If I've been reticent in the commentary-interpretation department, it's only because I've been writing, writing a lot. Thinking. The word muscle wears out after three hours of writing, which is why I've been relying on outside texts. Those say what I want to say better.
I've been writing about my twenties, a time in my life I've never considered in writing. Famous Builder, in fact, skips right over the period between 1980 and 1991 as if the years in between never happened. The revelation is that I don't think I quite happened back then. My body, my brain, and imagination were elsewhere. Or maybe I was simply on hold, waiting for life to start. Maybe that's how everyone experiences their twenties, in retrospect. Maybe that's why I need to revisit it and poke around, see what's there.
It's like chipping away at something hard, like shale.
I only know that those years seem darker, even more alarming, in retrospect. People dying of a disease, not even a fixed name for the disease, or how one gets it. No test, no pills. Homophobia, sexphobia. The terror of it so all-encompassing that rage transforms into cuteness: cute music, clownish fashion. Was anyone inhabiting those times? I'm not one to make pronouncements--it is, after all, also the decade of The Smiths, New Order, Raymond Carver, Amy Hempel's first stories, David Leavitt's first stories--but it's eerie to think about what a few decades will do: the culture's penchant for nostalgia sanitizing, sweetening.
William, It Was Really Nothing - The Smiths
Stop Me If You Think Youve Heard This One Before - The Smiths