The C-Dawg let down the side today. Went out to run stairs, it was ten degrees, and said screw this. Weeks start for me on Saturday, and I will get the fresh start tomorrow. Did go to Haymarket though and get peppers (yellow and red), plum tomatoes, bananas, and strawberries. There is something relaxing about buying fruit and vegetables at Haymarket while listening to Beethoven's piano sonatas. I saw where someone recently said on Twitter that Beethoven isn't that good. Ha. How can you listen to this music and not know any better?
Woke up with a sore throat. Been waking up with either that or a headache most mornings. I shed layers as I sleep. Don't know what state of dress or undress I will be in when I get up. I prefer to discover myself with more layers than less, so that then I can just go to the desk straight away without having to put on my shorts or sweatpants.
Watching a compelling three-hour documentary on folk horror. Figuring out what I'll talk about on Downtown on Tuesday. Think I'll go with a performance by Pink Floyd of "Atom Heart Mother" from Leeds in 1970, Poe's "Hop-Frog," and I'll come up with some other stuff. The way this will work is that these recordings will be around forever. I treat them as both art and an artist talking about art, ideas, life, humanity. This is all part of the plan. There just isn't that much on tape, paradoxically, of anyone. Think about it. We don't have a single artist, ever, who is on tape for hundreds of hours--which is where I'm at now--with all of that sound one can listen to, draw on, use for the writing of books, studying, play like it's a record. That's why I do this. Because this, too, is unique. This, too, is a huge body of work, and it's part of the larger body of work.
Someone phoned this morning having read the excerpt from the Thunder and Lighting volume, and said it blew their minds, that one would think I'd have to run out of masterpieces, but that it is a bottomless well in reality. This is correct in a way, but I don't look at it as a well or in terms of bottomlessness or not. I am story. By being myself, there are masterpieces. Whenever I wish for them to be. It's simply my natural state.
Having said that, I need to get a number of things finished quickly. I must do better than I have of late. I will be writing an op-ed on how all Mafia movies are the same and of limited quality, and what it really is about them that appeals to people, which I think is sad. That will be for the fiftieth anniversary of The Godfather.
Let's see, what else? I can talk about the "Drive-In" episode of Suspense with Judy Garland. How about the 1956 set of Topps baseball cards? Visually stunning. Could touch on arresting cards like the Mantle and Jackie Robinson. Luis Aparicio's rookie card. What's pretty neat about the Robinson card is Jackie is stealing home--kind of a big deal!--and the next guy coming up is all nonchalant. (How do we know this a theft of home? Because of how close the hitter is to the plate.) This is Robinson's last card.
The Mantle is one of the most beautiful of all cards. I think you could call it number one, if you were of a mind. The Ted Williams card is also great, with the fluidity of his swing, but he's also just popped up to second.
And then how about various performances of the song "Some Other Guy"? The original, the Beatles at the Cavern, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, the Big Three, the Beatles on the Beeb. Yes. I think those five things will do nicely.
Poe's fiction reminds me of the stories I'd write in third grade. That's when I formally became very serious about what I was doing. Prior to then, I thought up my stories in my head, but that's when I began writing on paper. I cannot overstate how seriously I took my writing at the time. There is no one who said, "Do this!" My parents were not writers. This reminds me of an essay I should also clean up and fix, and attempt to sell. I wouldn't talk to you on the bus to school. I was creating in my head, because when I got to my desk, I wanted to make sure I wrote as well as possible. That I had what I thought was a gripping story. The school and the library were right next to each other, off of the village green, because this was the classic, old New England, where a village green was imperative.
I went back to that school, before the most evil person I've ever known did what she did. It wasn't a school anymore, and hadn't been for a long time. This would have been in 2010, I think. But I wanted to feel the place again. It's the town hall now. From the outside, it's the exact same. But inside everything had moved. The layout was different. Rooms, even, were not where they had been. Spaces had been opened up, filled in. Depending. But do you know what didn't change? The stairs. Where the stairs were. That's a truism about the insides of buildings. It's what occurs in "Fitty," which these people will not let anyone read, though a human has never and will never produce a better work of art than that one. I tie it. Because that's who I am. But there's nothing better than it, and it starts There Is No Doubt.
But when Fitty returns to the school, years later, as an adult now, and everything has changed--and her old classroom would have been where the new gymnasium is, which she sits in the middle of--the stairs remain where they were. The story is all about stairs. It transitions through stairs. The stairs at the home where Carlene hears the voice upstairs, but knows she can't go up them. The stairs that she does eventually go up. The stairs that Fitty's father takes at the school. The way Fitty positions her body when she reaches up to someone to hug them, because she's so short.
In a way, all of those years later, it's like the artist I had become, and who would go on to write "Fitty," was connected to that artist I was someday going to be, who was working so hard as a child of eight.