After I got home from Judo, I got about 10 pages in to “On the Road” and then gave up.
It was my first time reading the book and I actually quite enjoyed it. It was boastful, full on run-ons and both exuberant and depressing in a way I felt kinship towards.
But the mixture of testosterone, adrenaline and endorphins blasting through my veins in a desperate attempy by my body to forget the beating it had just recieved made it hard for me to receive any literature of any kind.
“On The Road” too was a book that I should have read by now. It was the sort of book my starry-eyed bohemian friends, the ones I seemed to acquire as a continous thru-line through my life, would worship as they recycled bits of it in conversation to the awe of a poetry nerd who was just trying to figure out a few words that rhymed with “wasn’t”.
Instead though, I just gave up. The allure of technology, of this place, was too much for me to ignore.
Even when I tried reading though, I was distracted by a friend and blog-reader showing some love, but interrupting herself to watch Heroes, which I admit was once a part of my life.
But first is first.
I came late to comic books. Even though I spent a significant portion of my youth in comic-book-stores with punked-out-miscygenated clerks with names like Zane, Bobert and Lu-Gi-Oh, I always played cards in the back and never really looked at the weeklies. It was different kind of nerd who looked at comic books than played Magic cards, just as it was different kind of nerd who played D+D–an arguably more social one.
It was actually all the way in my second year of college when I began reading. My roommate and best-friend-at-the-time had shacked up with his girlfriend in our spacious one-room dormitory and while hanging them was cool, I felt like needed something in my life that was outside of the strange social-incestuousness that came of that situation.
So I got into comics because they offered a constant story, a place to go and come back to every week where familiar characters would live their lives and you could join them for a while.
It’s ironic when I think of what I’m doing now.
But I got out of comics as a junior when I realized that nothing ever changed. That, indeed, the very notion of a comic book predicated that nothing ever change so as not to destroy the brand or “mess with success”.
This wasn’t like Harvey Pekar in American Splendor whose life was mundane and never really changed due to its circumstances; it was that the characters never changed or evolved. Batman had to stay Batman, except for the rare Frank Miller once ever so many years. No one ever learned anything or became anything. There was no real continuity and even if there was, it could all be washed away by a new writer, a new spin.
When I got in to Heroes, it was for the same sort of reason; my Monday nights felt empty and I wanted to live with extraordinary people for a while.
Also, back then there was the whole Heroes-Lost debate, which basically meant that if you were anti-one, you had to be for the other. And Lost was a show that managed to turn me off through the miracle of seeming mindbogglingly pretentious and airheaded at the same time.
But when I was asked about watching the premiere of Heroes tonight, I knew of course that I wasn’t going to watch it. The show had been going down-hill practically since its inception, mirroring the comics with its half-baked storylines juxtaposed with exciting high-concept new ones. Everything about it felt poorly-written and somewhat abandoned. It was time to give up on Heroes.
Anyway, now there were better TV shows. And video games. And the reading from the book I knew I’d like but couldn’t bring myself hormonally to read.
There’s something about spending time with extraordinary people though–the escapism, the magical quality, the subtle or not-subtle alterations of the rules of the world around you.
If only Kerouac had had an action figure, he might have had a chance.