Wrote the "y'all" op-ed. I don't actually think I'd be (figuratively) lit on fire, should it come out. It's clearly not written from a place of mean-spiritedness. All of the points are fair--dead-on, I'd say--and the writing is at a very high level. Sent it to USA Today. The piece would have a big reaction, I think. A viral kind of thing, perhaps. I'm curious to see how something like that would go.
That makes seven formal works created and composed this week. Four short stories, a film essay, two op-eds. One can't really overstate just how hard that is to do. If you did seven of any kinds of works, even the same kind of work, just variations on a theme. Say you wrote seven hockey pieces. But no one would be asked to do that, because it's not very doable. And doing something like this? It's quite literally not possible for anyone else. Then you add these posts, you add the radio, and you add what I spent most of my time doing this week--writing people. Plus, of course, all of the miles and all of the stairs, all of the hills.
The links on the site are now opening in separate browser windows. So that's fixed.
Sent a nice pitch about Cape Cod literature to the Boston Globe Magazine. An editor I used to work for there has returned. Actually did so way back in 2019, but I was not aware of this until last night.
I've had Massive Attack's "Safe From Harm" in my head all week. Makes sense. Sometimes, as I walk, I turn my head and catch a glimpse of myself in a window. Before I know it is me, I have this double-take of fear. Because I see this look of determination in the eyes that does not even register to me as human. Then I realize it's me and I'm like, "Jesus Christ, dude."
Downloaded two different recordings of Pink Floyd at the Boston Garden in 1975, plus two different versions of their spring 1970 Fillmore West show. Am presently downloading Jimi Hendrix's complete 1969 studio sessions and The Syd Barrett Tapes, as well as various Stones concerts from 1965.
Recently I've made the "mistake" of trying to help some people. They've needed it. And I extended this help against my better judgment, because these are not good people. Unstable people as well. They'll always be that way, because they could never do the work that would be required upon facing certain truths, but they'd not even get that far, because the truths couldn't be faced. This was not the help of "here, let me tell you what's up," because I don't really do that, unless someone asks, or we've had a longstanding relationship that isn't where it should be. So this form of help can be reaching out to check on someone who has treated one quite poorly--even abusively--and say that I'm here, if there is anything that can be done, is wanted, needed. Anything at all. This is simply my nature. It's hard for me not to help, no matter what has been done. I possess too much empathy.
Empathy is fostered by imagination, and it's not hard for me to be in someone else's place. It's partially why my characters are what they are. They're less inventions and more people I visit with to the extreme degree that I enter into them. I see what they see, think what they think, feel what they feel. But I am not them. I don't like that I know that I should become a harder man, and that these altruistic actions often make me say, not long after, "That sucks, well, you know they were a horrible person, and that blew up like you knew it might have." I shared a run of texts with someone else yesterday, spun off from one of these "cases." That's really what they're like. And they're saying to me that this other person is completely unstable, and all of the other things I know they are. I need to get "better" at this. Which isn't actually being better.
A building has been being ripped down and going up, seemingly at the same time, across the street from this sty. It's been happening for a long time. So, most days, as I sit here composing, I do so to a soundtrack of jackhammering. This past week there has been no jackhammering, but rather these guys who just yell and scream in the street all day. They're like children, not men. Every thirty seconds, it seems, this one guy goes, "cuckooo, cuckooo!" as loud as he can. And these other guys, even though he's probably done this 2000 times, think this is hilarious. Every shouted sentence has at least one double negative. Having said that, their sports talk makes them no less qualified than anyone I hear on the radio whose job it is to discuss sports. Which is depressing. But there is nothing this society hates more or is less oriented around than merit.
Today I saw a tweet where someone wrote, "You literally don't know what literally means." What this tells me about this person is that they've likely said and/or written this 500 times in their life, and that they don't know what "literally" means. The way "literally" usually works is you have to have an otherwise metaphorical construction made actual. It's that simple. What is ordinarily figurative becomes literal. There's usually a kind of eliding at play. A slyness. A wink, a bending of expectations. "The elephant was literally in the room." So maybe that comes from an African screwball comedy where this cute baby elephant races into a home and disrupts the long-stalled wedding ceremony that hadn't happened earlier because the bride and groom had this big issue they couldn't talk about. The metaphor becomes the literal. Using the word does not give you more power, which is how people use it, to assert rhetorical dominance over someone else and proclaim you're in possession of the moral high ground. People who use a lot of "literally" in their arguments are usually morons. Also, insecure morons, and angry morons.
