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Wednesday 2/23/22

I will give it a last read, but after more work, that's pretty much going to be in for "The Parable of the Woodpecker." 6200 words in the end. There is not going to be a work of fiction by someone else at this level. There has not been. There's nothing like this story. Ironically--or not, because this is becoming common here now--it was a fragment of something that I left sitting around for some weeks. I find that I can return to such a thing, or return to anything, and build it up, make it into something special. I simply have to be myself and take my time. My version of taking time. I am highly conscious yet again of how I am changing as an artist.


Waiting on an update from a friend whose daughter is being bullied at school--the little girl I wrote that letter to last summer when she had to start wearing a back brace. She called him yesterday to take her home from school, that's how bad it is apparently. No child should have to fear going to school. I feel awful for her and offered any kind of help I might be able to give to my friend, who was waiting on a call last night from a guidance counselor as we were texting back and forth right before I went on the radio, so that's the last I've heard. The girl is smart and sensitive. She really had a hard time after her grandmother passed away. I hope it gets better soon.


I started an op-ed about the word "literally."


Will run some stairs now.


***


There's not a lot of weather talk in these pages, unless that pertains to something else--conditions on a hike or the stairs--but it was quite spring-like today in Boston. I ran 3000 stairs and then walked six miles.


Query: Are there people who regularly consume Pepsi at breakfast who also approach a respectable level of fitness? I ask because at Anthony's, the greasy spoon down the street where I often get coffee, I will see many people having Pepsi with their breakfast, and sometimes two bottles of Pepsi, and not once has one of these people that I've seen approached a respectable level of fitness. I can understand sitting around at home and snacking. But Pepsi at breakfast? That seems like a relatively easy thing to forgo. So there's not a lot of effort there, in my view. But as soon as one of these people step outside, into the fresh air, they don the mask. No one near them, and they don the mask. Where are people's priorities? Just goes to show you that social media and the news cycle--the narrative--beats all. Rules people. That which pops up in front of their face without them even trying to see it. They're not saving themselves in the way they think they are, as they kill themselves in real ways. Are you an ogre for thinking that? I don't believe so. I think you just actually think.


If I were ever a parent--or if I am ever a parent--there would be a no soda policy. Have some unsweetened cranberry juice, son.


***


Spoke to my friend with the bullied daughter. She won't talk to anyone or open up at all. They are going to have me try to talk to her. I think I can actually help. Smart, articulate children tend to like me. I have a way of talking to people and also to kids that draws them out. I would just like to help if possible. And if not, it's simply a conversation, which will be painless and with some laughs, too. Her younger sister--the girl who recently broke her nose whom I sent that Get Well card to--is fully recovered and, further, now wants to be a hockey goalie.


I went to CVS and acquired unsweetened cranberry juice. It's not the best kind of cranberry juice--that's the kind you get at Trader Joe's which is straight from the bog. The intense cranberry juice. I'll try and get the hearty stuff at Trader Joe's in the next few days.


I get really bad razor burn every time I shave, especially on my neck, which looks all raw and inflamed. I don't know why this is happening. I wonder if it's the electric razor.


My buddy Howard hooked me up with a big box set: The Chess Story 1947-1975.


I watched all 400 minutes of Camp Crystal Lake: The Complete History of Friday the 13th. Quite good. One need not even like the Friday the 13th films to find this a worthwhile viewing experience. Any cinema buff should be able to dig into it. To me it's more about how movies are made than the Friday series per se, which sounds unlikely, granted, as it does comb through the minutiae.


Watched Ben Wheatley's 2011 film, Kill List. I don't think he has any plan at all when he makes his films. One of those directors who is just vague, with inchoate works, who then counts on people saying, "oh, that's deep," because it's vague. A pretty common strategy in recent times, especially with horror films.


Finished reading Michelle Paver's The Dark Matter. I read that in a few days. Some missteps, plot holes, and she didn't know how to end it, so the ending doesn't work, but I enjoyed the read. Started her Wakenhyrst today, which isn't drawing me in as much, but we shall see how it progresses.


Listened to the Dead's Cornell 5/8/77. Perhaps as locked-in as I've ever heard a rhythm section. That's what makes this show, which quite a few people think was the band's best--that rhythm section and the harmony vocals. Regarding the rhythm section--check them out during Garcia's long guitar solo on "Dancing in the Street," starting at 4:10:



Let's try and do better tomorrow. One more read, too, of "The Parable of the Woodpecker." I don't like to say that something is a major work, because they are all major works now, but still, that is a major work. I think of these simple, remedial, predictable, lifeless, prose-by-numbers, MFA wankery pieces, by the fools and frauds of the system, devoid of any invention, imagination, and it's like, how can you honestly compete with something like this? And no one can even publicly pretend that any of it does. Or pretend to themselves. A lot of people will be exposed for and revealed as exactly what they are, when something like this does come out, however that ends up happening, and is seen by the number of people who should see it. When did I start this? Thursday? It feels like it just happened without me ever even doing it. It's just there. It occurred. I feel like things occur now. They don't even get written. They occur. I've figured it out completely at this point. All of the mysteries of writing and art. I have all of the answers now.