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Heavy enough

Tuesday 4/11/23

There is a near-overwhelming amount of things to get to. I don't want to say an overwhelming amount, because that would be defeatist. But it is a lot.

I will be quick for now because it has been a few days and I should get something up.

Would like to see the Bruins get the points record tonight, sit everyone for the finale in Montreal and play an AHL roster, and beat the Canadiens then anyway.

The Red Sox look very .500-y. But hot dog, last night's game was two hours and six minutes long. The pitchers are complaining. Baseball players complain a lot when their sport is improved/potentially saved.

I've been listening to a tape of Bernard Sumner trying to hypnotize Ian Curtis. For real.

I lay the boom on the radio. I set something up and then boom, I blow the minds. And it's all real. All organic. No one has ever done it that way. It's dramatic and exciting and pulse-pounding and edifying and real and funny and moving and the guy knows every damn thing. What I do on the radio proves that nothing in these arenas happens because of merit, because there is no one who hears me and thinks that anyone else comes close. No one says, "I'm better than that guy at this." Nobody.

I listen to Car Wheels on a Gravel Road every day. It could be that I've seen Lucinda Williams more than I've ever seen anyone else. You're not going to sing much better than she does on that 1998 version of "I Lost It," especially in the verse after the instrumental break. She goes for it. Go and listen. That's someone going for it. And if you don't understand how important that is, you must try harder to do so, because that's the life well lived. Right there. If you're not going for it, you might as well be dead. She must have felt amazing when she sang those words. She was real and she was alive and she knew what very few humans have ever known in those moments.

Someday I hope to write an entry in these pages about how I drove around the shores of Cape Ann on a late summer day listening to this record and that song in particular, before coming home to my house in Rockport feeling happy, truly happy.

Speaking of words. I spent most of Saturday and a lot of today working on "Big Bob and Little Bob." Even the people who read all of my work must be thinking, "What the hell can he possibly be up to?" Wait until you see it. I've found a way to put this. My work is all of a piece, but I want to say something without saying "this is better than that" because I can't in good conscience--my conscience is part of what rules me--do that.

But if I had never created anything else--take it all away; it's not there, none of it--and had only created "Big Bob and Little Bob," I would have created the best thing anyone has ever created. In anything. Any walk of life, any period of time. There. That's how good it is. Note my language. I didn't write this. I've moved past writing in the ways that count most. I created it.

Now maybe someone wants to say, "That bastard, he can't say that," but if that person read this story what they would realize is how much I had understated the truth. You're putting this in a book with "Best Present Ever" and all of those others? That's truly a book to change the world. I think it's going to be a long book, the way it's coming together. A long book about relentless joy.

Big Bob was a scholar of the Civil War. He must have had 100 books on that bloodiest of American sagas, the source of an infinity of rifts in which brothers fixed bayonets against brothers and friendship itself died an infinite amount of times. When you talked to him he would use a quote about the battle of Appomattox to make his points and I absorbed some of them such that I had teachers who thought I was a Civil War savant who couldn’t figure out long division. After all, rare was the child able to tell you that the cannons of Antietam could be heard over sixty miles away as advancing lines of men brought what remained of their bodies to bear on an opposition that seemed greater than the combined forces of both sides.


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