Monday, May 15, 2006

Writing by Exhaustion

[The subsidized apartment building I live in is called The Union Hotel. It's run by DESC, Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center. All the residents have been homeless. I write a column for the monthly building newsletter. The column is called Out of My Mind. I'm posting them here, properly dated, because I can. -- wes]

Wes here again. Room 303. This month my goal in writing Out of My Mind is to convince myself that the Union Hotel is the best place I have ever lived.

Theorem: There has never been such a great place for me, Wes Browning, to live.

Proof: By the “Method of Exhaustion.” That means I must demonstrate that all the other places I have lived have been worse.

Step 1: No place that I ever lived with my parents was even remotely as good as what I got here, for the very reason that my parents were there, cramping my style. ‘Nuff said.

Step 2: Didn’t Omar Khayyam (two “y”s?) say, “Man doth not live by bread alone?” No wait, no, that was that “bread, a jug of wine and Thou” business. Make that Moses to the Israelites, when they were whining, “O please dear God give us manna” (two “n”s?) Anyhow, man DOTH not live by bread alone, for sure. Man doth require the jugs n’ thous. Therefore, any times I have lived in isolation were decidedly worse than the Union, where I have friends and such. Especially such.

Step 3: Steps one and two have ruled out, as possible counter-examples to our Theorem, all but two other places I have lived. I lived in places where there were no parents but plenty of jugs and friends. To complete my proof that the Union is the best place I have ever lived, I need only prove to myself that those places were inferior.

I can do it! Those places didn’t have inspections every month. In fact they never had inspections at all! Good God! I might have done incredible harm to myself, by, for example, not leaving a three-foot path to my window! It’s a wonder I survived!

Therefore, QED, the Union Hotel is the best place I have ever lived!