There is much to get to that will require several entries. I will be quick for now, just to get some things down. My sister wants me to come to Chicago because she is scared I am going to harm myself. It is very difficult to keep going right now. It's hard to believe there is not a better world for me. I don't know how to get past these people yet who hate me so much. It is worse that I keep getting better. The single worst feeling I have ever had in a life that has been almost entirely bad is the feeling that I have a work in my head that is better than any work, that millions will love, and I don't know when or if the millions will get to see it and love it because of the position I am in. These people seek to render my works of life as abortions that go into a locked-up bin. I had not seen Emma upstairs for about a week and a half and we were going to get a drink at the Starbucks yesterday but I had to cancel. I didn't want to bring her down. She may be the smartest person I know, but she's just a child, of course. She doesn't know very much about my past or my present situation, but Emma being Emma, she has probably pieced together a sense. She sent me a text last night saying simply, "Are you safe?"
Yesterday was the seven year anniversary of the last day I saw the person who was then my wife as my wife. Facebook reminded me of this by mentioning this photo from the very day. Yes, I know, I was a porker back then.
It's from a beach on Swampscott. She knew what she was planning to do. She made no mention of it, of course. She never said a word of any objection to anything. But she was having her affair, she had her plan. She was going to go, she was going to hire multiple lawyers, she was going to take my house, and she was going to ghost a person she was married to without ever once having said, "You know, I don't like this." And there we were on a beach. A normal day. Seeing stuff along the coast. That was March 11. On March 19, she vanished.
Last week I wrote a piece for The Washington Post examining how we speak and write in the same dozen phrases now. I did this after writing an op-ed for St. Patrick's Day that I have yet to sell. I also pitched The Washington Post on a column by me, to be done once every two weeks, three weeks, once a month, looking at trends in writing and reading. I already have a number of ideas: how awful titles are now (It's almost always "The [Common Noun]"), the notion of length in writing (a good two page story is "longer" than all of the MFA-machined shite novels that are supposed to be epics), how prosaic covers have become, the overuse of "they" as in the pronoun people use to denote a mysterious group responsible for doing something ("They are finding a cure for that"), how a real writer would never think in terms of having a mentor, the waste of time/BS that is writer conferences and the mental illness they promote, words to never use ("indescribable," for example). They probably won't have me do this. People would love it. But decisions aren't based on things like that. I thought, though, that if I ever get past this blacklist, and I'm the decider and the shot-caller, and I'm massive, a column like this, somewhere, can grow the massiveness--I mean, that Washington Post piece, which is awesome, took me literally five minutes to write--so I might as well come up for a title for it now. It'll keep. I was in the shower. Nothing else to do there. Stare at my knob? So I came up with a name for the column, which will be Page Deep. Words are a page deep. They can also be more.
I came up with a short story called "Daws, Rooks, Crows," which I've worked on several times in my head, crushed, as I mentioned above, by the knowledge of what it will be when it is formally done, and that it will sit here with its thumb up its ass, because of these hateful human amoebas. Big Bill Broonzy sang "You got to hit the right lick." I lay out the ultimate lick each time I do a story now. Years ago, I'd have a story come to me. It didn't happen a ton. It happened more for me than other writers. But it was a form of rarity for me. Again, for me. I'm thinking about like "Terry from the Cape" in Between Cloud and Horizon. I wrote that in 2010. No one could read that story and not love it, even the people who hate me and would try to hate it (which will, naturally, up the hate, because they've been frustrated in their attempt at hate). And when I had it in my head, it was like having a universe in my hands. The power of a universe. Like I was in the middle of an atomic wave, and I controlled the wave's shape. Where it would land. It's the most power you have, really, that moment, when you are a genius. That is true power. Other people--you can be King of the Hemisphere--have no clue what real power is. You know with the greatest certainty there has ever been what you have. You know what it could do, too. What it would mean to people. How deeply it will touch them. How much it will move them. Entertain them. I have that feeling all the time now, because I have new works at that level all the time now. I can create them on command, I can summon one whenever I wish, and they just come to me, constantly. I become more powerful as an artist every day. Literally every day. I feel that power ripping through me. I am acutely aware of the latest new strand of surge. Once when I was playing hockey, I was screening the goalie. Scrum in front of the next. Players jockeying for position. The defenseman fired a shot from the point. The puck was low to the ice, and it deflected high up, and ended up on my stick. My back was to the net. The goalie didn't know I had the puck. His vision was obscured by the scrum. And in that split second, I knew I was going to score. I didn't have to turn around. I could see the open corner over my shoulder. There was no way I wasn't going to score. It was just a matter of when I wanted to. That split second might as well have been a limitless amount of time. I put it in the net. The goalie didn't even move. He had no chance. And having these stories like I have now, which I create with ease, is like the cosmic equivalent of that time I screened the goalie. Only I'm not allowed to put it in the net. The referee is blowing the play dead for no fair reason that has anything to do with the game. And I know, before I get the puck in that position, which I do over and over again, that the corrupt referee is going to blow the play dead because he does not want me to score and to win.
