Sometimes, it is very rare, but sometimes none of it matters. Painting, my future as a painter, my place in the lineage of painters, even my present, vis-a-vis painting, even that. It just doesn't matter, and I don't care. I am indifferent even to the idea of my entire body of work rising in flames upon my death in a great bonfire of temporality and, yes, vanity. (Just please don't burn the one great book I had in me.) In these rare times when none of this matters, when my ambition submits to my indifference without a fight, what I care about is what lies behind me, the choices I have made, the myriad misinformed ways I shaped my life that led to where I am today. In these times, I look back and see that I chose badly. When faced with Choice A, I chose badly. When faced with Choice B, I chose badly, and so on and so on, until we reach today when I don't know how to choose, or what to choose, when I am paralyzed with not knowing how to choose because I have no history of self-strengthening choice-making, only a history of self-abnegation mixed with hedonism (in days of yore) and an outsized love of impermanence and fear of commitment. Yes, it is true, I shaped a life that was wholly in service to my art (holy in service, it was my belief!)—first writing, now this...this god-forsaken painting business. But that is what I am talking about! In these times, when the only life I have shaped for myself and my lack of interest in that life collide—but that is not exactly accurate. It would be more accurate to say what I have already said, that when the very shape of my life, what was formed through an extravagant series of shitty choices appears as something that requires changing, before my spirit completely collapses—unrevivably!—when that happens and I am paralyzed to make a move, I see that I remain an unfit custodian of my own life, and then my indifference deepens to despair. (In defense of myself, I must tell you that I am no longer self-abnegating. I just can't move, is all.) It would be nice to think that it was always, from day one, out of my hands, that we are not as self-determined as our delusions tell us we are and the bad choices I am talking about were never ones I made but were ordained (in service to my destiny!), but I was born and raised a Protestant, and the belief in self-determination is the very fabric of that faith, so I cannot, unfortunately, take comfort in that (probable) fallacy. Incidentally, the one great book I had in me was titled If I Had to Choose—a shitty title, but so were the choices that were the subject of that book. And yet I had to make them, otherwise I would not have had that book to write! And so the serpent eats itself. I wish this paragraph would too, but here it is. Let me be more clear: I need to move and don't know how to. I suppose I could have just said that in the beginning, but I like this lot of voluptuous flesh, and now I have given this paragraph something to dine on.