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Thursday 10/15/20

Finally exercised. It had been days. I just sit at the desk and grind. Not a good showing, though--I walked ten miles and only ran the BC stairs five times. Last night I had chest pains. It could be just the latest panic attack. They don't really stop at this point. My life is a combination of a near-total absence of hope, and terror. Loneliness. If I let go what little of a grip I have, I'll be gone for good. I know that. It's easier than one thinks to die. Sometimes you just give in. You don't make sure you have at least a small grip. That's where I'm at.

At the same time, I write better than ever. I write more than ever. I create and invent masterpiece upon masterpiece, in all forms. It seems to be the only thing I can do right now. I wrote a story yesterday called "Hatches" for Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives, and it is a wonder. All of 530 words long. To engineer a story like this--it's built around this principle of hatches--and it's also a sort of ghost story but a ghost story unlike any other--isn't something you should be able to do in real time. A story ought not to come out with these kinds of structural layers as something automatic. Emotional layers, too, and layers of meaning, but I'm just talking the design. The engineering of the work.

That was one of the biggest discoveries for me over the last two years--that I naturally engineer things in real time that someone else couldn't engineer in thirty years of planning. It's like a pitcher having a natural curve. But the design of these things. The bulwarking. The ways things play off of other things, echo them, amplify them, orient around similar principles or chords, what one thing plants that another takes out of the ground. Resonance, too, happens in different parts of the reader's brain, and I'm aware of that. Their levels of consciousness and awareness. It's like I can put one thing behind one lobe, but have it stick out a little, and then something else in front of a lobe, and that latter something has more resonance because of an association with something they've experienced but didn't register that something as conscious experience--the bit sticking out from the other lobe. It's commanding language on a totally different plane. I know no one has been on this plane. And I can do it any time I want. And it is new each time.

Today is the publication day for Meatheads Say the Realest Things: A Satirical (Short) Novel of the Last Bro, and I was talking to the Tailwinds editor about that and Buried on the Beaches. Part of a text to her:

"I still feel like things have not started yet for Buried. Something else is going to have to happen. But there is no earthly way that book doesn't become a Cape staple. I'm not saying it's a Cape thing because it's a human thing. But they don't even know about it on the Cape yet, and I know those people and that market. I know Cape life. But I don't think that book's journey has really started yet. Part of that is this situation I am in presently. But when it changes it will change fast. But let's look at all of these as things in flux."

I had to take some time and just sit in the park. Doing nothing but sitting. Be-ing. House sparrows are among my favorite birds. I like when they hop on a bench where I'm sitting and we both kind of just be. Today many birds of different species began singing in a bush. They sang for a long time, and like they were singing a round. They had beautiful voices. It was nice. I just want to be in Rockport and on the Cape, and write, take a break to hear some birds, reach the world, and give the world what I have to give it. I thought about that as the birds sang.


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