February 1, 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Teresa thinks I made Enzo look like a brat in my diary yesterday. 

“But he really was like that.”

“But you made it look like he’s like that all the time.”

Teresa has the right side of that argument.  Lots of true things are also wrong.  The emphasis is wrong.

Also, Enzo never acts like that with her, so it’s hard for her to believe in it, and he only acts like that with me a few times a year.  The last time was August of 2012.  We were in Tahoe, walking to the creek to go fishing and had to turn back because of a thunderstorm.  He lost it, and it scared the shit out of me.  Teresa wasn’t there. 

I think Enzo feels a little bit steadier with her.  She’s a hard-ass, never unkind, adores routine, and they’re together all the time.  She’s the Boy Whisperer.

 But it made me think of a problem with writing that I think you just have to acknowledge and then go on as if it didn’t exist, which is that everything written down becomes representative and therefore exaggerated and therefore distorted, and that’s just too bad.  In this diary Enzo goes around saying funny things.  In life he does that, now and then.  I don’t run to take notes about the incredible tedium in between.  And by tedium, I don’t mean he’s tedious, I mean life is tedious.  I spend my entire life flossing and walking to the refrigerator.  Oh, and going to work.

Another thing about writing that I don’t understand–it has its own authority.  I believe everything I read.  But it’s not just that. 

What I’m trying to get to is that I’m re-reading parts of Mudrick Transcribed, and it’s unbelievably good.  I’m also listening to some recordings of Mudrick, and his voice and timing are so full of life and intelligence that it’s hard to believe the words could have that resonance on the page.  But they do.  It’s a different resonance.  Words on paper have their own emphasis.  I’m not sure if words on computer screen work that way. 

All this writing about writing is making me nervous. 

I just have to add one thing.  Yesterday morning after Enzo pitched his fit, he was still faintly protesting the fact that he has to go to school, and he said, “I’m a kid.  I’m supposed to run wild and free.”