I’m so very tired of trying to sell myself. It’s the path I’ve chosen, and it’s part of the game, but it’s tiring in a deep way.
I’ll never spend a day digging holes or shingling roofs, but I’m constantly trying to sell myself to those who do. They’re the ones who ultimately decide who wins. So while I’ll never know their agony, so they will never know mine.
Everyone is creative; there are roofers who can tell a great story, there are guys who push an asphalt rake all day who sing like angels in their church choirs, there are masons (yes, they still exist) who are poets. “Poet Masons.” Also the name of Arcade Fire*’s next album.
But say to them: “You should do something with that [talent]…” and they’ll aw shucks and write it off. And then I cluck my tongue and mentally quote A Bronx Tale: “The saddest thing in life is wasted talent,” feel superior, and go about the business of proving to someone with money that I’m more special than that first guy they saw and that next guy they’ll see. We’re like a throng of peasants from some self-indulgent, third-world country surrounding an Aid Truck full of attention.
On the other hand, the roofer will never mistake his creativity for commerce. He will never put his self-esteem in the hands of the highest bidder. He’ll come home, take a shower, drink a six-pack and hope to fall asleep by 11:00 because tomorrow is 88 degrees at noon. He’ll sacrifice his body, but some things are not for sale.
In admiring that, I feel pretentious. And yet…
And so I write this, on my computer, to no one in particular, on a domain bearing my name. Then, for traffic purposes, I’ll re-post it on Facebook or Twitter, and try to sell you on it.
Sometimes it’s deeply tiring and, pardon my French, sometimes it’s a “Balls-Deep Bummer,” Arcade Fire*’s next album after next.
*Surveys show that the indie octet, Arcade Fire, is very popular, and therefore a “high-traffic” tag.