Time to exercise.
Walked five miles. Wasn't much, but it was something, anyway.
Hold up. Take a note of that. You just wave it away. Like it's nothing to you. Same as with the huge amounts of art that are created every single week, as though it's just a given. This is what's going to make it happen. This will be the reason why. When we're at one of the homes we will have, deep in the whole global domination thing, reading back through these very pages as they're prepared to go between hardcovers of what will probably be somewhere around volume fourteen of these journals, this will be the reason why. (Hello, future you!) You'll read an entry like this one, and you'll understand that that is why everything worked out. Because you were this way and did what you did, non-stop, every day. And you made sure you were strong enough to do it.
Facebook sends me photos from my past. As Facebook does. They are often photos from my beloved house in Rockport that I am trying to get back. These photos effect me greatly. They deepen my pain, if that is even possible, and they also make me work harder, even though working harder makes me create more and in turn causes these people in publishing to hate me more. In the other photos I look fat. I wasn't actually that fat, maybe. But I look fat to me and it's not how I should have been. So that is why sometimes now I take photos to hold myself accountable and make sure I am trim and tending to my heart health. Like with this photo.
I saw some of the Bruins/Islanders game last night. Looking at the standings, the Bruins will probably make the playoffs. They have games in hand, which can be a bad thing--a condensed schedule becomes more condensed. You can lose games you wouldn't have lost otherwise, because of fatigue. At the same time, you can't win consistently with Halak in goal. They need Rask back and playing the majority of the games. People are surprised that Carter Hart is struggling in Philly, but I expected this. You can tell how things get in his head and then impact his play. He's easily mentally rattled. Too much of a head case to be a long-term successful top goaltender. It's almost like you have to be detached in some ways, or be able to detach yourself. Rask has his issues, but he's this way. My feeling is he just doesn't care that much. Fuhr was also this way, but he was a weird cat. I'm not sure he remembered what happened two minutes earlier. Bruins were fortunate they got that point last night.
I get very thirsty at night and drink loads of water. I hope it's not the diabetes. But I also drink coffee all day.
Back from the cafe. Worked on the Beatles book there. Sent a letter with a story to a completely untalented editor and would-be writer, who has known nothing but privilege and cronyism, who maintains the class structure of publishing and will soon prove that they hate me on sight. I'm just waiting for the actual confirmation. Then I will light this person up on here, which is a lighting up of their system, of course. I have all of the information ready to go. It is impossible for any of these people to do anything but block you if they sense, feel, think, know, understand, that you are infinitely beyond them in ability and legitimacy. They'll stop you. They'll get off on it. It's bigotry, discrimination, sexism often, and so much damn envy. It's not your work that makes you. Your work has nothing to do with it, save that great work will increase their rage and envy. You're completely dependent on toxic people who'd want you dead putting you forward. You have no chance. I see them read the cover letter that destroys anything they'll ever do in life. I see them read it for twenty-nine seconds. I know they get off on having the power in that moment. I know how they've gotten the scant few things they've gotten. I know how rigged it was for them. I know how every last person has come to be in that particular journal. I knew who this editor/would-be writer traded the favor with. Then they tell me something else. They'll lie to me like I'm some idiot who just got started and doesn't know exactly what they're up to. I know the reason why, and they know it, and though they're usually pretty stupid, they often know that I know it. Then I have no recourse but this journal. Anyway, I'm ready to roll on this person. Will just wait to confirm with the email, which I'm sure they sent right away, not being able to resist the temptation.
This Beatles book is going to be special. I can already tell just how much it's going to be completely unlike anything ever written on the band. There are some people who will think--erroneously--that I was born to write this. No one will ever listen to that band the same way again or see them the same way if they read this book and read it fairly. By which I mean, don't do that childish, pathetic thing where there's an insistence that there be no intelligence and only cheerleading. But I have something major on my hands here.
And though this person is terrifying, at least their dating profile made me laugh.