Dan Kennedy tells us what the stars have in store for November…
My hat is off to the pudgy girl dressed as a sexy maid this Halloween. She was all quiet confidence and acceptance. You see a bunch of skinny young hot girls doing Halloween all half-assed; putting on fishnet stockings and carrying around a little plastic pitchfork all night and saying they’re going as the devil. As if Satan has ever been that lazy about anything. Sometimes I pity the genetically fortunate, I really do. And this isn’t me trying to pump the rest of us up with some pep talk. Look, perfectly proportioned symmetrical biological containers are often the ticket to outsized earnings, dizzying nights in St. Barths, and praise comes to them without the burden of bearing talent– they’ve got it good and I’m not here to convince anyone otherwise. I don’t even know what the hell I’m doing at this point – did I even give you a horoscope thing, Capricorn? Do me the favor of scouring this for the message, moral, or clue.
Your life is huge and maybe you see that. Or maybe you don’t – maybe you think nothing is important until there’s a picture of it in a magazine. And you won’t ever fade away, and I’m not talking about time and mortality and the rest of it as much as I’m talking about the impact you’ve had here on this mortal coil. Right, and look at you, already shrugging and changing the subject. Then again, maybe that’s how one becomes so indelible, all of this giving and never expecting anything back. And the rest of us start with the reward in mind, farming and nurturing the kind of heart that brings the world things like American Idol and junk mortgages. We end up making the kind of friends that made dotcom millions and then outsourced their small business – they even outsource their part-time office assistant. The dot org people aren’t nearly this ugly and money driven; I’m not talking about them. And the dot net people are generally brainy and pleasant. Anyway, you’re here forever, so relax.
Had a friend like you once, but he was a runner. Ran marathons. Ran, ran, ran. Had a friend like you once that was a traveler, too. Flew away often and flew away fast. I think the first step toward fighting the good fight is just keeping your feet in one place for a few minutes. It’s not really even so much about fighting as it is about planting your feet firmly and waiting to see what’s next. It’s like those dreams you have where you finally just stand there and face what you were so afraid of – turns out to be nothing. Every time. So stand still to go further. Slow down to go faster. Why does it say I’m only supposed to be using this glue in a well-ventilated room? Anyway, I love you.
Everyone talks about waking up early, but if you really want to seize the day, wake up late and catch it by surprise. In this life the waiter says he’s an actor and every bartender you meet is a novelist, you know what I mean? Decide what you want to be and start calling yourself that thing, but more importantly be that thing. It’s about at the point where the guy putting shocks on your car tells you he’s an orthodontist. And here I am, a writer, a comedian, a middling outdoorsman – and I’m acting like I’m qualified to be dishing out some sort of horoscope or advice – a con, indeed – and I’m asking you to buy into it?
Let me tell you this: if you should happen to casually toss a firework out your window – and let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re living in downtown New York – there’s a pretty good chance the thing is going to rocket right into a huge dumpster and start a giant fire. You know this. You seem to understand the weightiness of someone having to dispatch almost a dozen fire trucks to be sure the thing is put out quickly and nobody is hurt. I need to tell you here that you’ve got the plan half right; get something started, let it get bigger than you ever thought it would, but as the co-op board and local precinct says: you’re a grown adult, you should probably be doing something a little more constructive with your time.
You’re a racist. I’m kidding. I just don’t know where to go with this one. If you need any clearer evidence of my imminent retirement from doing things I’m not qualified to do, consider the previous installment of this column wherein I basically called you a drunk smothering your talent and potential as a means of remaining hostile. It’s not so much your sign and fate that vexes me, it’s that yours happens to fall toward the end of the column; the point at which I’ve beating myself up for posing as insightful and full of mystical fixes. In a weird way I’ve told you something here, though: don’t believe everything that you read, dear Gemini. And if I might revise the maxim slightly: Question the expert authority.
Hey, you want to know the secret to writing? The secret to writing is that there’s no secret to writing. I don’t know why I gave this one to you, Cancer, but it’s huge and it’s all for you. It’s a brief stab at my little astrological grift – not so long at all – one little sentence, one big secret. But this secret could heat your house for the rest of your days. Or at least warm your heart.
The rock band has a 270 ton stage. The fashion model is on billboards the size of buildings. Of the tens of thousands of people running the marathon, the guy from the sitcom who ran it is getting interviewed again. I say this to you: if you can type your name into Google and not get results, you’re living the 21st Century dream. In the future anonymity will be the new fame. They’ll not recognize you and they’ll come running. You should be slick and walk away; go on your way the way you’ve gone on it for years or decades.
People always talk about this larger force in the universe. It’s there, I’m sure. But let me tell you this about it: it doesn’t give a damn if you find a parking place. Magic is afoot, to be sure, but it’s busy and tired, lonely in a hotel room full of magazines, hoping it’s still doing the right thing. You, Virgo, are advised to see the larger force in the universe and continue on doing what it is you do and realizing you’re doing the work yourself for the most part. The universe throws you a bone when it’s easy to do so, past that you better show up and get some shit done. Incidentally, you are loved. Whether you like it or not.
The only Libra I knew did this art. Pretty basic art, though…it’s not like I’m an art pro. But pretty cool paintings, pretty cool sketches – a lot of it seemed kind of influenced by travels to the middle east. Anyway, then his big thing was that he’d glue a knife or oxygen mask to the painting. I guess the idea was that this made it somehow more interesting or avant-garde. Anyway, what’s this have to do with you, right? This is what I’m trying to say, Libra: you’re fine the way you are. And when you add the metaphorical oxygen mask or knife, it feels like you’re convinced you aren’t fine the way you are. I’m not saying you can’t jazz your life up with a hard left turn here and there. Get the tattoo on a lark. Chop the family ride into something lower to the ground. Whatever, just make sure it’s part of the whole picture.
If you read the Libra horoscope above, then you’ve realized I can’t do horoscopes. You’ve realized that this filthy beatnik word jazz is a hoax at best. I mean, I just told people born between September 23 and October 22 to get tattooed and turn their family sedan into a low rider. I also harshly criticized some guy’s art. My girlfriend, by the way, thinks it’s the worst thing in the world that I tamper around with the stars like this; she told me it is sacrilege. That’s what I mean, Scorpio — you can be semi-fraudulent, under qualified, and not have any support at home, but if it feels right to you then you should do it. You know what I’m saying?
Bam! Another year almost done for you, and half of the time when you do that math, you’ll be convinced it’s all adding up wrong. Which is why you should stick to anything but math. Which is why you should get advice on living from anyone but you. Which is why when you go and explore the fertile creative trenches in your mind, you should leave word with a loved one about when you’re leaving to go into your head and when you plan on coming out. There are a ton of worthwhile finds, but there’s a handful of stupid and deadly ideas in there, too. But a lot of things that can kill you (your mind, in this instance) can make your life amazing, too. As my friend’s mid-divorce newly-minted Hell’s Angels Dad once told me when we were nine: “Nothing wrong with a motorcycle as long as you respect the power of it.” Word, Mr. Kellis.
Dan Kennedy is the author of Rock On: An Office Power Ballad. His essays appear regularly in GQ Magazine, and he’s a regular host of The Moth StorySLAM events in New York as well as the Moth podcast, and radio hour. Twitter: @dankennedy_NYC