When I was in 1st grade I thought it would be a good idea to read all of the books I owned. For some reason it occurred to me that the best way to do this was to read all of my books at once. I planned to read the 1st chapter of each book, then I’d move on to the 2nd chapter, then the third, until I had made it through every one of them.
I started at the left corner of my bookshelf and began to make my way towards the bottom right.
I read the first chapter of James and the Giant Peach, the first chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the first chapter of The Charlotte’s Web, and then I got to the dictionary. I figured that the letter ‘A’ should count as the 1st chapter. I don’t remember exactly how far I got, but I probably bailed on the whole project somewhere around the word ‘absurd’.
Of course the sensible way to go about this completely senseless project would be to just skip the fucking dictionary, but I wanted to do it properly, to do it for real and that made me not do it at all. To this day I do everything overly intensely. If I’m going on a diet I cut out every bit of questionable food. If I’m exercising I do it for hours a day. If I’m cleaning my apartment I start wiping down every surface. I’m either all in or I’m not in at all. I’ve never been interested in kind of doing something. Inevitably this means things get really exciting and everything goes great for a while before I burn out and never want to eat another kale salad, or go to the gym, or clean my apartment again.
For some reason art is different. I approach it with the same all encompassing intensity I approach my other projects with, but I’ve only become more obsessed with it the more I do it. Maybe it’s because I actually love the process of making art, not just the sense of accomplishment. Thank goodness for that.
Come back on April 23rd for the next page!