men in Lycra.

But within your own strata the community members are all generally inclusive, which is maybe a quality of something being a strata.

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