Got up at 5 am to catch a bus to Banska Bystrica. I need to go and show my ID there, plus I need to sign a paper stating I know Slovak verified by a notary. That’s almost three hours of travelling, and this in the digital age where you’d think all these sorts of things could -theoretically- be arranged online. Or am I being too optimistic about the internet?
I’m in one of those yellow busses with attendants in pink uniforms. Soon a girl with a chiseled smile on her face will be offering me free coffee, tea, headphones, and something to read. I want none of that, I just want the nice horribly underpaid lady to sit in front, catch some sleep and leave me alone. I have something to read, I am recovering coffee addict, begone ye devil, and tea makes me pee which can lead to severe head trauma on a bus. In this toilet Tyrion, Robert Reich or a particulary big cat, can’t stand up fully erect.
Today I’m not sticking to the questions formula of this diary. I woke up worried. Am I wasting my time writing another manuscript? And what gives me the ‘right’ to write a novel in English? Who turned me into Philip Roth all of a sudden? Is my vocabulary nuanced enough? Shouldn’t I read more novels? I ran over to the small bookcase we have and threw White noise by Don DeLillo in my bag. My eyes caught one sentence of the blurp on the back and my brain went: aaaargh, THAT’s a novel, what you are doing is some mediocre page filler. It’s not even really bad and smutty. You can sell totally crappy, ridiculously smutty novels, there’s an audience for that, but who wants to buy something mediocre? Something that’s neither smutty nor high-brow, just a mediocre rag in between?
Zuzi doesn’t know whether to kick me or hug me when I get into one of these moods. I think the table is tilted towards ‘kicking’, but she doesn’t kick, she just shoves me on the bus with instructions to tackle this little red tape challenge we’re facing. Her approach towards life is far more down to earth than mine.
Here’s formula for happiness: measuring your happiness by NOTHING ELSE (!!) than the number of books you’ve sold in your life. A fucking weird reflex like that is so dictatorial within me that it could very well destroy me.
Zuzi says it’s such part of the moods I go through. At least it’s part of my writing engine.
After 20 minutes of bus ride I get an sms. She says she’s missing the hell out of me already.
At least she doesn’t feel like my moods are creating hell for her. An extra worry I often have.
If I’d count my happiness by counting tokens of affection, I’d quite likely be the happiest man alive.
Do you think the human mind has a natural tendency to focus on what is lacking and to discard what is given?