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No water for the flames

Friday 3/15/19

Since 4 o'clock I have been ready for bed. Someone wrote me to say that it must be difficult to be smarter than everyone, but that people can still have their benefits. I don't know. I don't know that they're more character-laden than intelligent, and almost everyone is indolent. I don't think people try very hard to be anything. It's like when you're at the airport, you can walk to your gate, or you can stand on that treadmill thing that propels you along as you stuff a cookie in your face. I think most people in life take the treadmill thing. That's not a talent thing. That's a decision they make to be limited, to not try that hard. But, this person meant well. What I am supposed to do, I realize, is care that someone means well, but I usually don't. I care about results and what something actually is. I care about the quality of the final product. I care about if there is sense in what they've said. I know I do it. I know it doesn't help me be less alone. But I also know I feel more alone when I'm around people like that pretending that things are other than what they actually are.

I didn't walk or climb today. Yesterday I walked three miles and climbed once. I almost fell asleep at the Starbucks this afternoon. But at least when I sort of snapped to a hot girl was smiling at me and she said "sleepy?" I wrote 16,000 words in four days. (For those who might not know what that means, I would say, on average, it would take someone in publishing two years to write that many words, and their words would suck.) Which was really quite meaningless. Those words will not advance my cause. All that is worth is $900 right now. And yet another expansion on the prodigious body of work. I worked some more on "Double Loaded Stupid" in my head, and I may begin--and conceivably finish--a new essay tomorrow about climbing the Monument. Personal essay. Unique personal history. But what can I do with it when it is done? The mental discipline it takes to extend so much time and effort on creating works that will likely not be seen right now is beyond the pale. I saw someone whine on Facebook not that long ago saying, "I am going to change the point of view in my 5000 word story, and that is going to be so hard and there is no guarantee that it will work #thewritinglife #writingagain #iloveyaddo #thisiswhywewrite." Hmmm. #shutthemotherfuckupyoutalentlesslazyplonker. Anyway, the essay will be called "You're Up, You're Down, You're Up." I can always mine it or use chunks of it for the memoir of these years, whose name you now, if you've paid any attention, is the name of this blog. Though the series of books that this blog will make will have different names. Which you also know by this point. The memoir is about what has happened starting March 19, 2012 and how I have not only survived, but grown.

At the Starbucks I thought up more ideas for later in the year, if I am still mired in this hell and grinding away. This included something on In a Silent Way, Joy Division, a Raffles the gentleman thief Christmas story, the best song by the Rolling Stones, a Beatles film, Van Gogh and Christmas, Rankin-Bass's Frosty, John Atkinson Grimshaw, Robinson Crusoe's sequel, Picasso, Sprague Cleghorn, Boston Blackie, Pepy's diaries, Agatha Christie's Hallowe'en Party, Fitz-James O'Brien's "The Wondersmith." I pitched something on F. Scott Fitzgerald's "May Day" for May 1. The story is set on 5/1/1919. Someone else wrote to say that a scan of my brain would produce unprecedented results. Um, okay. I don't believe in any of that. Nor IQ. What I have comes from somewhere else. It's not like that. Everyone has a higher IQ than I do, probably. Most people have a higher IQ than Dylan. What's that tell you? Put no stock in these things. They measure nothing.

While trying not to drool at the Starbucks I read some of Stephen Hardy and Andrew C. Holman's Hockey: A Global History, which was put out by the University of Illinois Press, where there is interest in me doing a book on Billie Holiday but I have not gotten them the material they need. And also War and Peace, which I am rereading. I was engaged to someone once. An Oberlin student. This was in 2015. They learned what my ex-wife had done. With the whole ghosting at the level of a marriage thing. So, this person reprised that. Did the same thing. Having learned about it. That almost finished me, to be honest with you. After what occurred in 2012, after what had occurred in those interim three years, to have that happen--again--when I'd never heard of it happening once...yeah. That wasn't good. Horrible coward of a person. Anyway, she really liked Tolstoy. He had been her favorite author. And she said to me that me and Tolstoy were the only two people she had read who did a certain thing. When she read someone else, she said that she always knew that what was going to happen was going to come from one or two different directions. It was just a matter of which one. But you could see it telegraphed. Whereas, with Tolstoy and myself, what was going to happen could come from any direction, organically, and that's how life is. We were the only two who wrote life. She was dead right. Actually, when I see Emma now, I hope she won't end up like this person. She stopped growing, stared self-medicating, running, letting everyone fuck her for a sad stab at validation. Sometimes several at once. Then becoming more depressed. But she was probably really smart when she was Emma's age, and I just hope that Emma will keep getting smarter. I realize the greater likelihood is that she won't, she'll find some level she wants to stick at, or that she doesn't have the courage to get beyond, to strive forward in that individuality and wage the battle of finding people to have in your life who do their version of the same. Precocity doesn't mean a lot in this life. You can end up as an adult whom no one would ever believe was ever precocious at all. Your next shift is mostly all that matters. Write that one down too, maybe.

When I go on YouTube, there is often a Grammarly ad that begins "Writing is never easy." Writing is always easy. Here. This is one of the best rock and roll songs ever recorded. You may not have heard it. It's called "On Fire." By Spiritualized.


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