Adventures in Los Angeles: Day Three

June 16, 2007

So I’ve had a few drinks…

I’m drowsy, and I have work to do before I go to bed… so this may well end up being a short post.  Of course… I had intended on being brief in my last two posts and look at what happened.  Blather.  I think that’s my style.

I had my little orientation seminars today… they were boring.  I had lunch with my "buddy" Abe.  Buddies are graduating MFA students, who acclimatize you to the program.  Abe is pretty much the coolest guy on the planet.  I cant tell how old he is… and I didn’t bother asking, as the traces of silver in his hair suggest that he’s past 30.  Judging by his face, however, you’d guess he was 23.  Abe’s got a little girl named Lola (bitchin name), and a wife.  He grew up in San Francisco… he writes creative nonfiction, and he loves Kurt Russel.  He’s an agnostic, and he’s dark and I have a non-sexual crush on Abe.

After that, we had a little pizza dinner which made me feel like I was 14.  Adults don’t have pizza parties. 

I joined Abe and his two friends… a tiny, 24 year old girl with punky hair and a pouty face whose name I dont remember, and a 31 year old guy who wore a blazer made out of the same material which adorns Martin Crane’s chair.  I’m not sure how I feel about that guy yet.  The jacket was a bit too whimsical for me. 

I ended up making friends today.  Everyone’ s really nice and cheerful.  There’s a really good creative vibe going around… everyone here really wants to write.  It’s kindof refreshing.

That impulse, of course, can be taken a bit too far sometimes… as evidenced by one of the girls in my workshop.  We had our preliminary meeting today, where we met with our workshop mentor – a granola goddess with long silver hair named Sharman, who bears a frightening resemblance to Moki from Fraggle Rock.  She’s very hippyish and soft-spoken.  She doesn’t wear a bra… which means that her  nipples are constantly hard… which is disarming to say the least.  Anyway… so Moki had us go around the table and say a little about our pieces that will be workshopped, and what we hope to accomplish as writers.  I was, of course, glib about my writing… as I abhor people who take their work too seriously.  Even calling it "work" seems like I’m putting on airs.  Two of the girls in my class (I’m the only man… and don’t think that’s not horribly uncomfortable for me) have really good pieces, the other three are kindof a mess.  We went down the line, one by one, discribing what we had written, how we felt about it… what we were looking for by way of criticism, and then a little ditty about what we like to focus on as writers.  I was simplistic, saying that I just like to write about things… I’ll find something interesting, and want to write an essay about it.  I don’t have any kind of pain or truth to communicate… I just like writing shit down and telling stories.  Not to self-aggrandize… but I like that about me.  I cant stand people who prattle on about their writing… about how they want to achieve the clarity and concision in their prose that allows them to condense the human experience into a comprehensible form… or some other such nonsense.  We’re not important people… we’re just writers.  So you can imagine my face when this one chick (not one of those talented two I mentioned) started waxing on about her "craft" and how she hoped to "plumb… the depths of what makes us… all… I guess, for me, in this moment, I want to be the kind of writer who can capture reality.  Not just any reality… but that subdued reality that makes us all one.  I feel that I’ve done that in my work in the past… and I’m sure that I’ll continue to do so…" etcetera etcetera etcetera. 

I looked across the table to see this one girl, Laura, one of the people whose work I really did enjoy, widen her big green eyes in bemusement.  She looked at me.  I widened my eyes too, and she laughed.  Laura and I are friends now.  We bonded over cheap wine and sassiness.

After all that was done, there was a reading from about 6-8, where guest writers and some of the graduating students got to read their work.

There are some really really good writers here.

I’m happy about that.

I’m not happy about the fact that I have to be up at 8 to go to a fucking lecture.  That’s bullshit. 

So I’m going to sign off and wallow around in my bed for a while.  If I’m lucky… I’ll get to sleep by 3.

Bye all.

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