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This is my niece Lilah.

She lives in Chicago. She's two. We have a special connection. Whenever the phone rings when she's with my mom, she says, "Maybe Colin?" Then she adds, "I his favorite!" Ha. At my mom's house I have some baseball Hartland statues, as I believe I mentioned in an earlier entry. Beautiful pieces, Hartland statues. They were made by the Hartland company in Wisconsin in the 1950s and 1960s. Amazingly detailed, realistic. Quite artistic. Actually, in the first episode of The Fugitive, you can see a Luis Aparicio one. I have that one; it's a favorite. But I don't know where it is--probably in Jamaica Plain under the earth in storage, from when I lost my house in Rockport and my life fell apart six years ago, before life then got worse and worse with each year since, as I fight to overcome what and who I must overcome. Anyway. Lilah, unprompted, stands in front of a shelf of these statues and says, "Colin's! Don't touch! He get mad." Hilarious. Well, it makes me sound like I have anger issues, but leaving that aside, I admire her commitment of purpose. I definitely have a big soft spot for Lilah.

I have a friend--well, I guess maybe she's not outright a friend. We went through various permutations. We were something more than friends, at one point, then just friends, then, just to cover everything, we ended up having a working relationship; there were gaps of a year, two years, on each side of everything. Not someone from publishing. I don't associate with people in publishing. I basically trust her. Anyway, a friend of hers died of a heart attack recently. I don't know the details, because we don't speak that way anymore, and we do have a connection. When you say you have a connection, people can read too much into that. A connection is a rapport-based accordance. At the least. I think that's a good way to put it. You don't have many in life. Six? Ten? Twelve? You might have one with your best friend, or it could be the barista at the cafe. You just know. You just have it. It's simply there. And it doesn't go away, it can't go away, even if you don't talk for ten years. Should you pick up again, there it is. Even if you only ever exchanged thirty words each time you gave, I don't know, your drink order and joshed around a bit.

There is the grand form of connection, of course, the rarest, and that is more than a rapport-based accordance, that becomes a sort of twining, with two people still remaining individuals--and that's not a paradox--and is what I am ultimately searching for, so far as people go. So far as my person goes. Will go? I don't know how you even do the tenses there. And right now it's four thirty in the morning and I can't sleep. So I don't really care. I am always thinking about mortality. Time. Having enough of it. To do what I'm here to do, raze what I need to raze, build what I need to build. Explode over this earth. Explode in so many directions and forms of art and modes of media and performance as a single force. I can achieve ends and results that are not accurately the stuff of generations, or centuries, but millennia. Those are the stakes, that is what can be brought off. I need time. I always need more time. I don't mean to get the thing in, get the book done. I can create that time. I mean time to get around the stones in the passway, to de-bedevil whatever it is that this hell I am in is. This situation.

This historically unique situation. Which has not happened to a writer or artist previously. It's getting documented here in this record, this journal. One entry won't give it to you in full. That's part of the reason I don't drink. I don't worry about being around 850 years from now. Of living, as it were, forever, that way. Because I know that can't be otherwise, with what I do. What I create. I worry about the quality of life within my lifetime. Getting what I want and deserve, and having the happiness I would not have perhaps been able to have had I not learned what I've learned while in this hell. I was already thinking about mortality when she passed along this information to me. A friend of mine recently had a heart attack. He died a half dozen times, technically. Someone just happened to be around to give him CPR. He had had heart surgery a few years ago. It just seems to be all around. It's how my dad died. My friend--the one I've known in intervals, stages, over about four years, is twenty-four, I believe. I was twenty-five when my dad died. Your head kind of drifts from your mental space and drifts into someone else's. I suppose my head is always doing that, doing what I do. Your head has to travel a lot that way in order to create art.

And I started thinking about my mom, too. My reports about Lilah, and my fellow C-Dawg, Charlie--my four-year-old nephew--come from her, largely, when she's with the kids. Watching them for my sister. I think my mother thinks I don't think about my late sister, who died four years ago this October, often. Because I don't bring her up. I think she thinks that she is probably getting forgotten by me, certainly, and probably my other sister. I wasn't close with my late sister. She had a lot of problems in this life not of her own making, and some of her own making. But she did not come into this world with a great fighting chance. But I do think about her all the time. I'm thinking about her tonight. I just don't say anything to my mom. We're either discussing the aforesaid hell and how to get out of it, how to keep going, as she, like my inner circle, echos the same thing, or says it in full-throated shouts, that this will pass, I am going to beat these people, the revolution is coming, the reaping awaits, the historical levels of change await. Or she tells me about her time with the kids. I don't want to upset her by bringing up my sister then, because I can imagine the pain she must always feel. What if that moment is not a respite exactly, but a slight letting up on the throttle? I don't want to vitiate that.

My mother is a rare person. I think about how lucky my niece and nephew are to have her for a grandmother. Before I came along, it seemed quite medically definitive that my parents could not have biological children. They adopted me. And for five years, it was the three of us. A huge forest was in our backyard--was our backyard--and from my earliest days I explored the woods and I remember spending time with my mom with books, with stories. It was funny: Before I could read, my mother could read a book to me, and I could walk downstairs and hold it in front of my father, announcing that I had lately learned to read, and I could recite exactly what I had just had read to me. I could go on for a while. I could feel the words, you see? I've always been able to feel words just as one might rub their hand along a tree, or some brocaded bit of cloth. And I can hear every last nuance of their sonic textures. I can become them. I am them. I feel how I'm them. And I always have. But I would forget to look at the page, thus undermining my own ruse. I'd be staring at the fireplace, or out the window. Words have always been so easy for me. And my mom played a part in fostering that. Just something you think about. What people know about what you think. What you hope they know. Can be a two-year-old, can be someone you've known for forty years. Generations.

Why am I still up? I'm sat here in a Patriots winter hat with a pom pom atop it because I don't want to get off my arse to shut of the AC cranking the Vaccines second album and drinking Starbucks Christmas blend coffee from 2016. I have too fucking much to give the world for it just to be this way.


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