I have been unable to face anything still. There are letters, cards here from people I have not been able to open. I have to do better this week. I have shut down entirely. Save for creating. Everything makes me hemorrhage with fear, just about. Many years ago, decades ago, someone else would have shut down from dealing with this, early, long before it got as bad as it has gotten, but that does not change the fact that I scarcely function now. I'm not those other people. I am here to change the world. I must find a way to be strong everywhere. I simply must. What would happen to me if I could not create, I have no idea. That might sound like writing on the wall, a possibility, maybe an eventuality. But I don't think that will happen while I am still alive. I don't believe it can. I'm too this. If that makes any sense. I need to do better. I hate the idea of having to go after people in this journal and expose them for what they are, but I need to do more of that. I am a kind man, I detest confrontation (more so expending my time or energy on it), but I cannot allow my life, my art, my genius, to be rubbed out of this world, like none of it ever existed, by evil people.
I have tried every last possible way, every bending, scraping, begging way, every soul-obliterating, all-time master of patience way, literally hundreds of thousands of ways, over many, many, many years, to play ball. The number of people I have politely written for ten, twelve years after they shut me out, because they are bigots, because they hate, because they fear, resent, envy, numbers in the hundreds. Can you imagine what that is like? Day in, day out, day in, day out. I have the goods on all of them. I know exactly how they do their business with others. Not in a general way. In a case by case way. Because it's me. I always know. I never assume. I only go in armed with knowledge. And this is all I've done, every day, for twenty plus years now. But I delay. I try to give a last chance. I need to stop with that.
I would not be comfortable covering this, had I not already worked today--more on that later--but there is a game I play called the week game. I play it in my head. I end up playing it aloud when I am on my walks and I leave Norberg voicemails letting him know what is going on. One hears how I talk on the radio, it's pure flow, the progression of words is more limpid than if I were reading them. Part of that is because of years of walking talking into Norberg's voicemail. I was always practicing. One records for seventeen minutes. I fill them up to the second. Have for a long time. One thing, incidentally, that I was doing too much of on the radio was saying the word "basically." Like a placeholder. So I stopped doing that. Cut it out, usually entirely. I won't say it more than once in a segment. But the week game involves recapping what occurred that week. It's depressing, the week game. Because my week is someone else's career. Every week. Even with all of the resistance. Without resistance, my week would be everyone else's career combined. Ever. That's a bit of an overstatement. But it has the ring of truth. Three months, let us say, would be more technically accurate in that latter scenario.
Last week I composed two full short stories, "Anise" and "Elvers." I came up with ideas for two others, one is called "Empty Water," the second does not have a title yet, but it is sufficiently disturbing that I am disturbed by it and wonder how I came up with it. I wrote an op-ed. I completed a 4000 word essay. I started two other short stories, "Knick Knock" and "Fraggem." Obviously there are all of these journal entries. I only climbed the Monument eighteen times. That is too low a number.
I haven't seen Emma in weeks, for the most part. At some point we will have to talk about whatever is going on, but I am not sure she wants to talk to me, and I really don't want to play the part of happy distraction. I'd like to help her, and I'd like to have an honest conversation with her. I'd like to help her in part because I think I have a unique position to help her. Given what I know, can see, can convey. You cannot force help on somebody though, obviously.
I'm not sure what to make of her not confiding in me. I think we are closer than that. Actually, I know we are closer than that. I also want to tread carefully, because I don't want to hurt her, create a stressor for her. I am disappointed in her in some ways. I think she's stronger than she allows herself to be at times. I think she makes choices--which can be lazy choices, or when she defaults to these crutches, overriding boundaries that should be in place that are not, which results in her being less autonomous, including in glaring ways that an average child, for all of Emma's maturity in other areas, would not have been years ago--that compound her problems. That's hard to watch and do nothing about it. It's a tricky situation, too, because it's not my child. It is a unique relationship. I don't see how there could be another relationship like ours. It would be different--and it will--when she's twenty-five, if I am still alive (and hopefully the world-changing is long underway and ever-progressing by then), but right now there is of course that power dynamic reality of adult and child. There are many hard, lonely things about being a genius, and one of them is seeing something and someone for what they are--which is a big part of my kind of genius--and not being able to say anything because so few people can handle the truth, any truth, about certain things pertaining to themselves.
But eventually we must find a way to resume, because though we have not been in each other's lives lately, I feel that in the larger sense, the "never going anywhere" sense, we are constants. Givens and rocks. Or I would hope we are, by this point.
I am not going to ask her to hang out with me today--I'll let her decide when she wants the two of us to hang out again (and will try to gauge if she's not asking because she thinks I am upset with her)--but I do owe her a hot chocolate, so if she's around later I will drop that off, and maybe a new short story with an inscription. I give a lot of thought to everything. How the other person feels. I try and do the best I can. I will also give her a hug--I'll actually attempt to make it a decent one, despite my feelings about hugs--and tell her I love her. Then I will be on my way. I have the symphony later. But I also think, look what you are going through, man, look at what you must do, write, look to no one else's life but your own right now. I don't know. I have been disappointed. I didn't expect that from her. Then again, I have also seen, repeatedly, Emma do what she needs to do, when others would not. I've learned that this little person can surprise me. Very few people I have ever known have been able to surprise me.
I have a great deal of faith in Emma. And obviously I love her. I miss her, too.
It seems like it's impossible for the Twins to beat the Yankees. The Rays are a speed bump--if that--for the Astros. I think the Astros are the model franchise right now. I saw some of the Boston College football game yesterday. I detest BC, yet I still follow. I would say that I don't understand how the head coach is retained, but I do. The idea that BC can't be a top 20-25 program every year is nonsense to me. Last year's team should have been a top ten team with all of that NFL talent on it. This is a school that not long ago produced a guy who is going to be a Hall of Fame linebacker. I saw none of the Bruins game because I was asleep. They are 2-0 but obviously offense is a problem early. Three goals in two games doesn't usually get you two victories.
I'm going to work out now.