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Thursday 7/8/21

I'm very tired. It's almost six in the AM now. I'm having a lot of nightmares. I sent another op-ed idea to The Wall Street Journal. I am trying so hard.


Twenty of eight now. Wrote a 1300 word story called, "The Firing of a Wedding Band Drummer." Was good. Told by a jazz bassist.


Later again. Wrote another short story--"The Voice on the Beach." Also wrote some possible copy for the back of the Scrooge book. When possible, I like to try and do this myself.

What if someone were to say that the greatest version of A Christmas Carol wasn't a novella that a certain Londoner wrote in 1843, but rather a horror film to best all horror films, that emerged as a kind of nightmare made flesh in 1951?

That film was Scrooge, the lone masterpiece of director Brian Desmond Hurst's career, with a performance to live through the ages by Alastair Sim as the miser that strikes and clangs some very uncomfortable chords in our twenty-first century internet age where denial, narcissism, depression, and fear run rampant.

A film too macabre as seasonal fare for sensibilities at the time, Scrooge became a classic of the dark night of the soul, playing on flickering TV sets after most gentlefolk had gone to bed.

It belongs less to the happy realm of holy and ivy, mince pies, Yule logs, and bejeweled treats, than it does the charnel house of imagination with its populace of Bride of Frankenstein, the eldritch cinema of F.W. Murnau, the shattered psyche of John Keats near his very end, and the terror pit that exists in all of us--to a greater degree than ever before.

The ultimate Christmas movie is a movie for every season of the year, a friend dressed up in the cinematic cerements of the dead to help relieve of us of the habits we cling to, the lies we nurse, and the self-doubt that binds us like packages we're too damn scared to open.

The New York Public Library reached out about doing something with them regarding the Sam Cooke book. If I had money--and a desire to live--I'd go there. I don't know what they have in mind. I'm not dealing with anything. I am this shell. If that. Constant panic attacks. Again, it's like all I can do is create, all I can face is creating. It's funny--so many writers have writer's block, this fear of the page. And all I can do is write more. Nowhere else can I do anything. A shower is akin to a major victory right now. I don't look at anything. I don't want to see anything that comes in. I don't want to see what doesn't come in. I don't read notes, I don't read texts, I don't get the mail. I can deal with nothing. But Jesus Christ, what a level I am creating at. Though I also don't want to see what anyone says about it. It's usually half-assed, tepid, because people are scared of me, and they also don't want to come across like they're constantly kissing my ass, so they hold back. And that ends up annoying me. I know what this stuff is. Let's not play Joe Cool guy and act nonchalant about it. Absurdity only stretches so far before it's like, come on. Why are we doing this? Is it appropriate? Should I play along? Then I'm the bad guy if I say anything. So I don't even want to see it right now. You write a story like "The Half Slip," and it's not some story that is at the level of any story that someone has read. It's not at the level of the stories that their little writer friends in the twisted, ass-licking subculture do. It's unlike anything there has ever been. So why pretend otherwise? Why do the nonchalant thing? Like I don't know what it is? It's not just some story, it's not just some pretty good story, it's not just some great story. And the whole "I'll talk about the blog because that's chatty Kathy and not the masterwork because that's some official piece of writing and so I'm more scared" is so, so, so old. And I don't want to see that either.

I watched the 1979 film, The Onion Field. Wasn't very good. Goes in too many different directions. It's a "true" story--a term I detest--about two cops who pull over two crooks for a traffic violation, and it turns into this kidnap-murder thing, but most of it is a procedural and then a prison drama, and a kind of gay thing, and a family drama, and a marriage drama. Again--it goes too many places, and none of them convincingly. Larry from Newhart is in it briefly, and he's on Downtown a bunch. A young Ted Danson is in it, too. His character gets executed. He's shot four times after he's shot through the mouth, which was an intense scene. You don't see that that often, do you? The extra shots being fired. But you always read about it. The movies make it look like someone shoots someone once, and they fall down dead. It's actually worse than that, though, from what I can gather in real life. Another term I don't like, which I just used, but whatever. I'm fried right now.

The Beatles book is starting to come together.

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