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Farewell, March

Sunday 3/31/19

Almost ten at night. Just back from a cafe on Hanover Street. Same place I was Friday night after walking the streets. Reading for work again. 1043 days without a drink. Walked five miles. Climbed the Monument five times. There were a lot of people in it, so I could not run the first 100 steps each time. People just eat the space. Like hungry hippos. Clog it all up and go as slow as they want. Whine as they go. "Why did we ever decide to do this?" "This is torture." "Do you want to turn around?" Dramatic. On the last three I was able to run the first 100 steps. I finished in less than thirty minutes. That is about as fast as I can do it. Interestingly, if I am running those first 100 each time or walking the entire time, my final time is not that much different. That is because your walking pace slows down after the running, even if you never stop moving. 28-29 minutes though, for five climbs, is a pretty good level of fitness. Someone texted me in the middle of the night last with a message reading, "Time of death 1:47 AM." Oh. That's something I needed to see. Nothing else. Just that message. I formally composed that first chapter of the book project I had referenced yesterday. I sent it to The New Yorker. Shouts and Murmurs. I attended Boston Ballet's final performance of Balanchine's Coppelia. It's like a pallid version of The Nutcracker for spring without the tunefulness and integrated story. It was fine. Not a favorite of mine. I sit at the top of the opera house. I try to just relax. Sometimes I touch a couple fingers to my neck to check my pulse, given that this as slow as I go and the most removed I get from my hell, though it travels with me. Seven years without a second of non-pain. Without a second of not feeling in the grips of the torture process. Not an honestly felt smile or laugh. Not anything ever looked forward to. Not one thing. "Can't wait for this tomorrow." None of those. There is this, and there is having vanquished this. Until the latter happens, this is not living, even though I imagine I am more alive than someone has ever been, even as I lean to death. I saw some of the Red Sox' game. They were not ready to start this season. Especially the pitchers. That kind of thing bothers me. I hate the talk of last year. Whenever I finish anything, and it could be the best work of art ever composed, I immediately do not care about it or think about it--save to find it a home--and take no pride in it, because what matters is the next one. (Well, I think about it in the sense of getting torn up over something that millions would love over hundreds of years not find a home because of those two realities and also feelings against me which have nothing to do with what the work is.) I'd be the same way if I played a sport and won a championship. Started reading Dunsany's The Curse of the Wise Woman. Excellent so far. He understand the geometries of prose. Why are the Bruins going to lose to this play-out-the-string-but-somewhat-plucky Red Wings team?