Yesterday was the five year anniversary of my sister Kerrin's death. I called my mom twice. Texted her a bunch. I had sent her a card with some advice--or let's call it a thought--and she thanked me for it but said she couldn't really do what I suggested. Floated, I guess you might say. My mom and I are very different. She has kept going, of course. That is to be commended. But what I have come to realize--and it's no knock on my mother--is that very few people fight. They go on. Maybe. Sometimes. But to change everything, get better at everything, do what needs to be done differently, get up earlier, fight harder, fight back, people don't really have that in them. That I had that in me, that I do that, hasn't helped me, it has made things worse when I have done everything right, things that you could not ask of anybody to do, in the most adverse conditions. But maybe it will. What do I mean by it? Well, getting up every day at dawn and creating masterpiece after masterpiece, working harder than is humanly possible, giving up drinking when you are in so much pain, forcing yourself to walk twenty miles, to climb a tower every day, again and again, forcing yourself, forcing yourself, in your complete isolation and loneliness, playing for a future, trying trying trying creating creating creating never giving in, evolving, exponentially: Despite ceaseless hell. When it is so easy to give in, you do everything you could ever imagine yourself do and then some harder than ever. I asked John a while ago what he would do, and he said if it were him, he'd be living at home, he would not be able to function. My sister and my niece took my mom out for lunch, then she went over to my sister's house for dinner. I am pretty sure she did go. I went to bed early so I could get up and fight some more. I walked three miles yesterday, climbed five times.
I completed a story called "Authenticate." The forty-ninth since June 2018. I began it a week or two ago. There is an excerpt from how it looked then up on my Facebook author page. There's different content at different places. The excerpt looks nothing like what the story became. The excerpt was almost folksy, it was too fuzzy. That is all gone. It's a Halloween story, but nowhere in the story now is Halloween mentioned, that is how you have to do this. There has to be implication. Don't distract anyone's focus, don't build a lodge on a day. That's not expansive enough. I still need to go through it a little more at the back end. I awoke to read a very sad--the pain was deep--text from my mom about her last time being with my sister. Emma and I had been texting a little, and she said there is nothing really that one can do. I told her that there is always something we can do, there are always ways to help, even if we do not take someone's pain away or even cut into it a little. There is nothing anyone can do to get me out of this hell. My leaving of it will be because of my genius, whatever the given prompt is, be it a work, something I say, someone who finally says, "this fucking guy is the guy, let's see if we can grab him and put him out there," luck, timing, who knows. But it does help when someone like Kimball reads a story and weighs in on it, letting me know the unique and powerful way in which it affects him, becomes part of who he is, or John has advice about something given his perspective on this situation and his intelligence and experience in knowing what I am dealing with, or Aaron sends me an email about how I'd be perfect to write about some box set he's learned is getting a release. Those things matter a lot. So, these are separate ideas, I tell Emma. Anyway, after reading that text from my mom this morning, I texted Emma and said that I was just glad she was safe and don't say anything in flippant in response. Which she might have but probably not. But sometimes it's like things just have to be what they are, they can't have a joke coming back. I just wanted her to know that, give her a hug, kiss her on the top of her head, in part for my sister.
I woke up to check the score on the Patriots game, my chief interest being if they tabulated another shutout. If one reads these pages, follows me on Twitter--which is unlikely, since that's like fourteen people--they will recall how very early on, before anyone else, I was remarking about the historical nature of the Patriots' defense, that they could well eclipse the likes of the 1985 Bears, which is a whole different notion in the offensive video game NFL of 2019. I check the Twitter feed. I see the sports punditry--people who make millions of dollars talking about sports--saying brilliant things--I saw this a bunch--like, "The Patriots have literally played nobody." Really? Literally nobody? So, what, like ghost squads? A team of wraiths from Hades? Literally nobody? Someone like Skip Bayless is powerfully stupid. It's not just that he's not entertaining, he's not articulate, he's just dumb. I have a cousin who is rock-like obtuse. A bag of rocks sizes her up and thinks, "Shit, we can trick this one." Bayless is like that. The rock bag would be a 17-point favorite.
As for the Patriots not having played quality competition, it's how the league is. What quality competition? And every team scores points. Any quarterback can throw for 350. That's how the game is played now. They're not giving up 20--they are giving up 7, 0, whatever the number may be. Even bad teams get their 20, 24. These guys are the best in the world at what they do. On all of the teams. And almost half a season is almost half a season, that's a true sample of what else is out there, it's not a given week or two, that's an honest read on the quality of the league, mooting the exact specifics of your schedule. We'll see where it goes, but this was not hard to see coming. In the 1930s, you could lead the league averaging 2.7 yards a rush. That was heroic. That's how little offense there was. The Patriots defense is outperforming the defenses of that era when 10-7 was an insane shootout.
You know who would be a lot better to have talk sports for lots of money? Even the bag of rocks would know the answer to that one.