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Hold it steady right there while I hit it

Monday 3/23/20

I have to hustle. There is just so much to do. Yesterday marked 1386 days (198 weeks) without a drink. I ran three miles and walked ten. This morning I wrote an 1800 word short story called "Pre-Prime." It's about toxic masculinity, and a kid at a bar who is over-served. He's about twenty-five. His friends are oblivious to him. They are at a table, they've had lots of pitchers of beer. They're boasting, playing parts. Being crude. It's winter, and the kid is thrown out, without his jacket. He hadn't been talking much, was staring at this girl at the end of the bar he doesn't approach. They barely notice he's gone. There's snow on the ground that wasn't there when the kid went into the place. He just starts walking. The bar was over-hot, he was sweating, figures he'll cut under this overpass where the highway goes above the city, all of this construction going on. But he doesn't just pop out the other side. There are all of these partitions that keep leading him different ways. He's in pretty deep, he doesn't want to turn around, seems too far back, he's cold, he figures he must be near the other side, but that he's also going parallel, or backwards, he can't tell. He thinks he smells the harbor, which would mean he must be near the street so he can call an Uber home, but he's also pissed himself. He's like his friends and he's not like his friends. But he tries to act as their code seems to dictate, as expectations dictate, as insecurity dictates. They all do. They're not in the prime of life, they're in the pre-prime, even better. Even closer to a kind of invincibility, but not so very invincible after all. I command language and narrative at this point like whatever it is that commands the weather commands the weather. There is nothing I cannot do with story, nothing I cannot invent. Meanwhile, this new piece came out in the TLS on a play a sixteen-year-old Orson Welles wrote about a slave revolt which uses some of the same framing devices he'll turn to again later in Citizen Kane. I think tomorrow on Downtown I'll discuss this piece, as well as the McCoy Tyner JazzTimes feature I wrote, plus The Rifleman episode, "The Grasshopper," from sixty years ago, which has a different kind of plague, and was directed by Lewis Allen (The Uninvited) and amusing tropes in Westerns that I get a kick out of, like how it's not considered drinking if you're only having beer--even in massive quantities--and how you can go into a bar and tell them to leave the whiskey bottle.

Saw this on my walk yesterday at Government Center. I love the verb and preposition--it's like the Reaper is serving up facials. Maybe it's just me, but I think the "cum" in "come" is implied.


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