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How could they not be natural?

Wednesday 3/29/23

Taking a moment because I just finished a 2500 word piece on the Beatles. It's excellent. I will read it back a couple more times. Not expecting to find anything save typos and maybe some very minor stuff--the kind of thing that no one else would notice.

Any time I scan back in my mind--like on a walk or when running the stairs--about what I have done over the course of mere days, I realize all over again that if you took a single week of my life, in terms of what I create, and pitted it against the life's work of anyone else writing right now, I would annihilate that person in quality, invention, volume of output, and range. There is no one who can look at what I do over several days--and it's documented on here--and not know that here is someone unlike anyone there has ever been. I can't imagine what is more obvious. I am all the proof anyone needs that everything like the MacArthur genius grant and the Guggenheim are completely rigged. It is impossible to look at me and the people who are gifted--because they sure as fuck didn't earn them--those things and think, "Yeah, well, Colin isn't as good as that individual." No one thinks it, no one could think it. It isn't even possible to think it.

Thought the Bruins were poor last night. A no-show. The NHL is a good reminder that as in hockey and life, if you don't bring the energy, the commitment, if you're not present, you'll have a setback. Sometimes you can overcome failing to be this way. But it's not a winning recipe. Things won't work out far more often than they do work out. Marchand was terrible. Don't know what is wrong with him. Watched him come down the wing, top of the circle, plenty of time--he had enough time to take a hand off his stick like he was going to rub his chin in thought--and for some bizarre reason he elected not to shoot, but to go behind the next. It was a prime scoring chance. He passed it up. There was no other play than to take the prime scoring chance. He has one goal this month. That's worrisome. I also thought McAvoy was poor. Something is up with him. Is he hurt? The power play was dreadful, as it has been. They don't get zone entry even. How does that happen with the skilled players and veterans they have? They give up a bunch of shorthanded chances, too.

What I would encourage Marchand to do if I was a Bruins coach is to let it rip. You don't even need to score. Let it rip to let it rip. Guy has a great snap shot. So what if the puck hits the logo on the goalie's chest a bunch of times in a row? Get back into being a shooter. You were a goal scorer in this league before you were a playmaker. Let the rubber fly.

This is good:

Nothing interests one person in another like a story well told. Stories are different that way. They’re not someone’s politics beliefs, thoughts on the ballgame, comments about the weather, or report about what they’re having for dinner, all of which usually add up to a veritable festival of yawns. They interest us. Pull us in. We try to understand the action as we all but become a part of it, retroactively. The account of the event or sequence in the past comes to be as alive in that moment as both the storyteller and the person to whom the story is told.

When the story is told with passion, we’re apt to be passionate. Our very curiosity itself becomes an unbilled member of the dramatis personae. The story need not have gravid consequences. It isn’t a requirement or condition for our interest that lives must change during the story’s unfolding, though we may also become aware that previously unconsidered factors can alter a person and a life.

All it takes is realness and sincerity, and we will be invested in the story we’re being told. We may also feel honored. That person chose us for the hearing of this narrative. There’s intimacy in both choice and undertaking. Telling a story is a form of opening up one’s self. It’s not the average way of talking. It’s the departure. If the story means a lot to the person telling it, it takes on greater meaning for us, too.

Few emotions are more powerful than the one that drives the need to know more. That’s story, but at the most fundamentally human level.


C: Your nail gun scares me, by the way.

C: The pneumatic hiss of death.

C: Through the eyeball. Because of a ricochet.

The building on my street that had its roof collapse has still not been demolished. This has been going on for a month now. Street blocked off, cops in the street. All day long there is the sound of a crane-truck idling. Constant, annoying, unavoidable. That's been on in the background nearly the entire time I've been writing. I guess I thought they were going to explore the sucker? They're not doing that. They are dismantling piece by piece from the top down, it seems.


It is later now. I have taken the introduction to The Solution and I am creating a separate piece as a stand-alone piece that I hope to be able to sell.

I also wrote a new story. Lately, mixed in with everything else, I am writing some stories that I think might be termed very strange, which are the shortest stories I've ever written, word count-wise. But that would be coming from people not knowing what the hell to make of them based on what they've experienced with other stories and how stories are written and what they perceive a story can be. I don't think they're strange. I don't think anything I ever write is strange. I find it all natural. Just because something is very different and you've never seen anything like it before doesn't mean it's not natural. It's like creatures at the very bottom of the sea. Are they strange? They are strange compared to what we know up here on the surface, but that would be an us thing rather than a them thing. How could they not be natural? They are themselves representative of nature. Plus, I can do more with five words than anyone else can with 50,000. This is from the story, which is called "Just Because Something Makes You Uncomfortable":

Friend one: I wrote this song called “You Squirted on the Damn Dog Again.”

Friend two: This makes me really uncomfortable.

Friend one: Okay. But do you like the sound of it?

Friend two: I just said that it makes me uncomfortable.

Friend one: The title?

Friend two: I’ve only heard the title.

Friend one: But do you like it? Just because something makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean you don’t like it.

Friend two: I guess so.

Friend one: So you do like it then?

Friend two: No. I’m not into it. I don’t like the title. I don’t think I’d like the song unless it’s a lot different than the title.

Friend one: They’re of a piece. I wouldn’t say it’s a mistitled song.


It is later now again. I walked three miles and did three circuits in the Monument and 100 push-ups. Coming back from Charlestown there's an ice cream place. It's kind of cold today for ice cream. Again, cold, tricky early spring, when the sun is out, the ground is not hard, but it's in the forties and easy to be fooled into thinking it's warmer than it is. Coming back across the bridge, for instance, with the wind blowing against my sweaty face, my skin almost had an aching quality. Not that I minded. It's good to feel that kind of cold.

Anyway, there was a little girl sitting at the bar of the ice cream shop that faces outside, where I was walking past. She had an ice cream cone, but it was upside down and on a plate, so that the cone was sticking in the air. Is that a thing? I guess it is. She looked so happy. Big smile on her face. Her mom must have been getting something at the counter--I didn't linger, it was just as I went by--so the girl was in her own little world.

Whenever I see a child like this, I want them to be okay. The events in Nashville have been ceaselessly on my mind, and I will be doing something on here, but I want to make sure I get it right. It's not an easy thing to write or what I want to be writing. I talked it over yesterday with someone at length. She was smiling so much, this little girl. Pure innocence. And she was so present in her moment. Whether that's with a big thing or a little thing, we can learn from that.

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