Unless I’m very mistaken, I’ve just found a beautiful new apartment in North Berkeley. It is ungodly expensive (I won’t even say a number, for fear of shocking you), but it’s still a good price for the SF Bay Area. Also, I get to live in Berkeley, which is a town that I love. Berkeley occupies a strange place in the imagination of the young people who live in the East Bay. People think of it as really bourgeois and dull for some reason? I don’t know.
In keeping with my epiphany of a few days ago, I spent today mapping out the plots of two novels where not very much happens: The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P and The Spectacular Now. It was an interesting exercise. In both novels, you have a protagonist who needs to do one thing in order to get his life in order. And in each novel, the narrator flirts with doing that thing, getting closer and then further, closer and further. In both novels, the actual events are less important than what’s going on in the narrator’s mind. I mean, there are events, but they’re mainly important for the way that they change the narrator. They’re not important in and of themselves. This is particularly hilarious in The Spectacular Now, where the narrator does awful stuff that you think is gonna irreparably damage his relationship with the female romantic lead…but each time she forgives him almost instantly. She’s a doormat, but in her case the behavior is so dangerous that it doesn’t even seem antifeminist. Instead, it seems like the book is just saying something–something very true–about certain kinds of relationships.
Anyway, it remains to be seen whether I’ll actually be able to apply this knowledge. I am germinating an idea, but I don’t know. I just don’t know. So few of my ideas manage to survive contact with the page.