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How some things are got and become

Friday 2/4/22

Late start. Stayed up late watching Lakers-Clippers. Reggie Miller talks about Carmelo Anthony like he's 1000. But then Anthony did pull a hamstring.

Started Jelly Roll Morton piece. Started piece on sports and music.

Went through "The Everything" again. That will be it. Nothing left to do. It can stand with "Dead Thomas," "Fitty," "Girls of the Nimbus," "The Girl Who Couldn't Cry," "Upon Becoming a Ghost," "Jute," or any of them. There isn't a better work of fiction.

Things to do and/or get done in the next little bit: the two pieces I mentioned above, essay on A Meaningful Life, essays on the words we use, essay on the real, practical, functional point of art, various stories, essay on Chimes at Midnight, essay on "Creep," piece on 'Round Midnight, complete clean versions of There Is No Doubt and Longer on the Inside, complete clean version of Glue God, have what is needed chapters-wise for Same Band.

Must sell some op-eds.

My friend Howard sent me sound files of the big Tattoo You box.

Phone now appears to be working. Had a friend call me on a landline to double check.

Same friend had said to me that my fiction is bottomless, that there are an infinite amount of layers to each story and book. We were talking about Dark March, and what it could do in the world later on, when it I am in a different position, and it comes out again, but with support. We were having this talk because I was saying how dumb everyone is, for the most part. No one can understand anything. And they're saying that while that's true, that won't matter with my work, because of how all of it is designed, and because of that bottomless quality. Rungs for all. This is on my mind this morning for a different reason, as I think about "The Everything"--how much is in this 2500 word story. It's almost like a magic trick. I think about the sophistication of the design. What went into that. I think about how I could even do that. How could you plan it? I think that I'm fortunate that I don't have to plan it, and I'm not sure one could. It'd have to come out that way naturally, and make itself that way, if that makes sense. But it's never busy. The layers and aspects reveal themselves in time, or subsequently. I think you could read it 1000 times and you'd still be seeing new things, but you'd never have a time when you read it and thought you were missing anything. I do need to begin preparing another edition of Dark March, because I do want to go through that book hard, rigorously. Sort of like how I've kept going through "The Everything." "The Everything" is the perfect story for everyone who has ever had a parent, good or bad or both. Also: I read "There Is No Young and There Is No Old," another story this publishing industry won't let the world see right now, to someone on the phone the other day, and I could not stop crying. I could not get through the thing. I did, but it was hard, and I had to stop a lot. I couldn't believe what the story reduced me to. How hard it hit me. I believe I've written thirteen works of fiction so far in 2022, and this was one of the earliest. So you must understand that for me, that's like a lifetime of art ago. I come to such a work anew. As a person, as a reader, more than the person who created it. I bring it up now, in this context, after what I said about parents, because this is a story that ought to be required reading for every human of every age. I finished reading, and there was this silence where you could nonetheless hear someone's involved breathing. And it went on. Like there was just no voice on the other side of the phone. Then I just heard the words, like it was hard to say anything, "Holy shit." And then I was very upset, because, again, these people hate me so much that they won't let the world read this work. And there is no work in the world that is anywhere near the level of this work. And it's not subjective. I've taken subjectivity out of it. I've taken subjectivity out of everything I do.

I didn't say this to anyone until the other day, when I told this person, but the idea for the story came to me because I have this friend who is always saying how old he is on social media. This makes him feel old, this remark from his student makes him feel old, this reference he made made him sound old, etc. This is a great guy. This is an honorable person. People who know me know I don't just toss that out there. So I'm not saying anything bad about them. And when I say I got the idea, I'm not saying the story had anything to do with them. When you read it--when the world reads and embraces it--come back to these pages and think about what I was saying on this day in early February 2022, and one will see what I mean. It's like "The Girl Who Couldn't Cry." I woke up one morning and I was thinking about my sister. Her dog Max had died. He had had this stroke, it seemed, and he couldn't move, and my sister held him and rocked him as he died, while she was home with the baby, trying not to scare the baby, and trying not to cry in front of her. It was awful. That really got to me. And one day I woke up and it was my first thought. And my bigger thought was really what if there was a girl who couldn't cry? And so much depending on her not crying? That is, God, or someone, or something, had come to her and tasked her with a great challenge. That she would be the deepest strength that lived inside of every human. The last line of strength. The innermost strength. When all else is gone, or seems to be gone. She lives in all of us, this girl. And she must be so strong, and she herself can never cry. So I started telling the story about the life of this girl, and what would happen if she did cry, and who she was, and what she did. And there came a day, when something happened, and she had the greatest need of her own life, as the person inside of all of us. It is an amazing work of art. So I say that I got the idea from this situation with my sister and her dog, but obviously it has nothing to do with my sister and her dog. Same thing with "There Is No Young and There Is No Old" and my friend.


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