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Everything, etc.

Saturday 3/25/23

It's like I have to go to a strength bank and there's nothing in it or very little and I need to make this withdrawal of strength because there's so little left. I'm not functioning, I can barely move, barely try. I have to find a way to force myself. To just sit here and do everything. EVERYTHING. When I know what the result will be. For every single last thing. Every book, every piece, every story, every op-ed. It's like knowing you're going to die that day right after work. Do you still go to work? But every day. There won't be a tomorrow. Why go to work? I am stressing money big-time. That situation only gets worse. I look at the weekend. It's not a weekend. It's me alone. In the filth. Work. More work. There is nothing else. All for nothing. Knowing it will all be for nothing. I don't have the strength. I think, where I can I get it? How do I force myself today? How do I do anything today? How do I not kill myself today? How do I face this being what life is? How, logistically, can I get through another day? What does that look like? So it can be the exact same thing tomorrow? That's what it's like right now. That's what it has been for so long.

I have worked on six pieces in the last day plus. Two short stories. Two op-eds--one about classical music, the other a ghost story. A literary essay. A jazz essay. I come here to say that I cannot get started, that I can barely move, that I have no energy, and it is so hard to find a way to fight, rally, put one foot in front of the other, do anything. And yet my nearly doing nothing produces what it produces, and that just sends me back to thinking about these talentless, connected fuck-bags, who never do anything, for whom this would be twenty years' worth of work, who are handed their awards and their Guggenheims and their books deals. They're all asleep right now. And none of them will create anything today. Or tomorrow. And when they do do something, it will suck, as it always does, and into The New Yorker it will go.

I have not worked out in two days, and must force myself to remedy that shortly. I watched the 1961 Japanese film, Zero Focus, which is billed as a noir-thriller kind of deal, but in reality it's just a lot of exposition out of the mouths of characters on the edges of cliffs.

I saw some of the Bruins-Canadiens game the other night. Why the Canadiens are only now coming to Boston I don't know. Are we just scrapping this rivalry? It's a casualty of the schedule? The Bruins didn't play a full sixty minutes and showed up when they thought they had to, which turned out to be enough. They've won five games in a row again. There's something machine-like about this team. I thought Swayman was good. Need to be fair. But I've always said when I thought he was good. I just have this concern, this feeling, this sense, that he's not a guy who can be the guy.

I am curious to see what they're going to do in the playoffs. You might see something you've pretty much not seen before. You do have to wonder why they don't play Ullmark more. Tom Barrasso won a Vezina when he didn't play a huge amount, but that was some time ago, and it doesn't happen anymore, but it is going to happen this year. And really Ullmark has only played more games than Swayman because Swayman was out for a while. Do they think Ullmark can't handle it? If they do think that, it is highly unlikely they think he could handle playing every game in the playoffs. But why? It's almost like he's physically weak, but why would he be physically weak? He wasn't good in the playoffs last year, that's for sure.

The Bruins are having a magical year--or regular season, anyway--where everything goes right and Jim Montgomery looks like a magic man who can't press the wrong button, so it's hard to tell, sometimes, what a team is. That sounds strange, I know. But when you're always just rolling along, that can blur the identity, paradoxically. People can play over their heads because the mental component is different. This is what is meant by front-running. I don't know: would the 1984 Detroit Tigers have been this championship team if they had started 4-8 rather than come out of the gates racking up the wins? They got ahead of it mentally, and then things snowballed, in the good way. They were a very good team. But with a lot of the same players, they didn't do anything in 1983 or 1985.

The NHL playoffs can make any team come crashing down. I'm not saying I expect these Bruins to. I think it'd go a long way for them if they come out in that first game, play their game, lock it down on defense, and get off to a good start. Then again, it's a team that has a strong psyche. I think they know the deal, have perspective. You have guys that have been through so much as a member of that team. That rubs off on other guys.


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