Swimming to Manhattan

A personal journey to Spalding Gray’s Memorial Service in NYC
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
April 13th, 2004

by John Boland (aka ‘Ratz Garcia’)

Dedicated to Kathie, Melissa, Theo, Forrest … and Spalding

Day 8 – Negative and Positive/Positive and Negative

(suggested music – Too Young by Phoenix (from Lost in Translation soundtrack)

There are all those old prosperity books from the 20s and 30s that led to churches like the Truth Center and Unity. Even spawned the current, somewhat past craze of thinking or saying affirmations ('some agent/publisher will read this and think it’s really fucking good!'). Now about that advance…

So the idea is to think these positive thoughts and positive things will happen – or at least your positive mind will trick you into thinking that they are positive – and you’ll get rich – or at least think you are rich.

These things can be powerful. I was stuck in the middle of a 5-year labor lawsuit against a fascist employer (I can say that cause they got eaten up by another fascist employer).

So, alone in the hotel room with my lawyer talking to the arbitrator/mediator elsewhere – I was assured that the employer could not join them either – I found out later that was a blatant lie by the mediator (asshole!). Well, it was another time like I already mentioned, ‘lots of opportunities to have things to do when I’m really fuckin bored’.

And I was totally sedated so the choices were limited. I pulled out an affirmation from my pocket that had to do with getting rich. A few seconds later, my lawyer comes back with a six figure offer that he wants to take. Turns out to be a shit deal especially after the fascists violated the deal after only one day and at least six times after that. So affirmations are powerful – be careful what you wish for. And be careful not to get the idiot lawyer I had.

And the cognitive shit that’s written out there sort of follows. Positive thought, positive feeling, positive action.

But at this moment, I’m into the what ifs. The futures. And they are negative. What if I’ve waited so long, I won’t be able to stay at the Bowery… what if arriving at Seattle airport 55 minutes before the flight is not enough time (to catch an American flight that I found somewhere but couldn’t take anyway because I couldn’t get to Seattle… remember?)…what if that flight is now sold out?… what if --- never sends me any money… what if no agent or publisher reads this and thinks…

That’s tiring just writing that shit. I know the road of expectations is full of African size potholes of disappointments – I wonder if the what ifs is some kind of side road… but I’m way too far gone to even give that a chance.

And then there’s what price convenience. Is it worth going to Seattle (which I can’t) and paying $100 more for a direct flight that takes just over five hours as opposed to that 14 hour one where I get to write about the IQ test.

And then I know it’s time to quit when the negatives start producing negatives by using memories of the past– like the time I flew out of Miami and it took four hours to get through security – and I thought 55 minutes in Seattle was going to fucking do it…

Just One Victory and I’m on my Way…

back to Day 7 | on to Days 9 and 10