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Wednesday 5/18/22

I'm cranking masterpieces. Wrote a big piece for the Library of Congress on Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers' "Jesus Gave Me Water" this morning. Masterpiece. An op-ed yesterday on the fun of having less fun that alters the very definition of fun, or our our understanding of it, which I'm about to do a second, longer version of--masterpiece. And now "Swoony and Moony" is completely done. It is as strong as anything I have ever created. There is nothing better. This paragraph here was written and added today. It took me three minutes to do. To see this story in full, to be hit with all of it, is to have a unique life experience. And the final sentence of the whole thing, which one cannot see here--good God. This is the person--there was also the Beatles interview last night--an entire industry wants to destroy. Because this is what he does, every damn day. "Swoony and Moony" will be in the second volume of stories featuring female main characters, the working title of which is S/He/R/Me: Becoming Story.


I am scared now, though my fear is flecked with joy. This girl—this young woman—will leave this house. She’ll go to college, where she’ll be a star. I always think those words. They’re the terms I set her within. She’s a representative of the firmament, in my eyes. A proxy from the heavens, which is different than a proxy from heaven. One small letter makes such a difference. But I’m also not being truthful. There is the representative component that Esmra signifies for me; if not an actual stand-in, the closest I’ve known to a parallel move, a parallel person. I have lost, and I will lose again when Esmra leaves. I want to absorb these moments, DVR them, as though life was the movie on TCM you wished to save for later and could do just that, provided you were able to work the remote control. I’ll be in this portion of a house that is mine without being mine, a conceit which is doubled in the life of this girl, the young woman I’ve helped raise, or so they say. Her dad always reminds me. Puts forward the thesis statement. “Couldn’t have done it without you,” he says. “We couldn’t have done it without you,” he’ll frequently add, and I have always understood the entirety of everyone he means by that “we,” and I know, so long after the fact, the occasion, the day, the celebration I now remember in the colors of black and white, that my daughter married a good man. I hope I will not get in his way. Won’t be a nuisance underfoot. I’d say I don’t want to linger too long, would just transition into the unrenewable form of an Irish goodbye, but even less do I want to rock the star in the sky. To know that someone is back somewhere else, awaiting you, missing you, loving you, is a powerful thing, because it is a necessary thing, though it can still operate on a sliding scale.


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