I'm about to take a vacation. Worn out and tired, I had to write an email this morning that wrecked the whole day. Knocked me down to the ground within. At the grocery store I ran into my friend Susan and she asked how I was doing. My spirit was dim, I said the body is fine, but the mind is not working today. I stopped a few places and saw people I knew, mind like a swamp, nothing going on and not hearing much I heard. I think I was in what WH Auden called, "the slough of despond." Earlier, in Farmer's Hardware, I saw Susan from a distance, thought I recognized her, but wasn't sure. I said to Marsha, "Who is that?" She said, "Sue Senter." I knew Sue as Susan Tucker. I knew Susan was born a Senter. I said, "I thought she was a Tucker," and Marsha said, "It's her mother." That threw me all the further. Susan went out the store before me and I ran into her later at Food Lion. Up close, I recognized her. My feeling is she lost weight, was wearing jeans, and had a pony tail I'd never seen her in. Plus, I've noticed recently my vision is going a bit blurry. Talking with Susan I was disoriented. I knew it was Susan, but my mind was stuck in its somebody I don't know who looks like Susan. I felt like I was in a cage in a new environment and couldn't figure out everything around me. I remembered when Jr Maxwell's mind was slipping away, a similar disorientation. I don't think mine was from mind going away, but from mind being shut down. It's like being online, then the modem quits working. I have to unplug to modem for ten seconds and start over. I carried groceries into the house just in time to take some grain to the donkeys as it was getting dark.
I went to bed without putting up groceries. Couldn't move. Woke a couple hours later feeling no better. Put on a French film that arrived today, Fear & Trembling, by a director whose films I like, Alain Corneau. It was good. It was very good. The moment it was over, I went back to bed, unable to be up another minute. After a few more hours, I woke, unable to sleep, turned on BBC news and listened for awhile about Taliban shooting up a school in Pakistan, over a hundred kids shot down. Turned the radio off. Couldn't sleep for thinking about another atrocity done for God's glory. I got up and here I am, feeling like my head is a block of wood. I've been through one of the very worst ordeals of my life, one that never ends. It started in late October; as of yesterday, I am back to what they call square one, the starting point. Time to start all over. I've not been wanting to write about this ordeal, hoping it would come to an end some time in foreseeable future. As of yesterday, I learned it will never end. I had to write an email this morning saying I regret with all my heart I got involved in this project, am through with frustration and anger, am disheartened unto indifference, though if it takes all of 2015 to get this project completed, I'll bear down and do it, only because I've committed. I volunteered (BIG error) to make the video at the hillbilly show and take care of getting the video transferred to dvd. Was given a catalog of a place that does this promising results in 3 days. It's two months now. Thought I'd save us some money. This time, it's going to cost more than it ever has. Emails, phone calls, trips to town to take snail mail to the post office.
I spent a whole week attempting to email the video to them by ways I had to consult a friend who knows computers how to do, and even then had to have her do it for me. Downloading time took so long and I had to do several of them three and four times. Two-thirds of the way through one, the connection would go offline. It gets worse. Much worse. It started much, much worse. Much of the problem was my own ignorance. This is a hi-tech place where I have to ask them to explain what they're saying, like doctors, young guys for whom I am a dinosaur, and not Dinosaur Jr. Now, I have to mail something else tomorrow. And it's all my fault. Like it's my fault they lost all the information over Thanksgiving vacation and when they came back, they'd forgotten it and I called a couple weeks later to ask about the delay. Oh, we forgot about it. Gee thanks. For over two months there has been only one thing I want: this project to be over. They sent a sample copy of the dvd. I put it in the player full of hope that this was it. It's over. Until it cut off two-thirds of the way through the show. It's not over. I had to write an email explaining the problem. It's not over. Starting over again. I noted in the email I regret with all my heart that I'd already given them my credit card number. They've been friendly, but I think my email this morning might have squeezed the friendly out of them. I don't care. I have fallen into the zone of indifference. I don't care if it's not over for a year. I don't care if it never gets taken care of it. I don't care if this starting again solves it. I don't care anything about it anymore. I have come into a kind of debilitating slump. There's nothing I want to do and nothing I'm able to do.
Devoid of motivation for anything. Thought I'd force myself to write. Didn't want to watch another movie. Didn't want to read. Only one subject in the front of my mind. Didn't want to write about it, but here it is. I can't get into the progression of the story, all the steps along the way that did not work, over and over, until I get so frustrated it turns to anger. Nothing to take the anger out on, so I swallow it into depression. That's where I've been all day, in the depression of swallowed anger. Every step along the way in this project from the very first moment has been a frustration. First, I was promised help by a fickle twenty-something, which never materialized: I hadta, I hadta.... Otherwise, I'd have got help from a friend I could count on, another twenty-something. No help in a project I needed an assistant. From then on, nothing worked. I realized I had jumped into something out of my league. But it was too late. I had to see it through. Two months ago. It still haunts me every day. I have pressure from two sides and I'm in the middle in stasis. I feel like Luke Skywalker in the Death Star's trash compacter. I've been thinking I'd like to do it next year, and do it right, now that I know what not to do. There is no way I can even consider for a nanosecond jumping into this bottomless pit again. It started as a volunteer effort to save our group that puts on the hillbilly show some money. What I did was screw everything up. It started on an off-note and every step along way was off, a fiddle out of tune played by a beginner. In the morning, I'll do what I have to do to get the next step going, another of the many that have promised to be the last. I've given in to seeing there is no end to it. I'll just continue, one step at a time, on this endless journey to nowhere.
john mccracken himself