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My dust

Saturday 4/20/19

This has been bad. I cannot afford to lose any money, and I lost $300 today for a 2000 word piece. It's bad enough that it's $300 for 2000, but to get nothing? My editor was on vacation. The subject matter was controversial. Or it could be perceived as such. The person working with me didn't know me, didn't know that I'd get everything right and have come prepared to the hilt and then some, and they didn't know the subject. So, out it went. They weren't going to take the risk. And you're out money because of bad timing. It's not the quality of the work, because the quality and effort is always the same. I'm thorough. I don't screw up. I don't write anything that is going to work out unfavorably for the venue. I just don't. And I took pains with the touchiest aspect of this subject.

Then I wrote begging letters, which was debasing. This bit in a letter to a friend pretty much sums up where we are at: "This is very difficult right now. If I had a gun, there would not be a second of deliberation. My brains would be against this wall. It would be the easiest thing I ever did. No hesitation. Release and peace. And if you said, 'a suicide goes to hell, that could be bad,' I would take the upgrade. Hell is better than whatever this is."

So since it's another day on the calendar, I created another great work of art that will do nothing for the cause. In my little list yesterday of things I have composed this spring thus far, a personal essay about climbing the Monument was cited. That essay is called "You're Up, You're Down, You're Up." You have seen excerpts from it in here. Well, some of those excerpts no longer exist. That's one reason I like to document things here. Sometimes there are outtakes. That essay was listed at 6000 words and counting, and this morning I composed, let us say, another 1500 words. And the whole thing ended up at 5000. How is this possible? It is possible because I am a ruthless cutter. I will cut out beautiful passages of writing if they don't serve the whole. This meant that the entire first section got the chop. A new beginning was made. There was too much preamble before. I am an unsentimental assassin when it comes to fixing a work. It's done now. It's special now. And as I completed the essay, I worked in my head on the new short story, "A man sitting outside of a school playground." Why? I have no fucking idea why. Why do any of it?

This is a new JazzTimes piece on Anthony Braxton--kind of. I've already taken Melatonin so I can go to bed and get up early and start again in this death trap. Emma knocked on the door the other day to ask if she could use the bathroom, and I wouldn't let her in. I took her to Starbucks. That's how bad it is in here. I just work. Then I climb so I don't have a heart attack. Then I work some more. That's all I do. And I am always exhausted. The more I produce, the better the work, the worse it gets. But if I do nothing, it will just be nothing. Nothing will happen. I need to destroy the pattern and get to entirely different point in life befitting my work, but I can't destroy the pattern, I can't break free of what has happened, is happening. I feel very good about "Dunedin" as a fiction work. I know that if people saw it, it would literally keep them up at night thinking about it. I know that today's essay is a bedrock, all-timer of an American essay. I know that "Dunedin" is an all-timer of a short story. But I can't break the pattern, and I am terrified that nothing save my death will. Then the people in my life will let my work die with me, and it will be as if I never existed. If I had more faith in them, I probably would be dead. That's a strange motivator.

On a vastly lighter note, I'll give a sports thought or two or three. The Bruins do not deserve to win this series against the Leafs. They were very passive last night. This series was there for the taking, for the team that was going to leap up and take it. That's not the Bruins. That was not goaltender interference last night, either. That was a good goal. I don't think it really matters, because they were going to lose, but you can't blame the refs. This is interesting: the two best teams I've seen thus far, by far, are the two eight seeds. Could we have an all-eight seed Final? I think one of them, at least, will get there. You know what Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon looks like to me? Future Conn Smythe winner. Also, maybe a future Hart winner. Wonderful player. Electric. It's not just his speed, but watch his side-to-side speed. Side-to-side speed is more important than straight-ahead speed.

Red Sox won last night, and are winning now. Eovaldi is on the IL. He might be damaged goods after that WS Game 3. Sale might be damaged goods. Pedroia may never play again. I feel bad for him watching him try to come back. Not that I pity him--he's made a fortune playing a child's game. But I don't see it happening for him at thirty-five, as a middle infielder. His flare-up was about as predictable an injury as can be. He won't be a Hall of Famer, either. He was on his way for a while. Great career. About the most wrong I've been about a player, too. In 2007, and he was standing back from the plate, and swinging from his ass with every cut, I thought there was no way he could touch an outside pitch. But he could. He was awesome. Still not sure how he did some of it. Should have had a couple more Gold Gloves, too.

I used to really like Easter. I even liked it for the first year or two after life fell apart. The rising again part--I identified with it. I shot for it. I only like three holidays: Easter, Halloween, Christmas. My horror interests are pretty well-documented. And then my love for Christmas, of course. I don't feel very resurrection-y right now. I do feel walled in a cave. And if I was able to pop the boulder off the cave's mouth, I worry that I'd then simply transition to rolling it up a hill ad nauseum. Still, this is Mahler's second symphony. I guess I'll lay in bed and listen to it. I haven't eaten today. My stomach burns. The opening of the final movement begins with the words, "Rise again, yes, you shall rise again/My dust." Echo and the Bunnymen had a good song called "Rust" that begins by talking about dust.


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