Charlesgrayart

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Am I really pessimistic, indifferent in my writings? So the Publishers say. I  business for sale thought I was a realist, although for myself I suppose I’m a misanthropist, meaning: a loner, recluse, cynic malcontent with the world, but Pessimist? I don’t get it. Well I guess I will live with it, and be unpolished for a while, the Man of Woe, that is me. The telegram said, they liked the draft, but I needed to take all the gloom out of it. That is like saying your mother passed away, and at the funeral, you’re not allowed to give her deep sympathy, or allowed to say out loud her name, or in this case for me to print the gloom of the world at hand. The Will of the world is dead! Life is a despair, the only victory in life is war. And the victim is never wrong because if you tell him so, you’re one dead duck, along with the many.

The last publisher out of forty, said I only saw misery and unrest in the world. Somehow life left scars and deep reservoirs, but I made them too deep. He said I said ‘Life was meaningless,’ I didn’t say that, I’ll have to write him back, tell him, I said, ‘The world lived as if life was meaningless,’ no I said, I think I said, ‘nothingness,’ that ‘the world took on the spell of no certain faith, an old religion of nihilism is taking place, that life has gone out of the soul.

After reading his comments it struck me, ‘when I had young eyes like the publisher, for he’s only 27-years old, and I’m 68-years old, he sees the world with young eyes, he can’t see beyond the dimness of today, us older ones no longer can. I know he mocks me as a dimwit, living in the past, but it is the present I am talking about in the book, and future: the ruin, man has caused the world, is not that the roof is falling in. I’d like to call him up and talk to him. Maybe go see him, or have him see me, convince him the world needs my book, it is like a gospel, per near, a gospel of doom! I know Mr. Christion Durant, laughs at me, and if I call him he’ll say “Mr. Solomon Salem, I had a busy morning in my office, I’m in a good humor, don’t wreck the day for me, I’m too tired to fight, we’re not going to publish your rot.”

The previous publisher, for him it was regrettable, he agreed- “… but people do not think the way I think,” to his mind anyhow. Did he take a survey? No! Did he read ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,’ or Achebe, or ‘The Trial,’ or ‘The Castle,’ or ‘Sentimental Education’ or Virgil, or ‘Hamlet’ or ‘Moby-Dick russia ukraine news  ` or ‘Metamorphoses’: no, no, no, but they all have gloominess to them. How about Faust or Voltaire? No, no, no, again gloominess. For him there is no calamity at the tip of the horizon, no nuclear clock three minutes to midnight, he lives blind in a foxhole.

When I got home last night I noticed a pile of bills on my floor, the mailman’s too lazy to put them in the mailbox, instead of the door slot, that’s for when I’m on a trip, and I haven’t taken one for six years. This mailman’s a new one, he’s older than I, or looks older, with his wrinkles on his face swaying like masts in the offing.

By the time I reached the restaurant, ‘The Chef’ off Payne Avenue and West Seventh Street, my little apartment, two rooms on York Street not far off, just a little walk, no so much an unusual place, more on the order of a greasy-spoon place, with heavy waitresses with loose aprons and bulging pouches, where white haired men eat, and hopefuls with no sympathetic view on life go. I was still feeling badly about the previous turndown of my MS, but Christion Durant was on my brain now. Yet, oddly enough, so much alike they both are. I thought everyone had a view on the chaos going on in the world, did not Aristotle say, “We are all political Animals,” and did not Pope Francis quote that quote to Mr. Donald Trump concerning the wall he wanted to narrow the gap between the overflow of Mexicans sneaking into the United States. I guess my view on it was what Confucius, said: “For a wise man should know what he knows and what he doesn’t know.”

I like them both, but I wonder if Confucius should have changed his maxim to: “A wise man should know what he knows, and not pretend to know what he doesn’t know.”

“The Regular,” I told the fat waitress, with heavy-duty varicose-veins, it’s a crying shame, her insurance policy here doesn’t pay for them to be taken care of, and evidently they don’t. Just then a man came in who lives in the bottom apartment of my four-plex building. He’s 93-years old, he said he sold furs in his younger days.

“Hello,” he said, waves; I give him a wave back.

Mr. Christion Durant, should know evil is not blind, only hope and those like Russia, and Putin, and al-Assad in Syria, and the Islamic State, and North Korea’s head honcho, China likewise, they are all brooding over owning more of the earth.

 

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