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Tuesday 6/8/21

I don't want to linger on this too long, for a couple reasons. I'm barely hanging on as it is. So there's that. And then also this story will get its airing in book form, in Many Moments More: A Story About the Art of Endurance, and that's more the narrative priority. But today is the anniversary of the day I lost my house in Rockport. The house I am trying to get back with everything I do. I've had to be brave often. Every day now for a lot of years. One hard, hard, hard act of bravery after another. I don't have days like other people have days. Get up, go to work, come home, kiss the kids, joke with the wife, help with the homework, have the dinner, go to bed, have the sex, wake up the next day, knowing it will be the same. I have hell, stress, hard things to do, hard things to say, bad situation after bad situation to try and deal with or not be destroyed by.

Having said that, June 8 represents to me one of the hardest days, when I had to go to a courthouse, by myself, to face a team of lawyers, an evil woman who had lied to me, had large parts of my life in her hands, and tried to end that life--as her father, who had flown in, looked on. I went with no friends, no family, no lawyers of my own. This person had my copy of a prenuptial agreement, and she destroyed that. She had already had another husband. He had called her crazy. She used to tell me about how he tried to murder her, was planning to murder her. It was all one lie after another.

One of her lawyers kept pounding me in the chest with his finger, calling me a motherfucker, an asshole, because I wouldn't just sign this piece of paper that took my name off the deed of the house, wasting his time. I knew when I went into the courtroom that that would be the end result. I didn't have to go in. Be in front of all of those people. Because it's like a theatre. But I did it anyway because of the principle. And so that this evil, wicked person could see what I was, my character, compared to what she knew she was.

Afterwards I had to sit in the rotunda of the courthouse and sign over my home at a table with the lawyers and the woman who had ghosted me at the level of our marriage. As her dad looked on. And I said to her, through tears, "Why are you doing this?" She got up--because she is the lowest form of coward--and left the table and hid in the bathroom as I signed the paperwork. I left, threw up on the street, bent over and having a panic attack, as everything I had held together came crashing down and out, and I walked home, and then had to write a funny piece for work after all of that. She was already living with the person she was having the affair with. She took everything from me. She tried to destroy me. I've known such evil in my life. I've known it from a variety of fronts.

This is the same time period when I started becoming what I am. That's a little misleading. I was a lot of things no one had ever been prior to this. With my mind, my work, as an artist. But the person one reads about in these pages, the person who makes like two masterpieces every day, who never stops, who always creates, who do so in ways that do not seem humanly possible, started to come about as a person, and a force, and something different than he had been, around that time. The irony being that the greater I became, the more an industry that was never going to like me, because of what I am, hated me more and more and more. So it's like one form of a curse simply fed into another, and they were all based on virtues, strength, courage, character, genius.

But if I do end up getting past these people, and changing the world to the degree that I believe I could change it, what I began to become around that time will have a major part to do with it. Right now, though, it just makes everything worse.

Last night, I worked some more on "Seedless Cherries." Went through it probably six more times. A few tweaks. It got a touch longer. 3400 words in the end. As strong as anything I've ever written in my life. Sent it to The Sun, Lit Mag, The Atlantic, Granta, and One Story. All three places will ignore it because the editors at each place hate me. And when they hate you, though you've done nothing to them, they'd sooner let a family member die than publish the masterpiece if it happens to be by you. The hate is everything to them. It counts for more than anything else. The chance to publish a unique, brilliant work of art, a huge reaction to the work, money. Anything. The hate overrides everything else. The end all, be all. That's just what you're dealing with.

Put together two op-ed pitches I haven't sent yet. Typed them out.

Red Sox won again after sweeping the Yankees in the Bronx. Seems like every time I say something about them it turns out not to be true. The Bruins game was frustrating.


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