Try to keep going.
All I am doing now is trying to prolong the game. It's like being down 55-17, with half a quarter left. You are just trying to stretch the game in hopes of creating more time for a miracle to occur. At this point it feels that only a miracle can save me or elevate me from this situation.
Yesterday I ran three miles and walked seven. The Monument was closed for climbing. Today is 11148 days without a drink of alcohol. Emma's family invited me to Emma's grandparents' house on the beach in Rhode Island. I am trying to decided whether to go. I composed yesterday morning--a new short story. More on that later. I just want to get this up. Give the accounting. I wrote a new op-ed this morning on male-bashing. I don't think anyone will run it. I'm writing nine full pieces now for every one piece that runs and pays me a tiny amount of cash. I lost the one place that was the bulk of my income, such as it was, that being The Daily Beast. I walked three miles and ran nine this morning. I wanted to have ultimate workout day, which would have been all of that, plus ten Monument climbs, but the Monument was closed because of the heat index. (Ten climbs is really hard to do in a day, ditto running nine miles; doing one or the other is a reasonable day of fitness, a pretty decent achievement; doing both in one day is mega; I think I could have done it today, despite the heat and humidity.) My shirt was heavy with sweat. It was so much liquid. Liquid pooling in my sneakers which are ripped on both sides so that the sides of my feet come through. I had to change my shirt in order to keep working out, and the new one was instantly soaked through. Last Sunday I climbed the Monument ten times, then climbed ten times on both Tuesday and Wednesday. I haven't climbed since. My workout shorts are ripped underneath. Emma said if I wash them she will sew them for me.
Yesterday I went to the MFA and saw Pollock's Mural (1943), which is on loan. It's his largest canvas.
Then I finally acquired food at Trader Joe's. I couldn't put it off longer. What does someone like me get for food? It's pretty boring. All of my choices are made for my heart--either not to hurt it or to help it. When you live with this much stress, you'll have a heart attack if you do not stay up on heart health. I still think, too, that if I get through this, if I get my chance, my money, my recognition, I want to enjoy that life, a life of creating knowing that millions will see whatever it is I create, and for max enjoyment with that I need to make it to 100. I would need decades to overturn what has thus far transpired, the toll. Lots of decades. The mark I could make in this world, to last for all time, if you give me a chance and a bunch of decades. Good God.
I got strawberries, celery, kale, Swiss string cheese (cheese is bad for your heart because it is high in sodium, but Swiss cheese is the only cheese low in sodium), unsalted cashews, lots of Greek yogurt, pineapple, Matcha tea. I forgot lemons. They help repair your liver. Because I drank so much for twenty years, I cut a lemon in half every day and squeeze it into a disgusting mug--I only use one and the dishwasher hasn't worked in years--and put in a little water and drink that. (The mug used to be cool, though; it's a Creature Double Feature mug, from the old 1970s/1980s Boston-area Saturday morning horror movie program.) My liver must have been fully recovered a long time ago but I do it just in case and it's also just good for you and cleansing. I have always liked lemons. As a kid I liked to suck on them. They never bothered me. I thought they were fun tasting. I also got some vegetable burritos. If you look at the sodium content on packaged foods you'll see it's usually well over 1000 mg. You don't want that. (Next time you're at a convenience store, check out the sodium content on the prepackaged subs; it's astronomical.) These burritos are under 400, which is very low for this kind of thing. Most foods I get will have less than 200 mg of sodium. Thrilling, isn't it? I have had to change my entire physical and dietary lifestyle so that I can keep fighting and hopefully finally have a chance to show the world what it is I do and what I can do for it. A long time ago I thought it was a matter of writing better than anyone and making better art and better entertainment and it would all follow from there, but that is the last way that it truly is. I give literally every aspect of my being, my life, my existence to this.
The female cashier smiled at me in an awkward way at the Trader Joe's. Halfway through ringing me up, her replacement took over, another woman, and she also smiled strangely at me. I thought this probably wasn't great. Then I looked down at my hand. When I am out with Emma, she doodles on everything. She is an artist. I'll have all of these papers that will have entire masterpieces of stories laid out. I have a way of making notes and a plan that might look like code to someone else, which to me is the entire story. That page is the entire text of a story in a way, I just kind of, I don't know, add water, and there's the full thing later on the computer. If we sat down over one of my pages of notes for a story, and I told you what I saw, after you determined what you saw, that would be eye-opening. You'd see random phrases. I'd see a world, I'd see whole paragraphs, movements, modulations, different tonal centers, shifting sounds, various beats; because each of those words or phrases triggers other things I have stored in my mind based around them; they're like the lid of a box. Anyway. She gets her hands on these notes, and fills up the blank portions with her drawings. My packets of notes (I'll staple a great ball of stuff together, so there are plans for the week, entire stories planned out, outlines for books, lists of things to discuss on this blog, lists of people I am going to target and expose, outlines for their upcoming blog posts, lists of pitches, lists of people I'm going to write that week, lists of who owes me money, op-ed ideas) are now interspersed with Emma's handiwork and the games of Hangman we play, which, well, I'll just say they're hilarious. Sometimes kind of wrong, but hilarious. When she runs out of paper, she'll doodle on whatever. A couple times it's been on my hand while I am reading. I barely notice. But I did notice at the Trader Joe's, when I looked down at my right hand to see that Emma had written, My porn name is DEATH COCK. Awesome. That's just great. How do you reverse that? What do you say to the cashier? "That's not true, it's Life Cock." That's probably not going to work.
Making this worse was the fact that this Trader Joe's trip was sort of part of my workout in that I ran, did the walking, and stopped at Trader Joe's on the way back. My hair is getting long again, and in the humidity, it was standing straight up, so I also looked like a mad scientist, or else the Heat Miser. Awesome again. A man boasting, via hand signage, of his lethal member, who also looked crazed, sweaty, and stormy. But...at least I looked fit.