In light of what Shelley said today, which may or may not have been in response to any degree to my comments yesterday, I feel I should clarify a bit.
I said

“Nor am I terribly keen on reading about your adventures in buying coffee at the local Starbucks, unless in the telling of said adventures your words are so cunningly crafted as to make me grin like a monkey (and even better, leap up and down and fling my excrement), or otherwise evoke some feeling other than ‘well, that’s five minutes of my life I’ll never get back.’ “

I made a mess of that. Besides getting lost in the syntax and being too cleverclever by half, I managed to obscure my actual point. Tales of the commonplace, stories about the small things that make up our daily existence, can be fascinating. They can be beautiful, or heartbreaking, and they can shine a light on our own lives, and help us to understand that, really, we are all the same, us hairless primates.
It’s not that I find tales of ordinary, daily life tedious. Not at all. All the meat and juice comes from it : all the tragedy and comedy of our lives is woven into ordinary, daily life. “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans,” goes the cliche.
But I do find a badly-told tale tedious, no matter the subject. If your story of your trials and tribulations at the local Starbucks (to use the same example I used before (and I’m hoping no one who happens by here has actually written one of those recently) has all the music and muscularity of a shopping list, it’s unlikely that I’ll find it interesting.
I make no claim to being the most pellucid, or entertaining, or skilled writer, or even having any greater skill than being able to string a few words together in an occasionally pleasing fashion. Far from it.
I hope I’m not coming off as elitist. But, speaking for myself, I’m only interested in the minutiae of someone’s daily existence if they can relate to me those tales of the commonplace in a way that piques my interest.
(Edit : Uh. I just realized thanks to a BB post that Our Gonzo Standard Bearer and All Around Ranteriffic Guy, a certain Mr. Locke, recently talked about his experiences at a Starbucks, and did so in a most engaging fashion. The example used above was not intended as some sort of bass-ackwards commentary about that. I am nothing like that subtle. My brain simply doesn’t work that way. I suppose that’s what I get for reading EGR after I’ve had a few…)


Join the conversation! 5 Comments

  1. Actually, Chris, my posting wasn’t a response to yours. I could change that though. Add a little umbrage *grin*
    After all, I drink Starbuck’s. I go to store. I pick up coffee bean bag. I look for right kind of coffee. I double-check it because I’ve bought decaf by accident. I don’t like decaf. It tastes like formaldehyde. I take coffee to counter. I put coffee on counter. I put credit card on counter. I answer “No, I don’t want you to grind it”. They charge me. I sign my name. I get my beans. I go home. I grind them. I brew them. I drink them.
    *huge fucking grin*

  2. Wow, you’re quick off the mark, Shel! I was still editing that post… 🙂

  3. *sniff*
    That was the most beatiful thing I’ve ever read, Shelley. I’ll never look at a simple thing like getting coffe the same way again…

  4. or coffee, even…
    and, er, I meant to write beatiful, kinda in the Keroaucian sense.
    Yeah, that’s the ticket!
    I’ll go now.

  5. Damn, bearman! Finally, a worthy audience!
    See, Chicky baby — you molting cutie you — someone with real appreciation for art.. and coffee… and shit like that.

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