Have you ever had half a panic attack?
Yesterday was a very difficult day. They all are. But on some the tip of the spear has been heated a bit longer.
I had to return to Rockport to attend a Pat Metheny concert which I must write about for JazzTimes. I had a panic attack. I fall apart. The trauma, how it comes rearing up, is overwhelming. It is trauma pertaining to the past, trauma pertaining to the situation I am now in, trauma pertaining to my fears of ever escaping this diurnal hell, this diurnal post-hell, of ever returning to that place.
At the same time, I love that place more than anywhere on earth, and so it is a half panic attack and half a present and deep love. I'm infused as I am also splayed. As my heart sped out of control and my breath shortened and I felt like I was simply going to fall to the ground, I went into the public restroom to try not to come apart. I threw some cold water on my face and as it dripped off of me and I stood there, chest heaving, I caught my reflection in the glass and a voice intoned in my head, You are not losing to these bigots. Molly is not getting away with what she did. Your stories are going to be seen, your stories are going to be told. Every single last one of them. Now keep it the fuck together.
I saw my house, which is more painful than anything. The uncouth Neanderthals who live there for the time have covered the entire roof--of an 1840 historic home--in solar panels. I try to tell myself, "It's okay, when you get it back, you just take them off." But it is also so hard because it was at this time, in 2012, that I sat in my studio on the top floor, writing Dark March. I believe it to be the most emotionally intense work in all of literature. If you have read it--and you should, because there is nothing like it--I don't think you will find my thesis fatuous. If you have ever been destroyed--I don't mean hurt, I don't mean heartbroken, I mean truly destroyed--it is the book for you. Somehow it is funny, too. I don't know how that happened. I guess I do.
I wrote an op-ed yesterday on Whitman and Leaves of Grass and the idea of being something rather than pretending to be something for his 200th. This latest op-ed of mine came out yesterday in The Wall Street Journal on how the NHL is the last class-oriented of the professional sports leagues, which is why it is the best. Publishing is the most class-oriented anything of anything, which is why literature is at an all-time low. Metheny played for more than two hours, just him. I walked ten miles. I felt haunted all day, and when I raced to catch the last train at 10:30 back to Boston, I lost my way. In this town I know so well. It was dark and I went down the wrong street and I had to run over a mile to make the train with only two minutes to spare.
On the ride home, I read Dorothy Macardle and this song, "Cocksucker Blues," played in my head, as it had at various times throughout the day. It may not be the greatest blues song, but it is the truest.
By the time the train pulled into the station back in Boston, it was nearly midnight, rain pouring down, the streets empty. I pulled the hood of my Cape Ann sweatshirt over my head, rounded my shoulders in, and walked home, thinking, once more, the stories are getting seen, the stories are getting told, all of them, they do not, and she does not, get away with this. Keep it the fuck together.