I also came up with another short story called "Double Loaded Stupid." It came to me as I was taking my shirt off to get in the shower. It was such a pure voice, fully formed. Just a nailed voice given to me, boom, here you are, here's your new voice. When you give me that voice all in one piece, I don't even have to plan out the story ahead of time (though I have) because the voice is just going to walk me through the plot. On Thursday I wrote an entirely new short story called "A Game of Trocar." 1400 words. It is a horror story at first glance, which goes places a horror story does not, becoming not a horror story. I sent it to about a dozen friends--though, really, I don't have any friends--and family members. No one said a word about it. People just assume I'm fine. It's Colin. He's super human. He knows how amazing every thing he writes is. But what happens is the people who hate me, and the people who do not, end up behaving, in some ways, the exact same way towards my work. I know what the work is. Anyone who reads it does. But I think it's just horrible that people on my side behave that way. You know what I'm going through. You want me to get past these people, you believe I'm unique in history, you believe I'm going to change this world. You can't say anything when I share my new work with you? We are at a point where one day I could not be here. To not kill myself takes so much right now. I may be more than human in some ways, but I am also human in others. Even I have a breaking point. People very rarely treat me like I'm human. It can feel like my work, and my strength, and my genius all makes this worse. It obviously makes it worse with this industry that has made me into its Devil, but it makes it worse with the people who are meant to be on my side. Not that any of them love me. I just don't believe they do. I think about this objectively, and I don't think there is a single person who actually does. But if I sucked at writing, and they more or less just kinda/sorta liked me, they'd say something. Because that's how it always works for everyone else. And on top of that, they are intimidated by me. They think what they have to say won't do justice to the work. And people always want to impress me. They get very stressed out about wanting to be seen as worthy of me. When they feel like they won't be seen that way, they usually say nothing. Everyone says nothing. For all of the wrong reasons. That stem from what should be my virtues. I just keep creating what I create. For...a different time. When maybe all that is due does come due. I do it for that moment and that time.
Early last week I walked three miles then did little for the rest of the week until Friday, when I walked eight and climbed the Monument three times. On Saturday I walked three miles and climbed three times. On Sunday I walked three miles in the snow. The Monument was closed. I went to see Suspira (1977) at the Brattle. I heard the Handel and Haydn Society play Beethoven's Fifth at Symphony Hall. Yesterday I walked three miles and climbed the Monument three times. This morning I watched Paddleton and The Third Man, and wrote a 2000 word essay for The Daily Beast on Donleavy's A Fairy Tale of New York. Excerpt:
I know of no other book that employs the style of this one. First and third person mix. Donleavy will change from one to the other within a paragraph, and back again, like Christian’s thoughts are being marshaled by a bigger version of Christian who has final authorial say, with third person pulling rank—after all, it’s the omniscient voice—on first person. Each chapter ends with a line that might as well have been lifted from a broken haiku by a broken person who wants to die but nonetheless does not yet not want to live. Which, you may know, is one big ass distinction.
To mirror that clash-up, there is irregular capitalization, which makes for a jagged typographical ridgeline. The craggy, sharp, uneven, piercing rocks of life. “Happiness Is a big cat With a mouse On a square mile Of linoleum.” For instance. “When you find A friend Who is good and true Fuck him Before He fucks You.” “In all The dark rooms Where courage Must live If life Is not To die.”
Aphoristic, cryptic, poetry of a single shaft of light finding its way into a room of darkness with an emphasis—in part because of the capitalizations—on prepositions, which ground us in time and place—that is to say, anchored in the corporeal world—and a verb like “is,” which is the very verb of existence.
Time to shower, get a coffee at Anthony's--I'm discussing coffee on the radio later today--and walk to Charlestown to climb. Today is my late father's birthday. I did speak to Emma's mother yesterday on the street. The lawsuit against them regarding the dog was dropped.