I must be very swift. It is nearly eight and I have not eaten today. I have been on the go ceaselessly, as is the case with nearly every day. Today is 1211 days without a drink. I walked three miles, climbed the Monument five times. I sat in the cafe and got caught up on back issues of The New Criterion, read Howard Haycraft's Murder for Pleasure--smartly robust history of the detective novel--and the unexpurgated edition of Mark Lewisohn's Tune In--he's a dreadful writer, but what is offensive to me is the incompetence of editors who couldn't be bothered to fix any of his nonsensical, mixed metaphor-crammed sentences, or were not smart enough to realize they needed fixing. Often times it seems that there is no competence and everyone is on autopilot. I listened to the hour-long Suspense episode of "Donovan's Brain" with Orson Welles, one of his better dramatic radio performances. "Sure sure sure." I had mentioned earlier that I was shaving in increments. Well, during one of those installments I came up with a story idea, and I then composed the first section, totaling 975 words, of a new Padraig and Lorcan story called "Embouchure." They are Irish criminals and good friends, who have featured in a number of my works. Padraig--a different form of him--inhabits portions of my first book, Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep. I have not written anything involving these characters in a number of years. The result is the same, in terms of quality, but I was conscious--as I would have expected to be had I a need or desire to consider this beforehand, which I did not--of such a difference in returning to them now. My powers are so much greater. The ease with which I create, my total control. I am a drastically different writer on the inside than I was three years ago, even four months ago, even if the work has been of the same quality, externally, in the end, for a long time. The first sentence, a complete tour-de-force, was 115 words long; the second, eighty-seven. This from the person who just composed a story, "Unity," in which every single sentence was exactly one word long. I will move in all forms and create mediums as I move.
I just got back from Caffe Dello Sport, where I took Emma. She had a hard day. Her best friend, Anthony, leaves for college in California this week and this was the final time she was going to see him before he comes back home. She loves him a lot. He's going to study film. I know she has been dreading this day. So I took her out and got her a hot chocolate and I also wanted to talk to her a bit, to reassure her that her friendship with this boy would not diminish, that people can become closer even with physical distance. I reminded her that for a lot of people, having a friend, as such, comes down to having an activity partner, but she is not like that, and Anthony, from everything I have heard, is not like that. She's highly verbal, obviously. As is he. A friendship is ultimately verbal. Yes, it can be reassuring to give a friend a hug or be hugged, but it is your back and forth in language that is the foundation of interplay for friends. I gave her the example of John and myself. I have not seen John since like 2006, I think. She wanted to show me photos of her and Anthony at the Polish festival in Dorchester today, and of course I was very solicitous on that score, while also trying to tacitly reassure her.
I saw some of the Patriots game at the cafe. They look like a 15-1 team to me. Maybe lose at Philly or against the Chiefs at home, defeat the latter in Foxborough in the AFC Championship game, win the Super Bowl. That's my prediction. I posted on Twitter that I would reckon that no Patriots team has ever been more dominant--in terms of aggregate score--in back-to-back games, but I think it is also possible that no NFL team has been. Can you be more dominant than 76-3 in two games? And they left five points out there today because the kicker is their lone problem so far as I can see. I would expect him to get it together. Something seems off, too, with the center-holder-kicker machinery, though that appears more a holder-kicker deal. I understand that the Dolphins are awful and might not win a game, or just two or three. You can't tell too much this early in an NFL season, but I would not be shocked if New England runs the table or this goes on to be the best team the Patriots have had. I think they are powerfully balanced. They represent the greatest achievement in the history of North American sports, what this team has done thus far this century. I do not believe people have the contextual or historical understanding to codify the singularity of this now two-decades stretch. You would have to know, for instance, how rigged in favor of the Canadiens the hockey landscape was in the 1950s, with how they came by their talent. And I don't believe people know anything about things like that, for the most part.