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Wednesday 9/14/22

Things are bad. Does it need the qualifier? Things are bad even for here. They are likely about to get much worse and possibly worse than ever. Worse to point that there really is no point to get up again. Yesterday I asked someone, "If all of that happens, what do? What's left? Do I just go to the gun store and come back and shoot myself? What is left? What do I even write at that point?"

Started a story the other day. I have not figured it out yet. It's going to have to come to me. Thought about it throughout the day and have some thoughts.

Over the weekend I went through "The Fallen Leaf" and "Word Skills" again. There were half a dozen--maybe ten--changes. A word here or there. They're in their final versions now.

Someone told me that their girl performed "How Dark Does Night Get" twice for her family like a little actress. I wish I had people to read it to. Any of these stories.

I've been thinking about this sci-fi story about bullying.

Rarely do you want to get skulled by anything, but an acorn is okay, as that is as sure a sign as any that autumn has come.

Worked hard on the beginning of "Playing Legs." Coming together.

In subtle ways that would be detectable only to me, I'm writing differently all the time. I mean procedurally. How the stories are being made.

I hurt my neck/upper back on Sunday, like I pinched something. I've been on Advil since and am having a hard time moving. I ran 3000 stairs yesterday at Government Center.

On Saturday I walked three miles and did 500 push-ups. I heard a rumor that that Bunker Hill Monument was open so I raced to Charlestown for battle like a Redcoat. Sure enough it had just opened and for the first time in two and a half years I was doing stairs in the Monument again. The other stairs I've down were a holding pattern because nothing is like the Monument and I knew it all over again within ten steps, because I could feel it in my legs. This was a poor performance. My legs and lungs are not where they need to be. I did four circuits of the 294 stairs, and I was gassed. The stairs are deeper. It's hard. A ranger told me they are short-staffed so the Monument will only be open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but that's where I'll be on those days around 10 AM when it opens. I was disappointed in myself.

Having said that: In years past, the Monument has ended up being closed for most of the winter. Ironically, it was hardly closed at all that winter before COVID and I thought, "This is great, an unbroken period!" After COVID started, the Monument was still open for a bit before the official word to shutdown came down. No one was in there. It was just me, trying to get those last workouts. Remember this, publishing. Think of that image. The artist who never gives up and who will never stop. Who does everything he does for one reason. After those winter shutdowns, I'd return to the Monument and start with one climb and do that for several visits, then kick it up to three, then five, then ten, and as high as twenty. Three, five, and ten were the regular numbers, though, with five being what I thought of as my normal one. Then on Sunday I walked three more miles, did 500 more push-ups, and climbed the Monument five times. It was neither pretty or efficient, and I didn't run as many of them as I should, but it took about a half hour, which is what it should take. (Or twenty-eight minutes, really.) I couldn't have done much more. I have a ways to go, but it's an okay start.

I'm reminded of someone I know who once said to me, "If only I had a Monument like yours that I could climb that was down the street." I thought, "Yes, you'd go once, then you'd never go again."

I did push-ups in about fifteen different locations, and one of them was within the space of where the foundation used to be of a tavern that was erected in 1629. You could have been in there with your blunderbuss quaffing some ale in the seventeenth century, and someone could have said to you, "Many years from now, below where we are standing, the greatest artist there will ever will be doing lots of push-ups." To which you could have replied, "What are those?" and "Methinks the tale thee tells is strange, is fiercely strange." The tavern still stood when the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought.

Some guy went on my Facebook author page wanting to say something about the royalty op-ed that I guess was against me so he remarks that the Queen is better than the "poofs" running our country. The poofs. Put that right out there for all to see. So I look this guy up because I'm always taken aback by the lack of awareness and self-awareness that people possess. To possess a lack. Those four words say a lot about our world now. People possess a lack of fill-in the blank. We possess absence of qualities, not qualities of quality or substance. He's a big fan of the Beatles and BBC America. "Poofs." Don't go around using the word poofs. Do we really not know that?

A friend's sister-in-law was recently widowed with two kids. I sent her a note yesterday. I had some advice that I thought would be helpful. And words of support. I used to never give advice as such. I thought it wasn't my place. But that was to underestimate what my words could mean and how what I say will be different than what others say. I can help people with my words and wisdom, so I do. Yesterday I did so with my neighbor, and on Sunday with these longtime family friends.

People who read my essay, "A Midshipman Lights Out," which was published somewhere or other and is one of the pieces in Glue God: Essays (and Tips) for Repairing a Broken Self, will know the Admiral and the Captain. The latter is my mom's best friend. They've been friends since the 1960s. The Admiral is her husband. They book cruises. When I had to take my remaining possessions from the Rockport house I was forced to leave, which I am fighting so hard to get back, they took me there that day and were pretty much all that stopped me from having a breakdown on the property. I can scarcely what that house means to me. I am actually telling people in a way right now with something I'm doing, to which I am giving every part of myself, but I won't spell that out in this entry. A cagey reader will know anyway. And hopefully the world will know later. It's hard to have hope. Everything has been taken from me and what little remains is being taken, too.

I continue to have nightmares about that day. I have so much trauma seared into my being. Lethal amounts of trauma. I had to phone someone last week and apologize to them that I had only then opened their Christmas card. I have trauma related to the mailbox. I was married to someone regarding whom Dante would have said, "What do we do here? Do I need a lower level?" Then you had publishing, which is a further evil yet. But what that person did would have been far and away the worst thing anyone else would likely know in their life. I've never heard anything like it. I don't expect I ever will. I will write the book about that time period if I'm alive. That's not really what Glue God is. That period is touched on, as in, "Okay, there's a reason I had to put myself back together," but the book is about those techniques. The reassembly. I don't write self-help books. Can you imagine? "Walk thirty miles! Run 10,000 stairs! Write ten works of art a week!" But I do lead, I do inspire, I tell a good story, and I can give people things they relate to. And I can do that in writing that takes the form of literature and is also a friend, a beacon. A week or so ago, the Admiral had a small stroke leaving the beach. I wrote the Captain and I had a little bit of advice. There are a lot of things I'm bad at, and a little insight from someone seems like a lot to me. I'm not good at some practical things. I've found that people have their stuff that they're not super at, and it's usually the bigger things, rather than the practical things. I'm good at those. So a little insight here is similar. It can be useful. I used to think I'd only be telling someone something that was obvious, but what's obvious to me isn't to others.


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