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Monday 11/16/20

Wrote an excellent story this AM called "How Much Sorry" for Longer on the Inside: Very Short Fictions of Infinitely Human Lives. 915 words. It's about how a girl comes home--the route she takes--from a friend's place at night. Or that's what it looks like what it's going to be about, and it's about something else--much else--entirely. But also related. One of those ones that make me cry as I'm reading it back and fixing what needs fixing.


I saw none of the Patriots game last night. Not because of lack of interest--rather, sleep. I had the game on, though, and at one point heard they were up by ten, and later it sounded like they were on the cusp of going up 17, so seeing the result this morning was not a total surprise. Bad weather games always favored the Patriots when they were good, and I'm sure that's still an advantage. The rain was so loud outside--that swooshing rain where you hear the blankets coming down, rather than individual drops--that I wondered at one point if I was imagining or dreaming it. So: 4-5. 9-7 is doable. What will that get you? Maybe nothing. You want to see a competitive team, though, with something to play for. That Tampa Bay team is sure up and down. They're either dominant or abysmal.


Yesterday I poured through quarterback stats, wondering if any professional league has ever been better set up for a single position to dominate like the NFL with the current day quarterback. MLB pitchers in 1968, maybe? Or hitters in 1930? Wasn't that hard to score a lot of points in the NHL of the 1980s. But so many guys have insane stats. It's hard to even compare quarterbacks on stat lines. Even more than the yardage, the TD to interception ratios are absurd, followed by the completion percentages.


Everyone on TV and radio, just about, says "basically" and "you know" far too much--the latter should almost never be used, and is done so by people who cannot think fast enough and must stall as they come up with additional words to say. Many will use it in every single sentence--even more than once. I don't know how one listens to that--nor do I know why it's okay for people who make their living talking to be so bad at actually speaking. I feel like there are no standards of quality in just about anything, except in sports. Everything else is given for another reason.


A woman today tells me she wishes we could meet so that we could fight. "With words, not fists," she clarified. Great. Thanks for that--sounds like much fun. Definitely what I want to be doing with my time and energy, fighting with someone who deploys an acronym every three words. She tells me that she is also a bit of a poet. Of course. You expect this. I ask where these poems appears, and she says she writes them in texts to people. I say that that's cool. Her reply? "Yeah it is. Very much so." I say, "As you are self-aggrandizing, apparently," which she'd then have to look up, because despite being a poet, she won't know that word. Its meaning will make her angry. That she didn't know the meaning and had to copy and paste the word into Google to learn it will make her angry, and that someone said the truth to her after she became defensive for no actual reason and launched her tribute to herself, will also make her angry. The fighting, as she put it, would not go the way she wished it to, certainly. When people think this way, they are unintelligent and the way the "fighting" is supposed to go is that someone else is at their level or lower, and then it's just people talking out of their asses, which is harmless enough, when it's two people talking out of their asses. But when it's just one person talking out of their ass, and someone else who would trounce all comers in these matters, the former party becomes angry, and, further, their self-esteem gets destroyed. Because it's kind of a competition, and now they don't know what they've started playing with, and very quickly they're feeling stupid, hopelessly over-matched, and questioning themselves in ways that are worse than previous ones. It's better for me simply to go. Anyway. There is very little out there. You're simply supposed to be dumb, write LOL and SMH, and say that everything is super duper awesome. Big keys of romance at the moment.


I did have a nice running conversation with a woman over the weekend who entered my orbit because of a Joy Division interview I gave. She was quite nice. Happily partnered, inquisitive, a thinker, clearly. I don't know how old she was--maybe late twenties. Anyway, we spoke about Nicholas Ray's In a Lonely Place, after she said something about the Joy Division song of the same name, which led me to recommend the film--uneven though it is. She watched it on Saturday and shared her thoughts.


I watched The Liberator on Netflix. Animated WWII drama. Worth watching. Perspective. Watching The Queen's Gambit. It's most successful when it is about relationships. Believable relationships. Not the cartoonish one like that between Beth's adopted mother and father. The chess scenes are action scenes and they work as action scenes. The best part is the relationship between Beth and the janitor. That is where one will find the greatest quotient of humanness.


I saw people arguing about masculinity today on Twitter. People with a million followers bitching about what is masculine and what is not. And people are followed for this utter mindlessness. Masculinity. Femininity. I'll tell you what matters, what is all that matters in these matters: Being yourself. Maybe one out of a thousand people is truly themselves openly. That doesn't mean if you're such and such you're yourself, or the opposite of such and such. People will pretend to be anything, trick themselves into believing they are something for attention and a stab at a community, especially when other forms of community have failed them. Or they feel like they have. When I came home from some hockey tournament that I dominated at age thirteen, I never thought twice if I wanted to sit down and watch some ballet or read some poems of Dryden. Not once did I think, "hmmm, is this manly enough?" There is nothing in this world that could have ever induced me to think in those terms. My soul takes me where my soul takes me, and I follow it.