The meathead is an interesting creature to observe. I was at the Starbucks a little while ago (reading Billie Holiday's autobiography and making notes for posts on here that will be destroying multiple bigots in publishing--as one knows, I like to be thorough and airtight), when this meathead sat down and secured a footstool for himself. He positioned this stool in such a manner that it was in a lot of people's way as they came and went. But the meathead, being a meathead, was not even vaguely concerned by or discomfited by this. He produced an enormous bag of chips from somewhere on his person. A bag I had not seen until this point. Meatheads are very skilled at carrying around giant bags of potato chips. He then tore open the bag, feet still up, and my goodness--did this fellow destroy those chips. You know how when Cookie Monster gets going? Num num num num num and all of that jazz and crumbs flying everywhere? Well, big old CM had nothing on this meathead. Fascinating creature, the meathead.
Of course, observing this meathead made me think of my upcoming novel, Chads Say What: Being a Novel Novel for People Tired of Crying But Relieved Not to Be a Bro (and the Unification of America). For you see, this book is perfect for many kinds of people. If you are a misandrist who hates men, it is perfect for you, because you can feel like men are being absolutely skewered. If you crave a book that can rightly take its place as the funniest book ever written, then you have met your match. If you like satire and send-up, come on in. If you are a Woke Social Justice Warrior, here is a book where you can assert superiority as you read it as criticism of a terrible, terrible form of heathen who represents all that is wrong with the world. If you are a professor or literary student and wish to behold the invention of a new form of fiction, or write your dissertation on a pre-apocalypse, post-post-modernism avant-garde populist work, what a great fit for you. If you are a smart, balanced, judicious person like myself, who believes in actual equity and character and substance, and cares about true art and entertainment, yearns for the work that is equal parts both, then what an ideal fit. And, too, if you are a meathead, like my friend from Starbucks, you can read this and think it glorifies your kind, or, if you are a discerning meathead, you can think it does not, but hey, it's funny, you can quote lines to impress your brethren, and meatheads tend to be good sports when they are made fun of. In other words, it is truly a book to unite America, all of the extreme factions and everyone in between can think this book was written exclusively for them.
I began work today at four AM. I worked straight until 2 PM. I completed "Orange Needles," which is as good a work as anything I have written in my forty-four years of life. 2700 words. The fourth completed short story of the year. An absolute masterpiece. Will publishing let you see it? And when? Because it destroys anything being published anywhere. And it's not even better than the other three stories I have written in 2020. I am proofing it again right now, for the fifth time today, and also, simultaneously, proofing Chads Say What. Here are two more paragraphs from "Orange Needles":
What we will not leave alone, walk away from, can sometimes define us. I always felt that the hospital where your husband is used to fix the hole in you ought to have been a different building you went to than the one where you accompanied that same man into a room where you helped him pleasure himself into a cup, though “pleasure” is one of those words like paramounts and penultimate and membranes that has a knack for going wrong in my experience. Enter, then, formality: tests to just to make sure he was in the clear, insofar as our dilemma went, and he was not. I had already embraced the fault, as if it were my surrogate child. Keep trying, we were told, you never know, have fun with it, which felt a lot like handing someone an andiron and a can opener and saying “go to fucking town.”
During the first of our separations, wildly disparate as the two forms of them have been, I found myself drawing on that patch, as if I could question it, conjure answers from its sealant capabilities, find strength and clarity in just how steadfastly it had fused. When Jack was gone I drew once more, locating him in me near a place where we had made a child, in one regard, and also where we had not, in another.
At 2 PM, I walked to Charlestown. I climbed the Monument only once. My aim had been to run the entire 294 steps, and I got up to step 175, when I was halted by a group of people who, well, let us say they were not exactly Olympians, and they ate up all of the space of the stairs, like the meathead sucked down his chips. I walked three miles and climbed five times yesterday. And I must say--my legs are freaking jacked. You can't even press into them with your finger. My calves are rock hard muscle, and the outside of my thighs are like walls. It's pretty crazy. My legs were not this muscular when I played hockey.
I keep reading inane pieces about Tom Brady. I will say this again. Brady is more likely to return to the Patriots and play three more seasons than he is to leave them right now. He will return to the Patriots. They will reload. They will contend for the Super Bowl next year and for the reminder of Brady's time in football and New England, which will be one and the same, and will take him to forty-five, provided he is at the level he is at now, or damn close, and I expect him to be. Over those three years, they will be readying his successor. At forty-five, Brady will leave with one or two more championships in New England, and Belichick will remain, and a reasonable facsimile will continue. Sorry to disappoint everyone, but that's what's going to happen. Brady has to make a decision: Is he willing to play for less money than he is worth, by a lot, to stay in New England and win more championships? He should not want them to pay him what he is worth, because if they do, that means he has a bunch of guys around him who suck. And I don't think he wants that. So it's about priorities. I find it laughable and disturbing that a man who plays a boy's game and a woman who says "Look at my body, I am posing" have enough money right now to buy a small country. They shouldn't care, he shouldn't care. He should care about a seventh championship and an MVP at age forty-three and sweet, glorious history and proving everyone wrong. Not me. But then again, I do not suck at understanding sports, so I pretty much know what to expect here. And as I thought was quite possible all along, it looks like his offensive coordinator will be back. I do not think there is any rift between Brady and Belichick, and I don't think Kraft would stand by and not make sure they found a way. Even if there was a rift between QB and coach. Which I think is hogwash. Further, for everyone who says Belichick wants to prove himself by winning without Brady, I think that's bullshit, too. I think this guy, who is steeped in history, would love to win it all with a forty-three-year-old quarterback and it would probably have him quoting some old Earl Morrall line in his post-Super Bowl presser. Carlton Fisk caught when he was forty-five, Chris Chelios was one of the two best defensemen in the NHL at age forty. Do you know how much harder that is than being an NFL quarterback right now? And while we are at it, Lamar Jackson could well be out of the league while Tom Brady is still playing. I read something today like he had 900 rushing yards after contact. That's not going to work for long.
I also screened Demon Seed (1977). I will watch some football now. But lastly: Pat Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league at this exact moment. Not going to the Super Bowl and winning it this year would be a failure for him, I would say. Because he should be able to do that.