Having begun this Many Moments More journal in June 2018, we have now come to the 1000th entry. The title refers to the quotation, "Heroism is endurance for one moment more"; this is, certainly, a record of man things, but the endurance component is a crucial one. For right now, at least. "Needs be as needs must."
This journal is already longer than the whole of Samuel Pepys' diaries. Than Proust's In Search of Lost Time. All of Thoreau's journals.
In the time in which it was written, no less than 260 short stories have been composed. Three full books, which does not include those short stories, many of which are earmarked for books themselves, such as Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives, Vol. 1 and There Is No Doubt: Storied Humanness. Then there are all of the arts pieces, sports pieces, op-eds, personal essays.
And yet, what I mostly write--by far--and spend most of my time writing, are letters to people who discriminate against me because this is what I am, and this is what I do, and there is nothing like either, and I'm nothing like them.
This is who does not get the awards. This is who will have no coverage. This is who has no support. This is who the Guggenheim does not go to so that a husband and a wife, possessing no talent between them, and publishing next to nothing, but having the right connections, and coming from the right amount of money themselves, can collect the award and payment in the same year. This is who does not get the Genius Grant.
Then, too, there are the hundreds of appearances on the radio. One can go on and on and on and on, but the reality of the situation--the hell, the tragedy, what the cost is for the world at large for someone who has more than anyone to give it--remains the same.
We could also look at the thousands and thousands of miles covered on foot during that time, the millions of stairs climbed, while these people sit there, do nothing, and are handed everything they have. All done while completely alone. In poverty. No friends. No companionship of any kind. Prodigious amounts of abuse. Having given up alcohol. Having experienced a nervous breakdown--and only worked more. Only continued to grow. To get better every single day. And to always pay a steeper price for virtues, decency, expertise, strength, genius.
All of this I have documented in these pages.
But 1000 entries.
So there we are.
All of the awards out there, all of the grab-ass, all of the puff reviews, all of the cliched plaudits, none of it is real. It is all about other things than the work. This is real. I am real. And nothing is more real than the work I create.
There. You've had your little song and dance about your journal. We move on.
This morning I watched part of 1932's The Most Dangerous Game, a horror film that at first look might not seem to be a horror film. Nature horror. It's hard to achieve horror without the supernatural. I don't look at serial killer movies as horror, or what Boris Karloff would have called a terror picture.
I have two fine horror op-ed ideas ready to go for Halloween. One is already written. The other idea is simply perfect. I think I should be able to move both. I haven't had an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal since December, but I have a page of notes for the purpose of remedying that. I need the money, so that attempt will be among the first bits of business when I am done with some book business. Which hopefully occurs this weekend.
I learned today--trying to organize some records--that I wrote on Beowulf--the codex version, no less--for The Believer. I had no recollection of this. Also, that I wrote on Little Willie John's last sessions for PopMatters.
I also did head work on a story I've had in my head for a while called "Mount Edifice," which will be the definitive story about discrimination. It is about a fellow who is in an obelisk not unlike my Bunker Hill Monument. It's just before Christmas. He's running stairs, the only person in there, and because no one has come out in a while, and he's out of sight and out of sound, he gets locked in when a guard shuts the door for the long holiday weekend. It's freezing. No one would hear you. You'd die of the cold if you didn't keep moving. So what he has to do is run up and down. Has to take his clothes off, even, and run up and down. And as he runs, and becomes more far gone, we go back to these other episodes in his life. Of discrimination. Or presumed discrimination. Because the two blur. You wish to talk of what is systemic? This is the all-timer story. In some ways, it's like "Fitty" meets "Transitionings," meets "First Responder." As he runs these stairs, he starts to encounter the people from these earlier experiences, blocking his path. And at the end of the long weekend, we will have a real-life conclusion to the story, when the obelisk is opened again. It's one of those classic "Why didn't I think of that?" stories that is exactly what you wish to create. You have such a clear driver, too. The man's name is Dell.
But then what will happen? Another masterpiece. And, of course, the waiting discrimination.
The Bruins gave up six goals to the Buffalo Sabres. That's embarrassing. I saw very little of this game. But Rask was in net. I'm not saying this would happen, or that it should, but Bruce Cassidy is a coach with the kind of balls who'd start Swayman in the playoffs. Maybe from the start, or if Rask faltered early. I did see Rask flub a routine glove save.
Okay. Let's get to it.