Worked on an 1100 word story this morning that I had begun the other day called "The Spot." It's about the unseen, unthought relationship between humans and nature.
Reached out to the Handel and Haydn Society to see if they could squeeze me in for Haydn's The Creation on May 1. The good folks over at the Revels sent me their new CD, Music from the George and Dragon Inn. The theme this time is Christmas music from a classic English pub.
It's Easter. I've barely felt it this year, much as I love Easter. It didn't dawn on me that it was Easter until I'd been up for two hours this morning. It's because I am in the tomb and all is darkness. It's hard to even conceive of a single shaft of light, let alone rebirth and resurrection. Or the outside of this fetid space of death.
I wrote a story called "Easter Quartet." Sometimes I'm just so far out there now in what I'm creating. I don't even know where it is. It's like I've just put my back to how everything else has been done or written before. How it's supposed to go, what is to be expected, how writing and reading is supposed to work. I've just put my back to all of it and walked out to here. I know what I'm doing, but I also feel like I don't even know what I've done. I've moved so far away from everyone else and what they do.
I looked at a story from summer 2020 called "Slung Stack." Wanted to reacquaint myself with it. Check the actual word count length. It'll be for Longer on the Inside. The story is told by this woman about when she was a girl of ten or eleven. Her family was having their fairly ritualistic Saturday morning breakfast, when the dad would make this big stack of pancakes for everyone. And this one morning a man comes knocking on their door, and he wants to do something in the house. It's this favor he asks of these people. A number of people who read the story told me it made them cry. It's powerful. From the story:
My brother and I sat facing each other. The pancakes had been made as my mom ran on the paths of the headlands that semi-circled the inner harbor. She’d come in sweaty, but the sweat seemed to dry fast, and she’d drink a cup of coffee like it was cold water. You couldn’t smell the sweat from my mom, but when the window was open there was the sea. The ocean smell and the pancake smell met above the plate on the table and I think they knew their commingling made you feel safe, thus dropping any competition they otherwise might have had for aroma du jour.
Worked on "Letting It Fly."
It was a year ago on Easter that I began listening non-stop to the Grateful Dead, which began with their show at the Harry Adams Field House at the University of Montana on 5/14/74. The sound of that 1974 show--and the sound of all of the 1974 shows, the band's audio set-up--really took a hold of me, got into the blood. From the standpoint of how a show sounds--before we get into how a band is playing--that Montana gig and the Who's April 1968 Fillmore East recording stand out the most to me. So this morning I've been listening to this July 1974 Grateful Dead gif from Chicago. They had a lot of warmth and bottom in that 1974 set-up.
Today marks 2114 days, or 302 weeks, without a drink. Let's go run some stairs.
Ran 5000 stairs. Started to sleet near the end.
Usually it takes one statement to know everything about a person. They're that simple. They're that stupid. For instance, many women on dating sites boast in their profile about how they treat a CEO the same as a janitor. Immediately you know how narcissistic they are, shallow, nowhere near as bright or decent as they pretend to be, but they don't even have that clue, because they have no clue about anything. You know that they are entirely lacking in self-awareness. That they're not smart enough to understand that job dictates nothing necessarily when it comes to revealing the abilities or values of an individual. The janitor could be the greatest painter who has ever lived, and exists in this world where we devolve by the hour, and the trash rises. He takes the job to be alone with his thoughts, work out his ideas, bringing in the money to live. The CEO can beat his wife, kick his dog, and have his job because he was a lucky sperm who inherited the post from his father. He can be the dumbest person within five miles. His money has made him lazier and stupider. He deserves no respect. But to this kind of person, she thinks she's a hero, a person who "gets it," because after smiling at this man, she manages to smile at the janitor on the way out of the building and she thinks that means something and makes her special and moral. See? One statement, and you know everything you need to know about how that person thinks, what they're about, their intellect, their character. That's usually how it is.
The only problem I have with W.W. Jacobs' "The Monkey's Paw" is what is this friend of the family doing bringing it to their house for dinner? He's had a calamitous experience with the paw, and someone else used the last wish it granted them for death because the other two wishes had gone so poorly. He likes these people. They have a pleasant evening. So why does he set the stage for tragedy for them? Jacobs should have found a better way to put that part of the story in motion.