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Tuesday 4/20/21

My spring streak of at least three miles came to an end over the weekend, in which I did no physical activity on either day. I did walk six miles yesterday, on Patriots' Day.

Someone I know was telling me on Sunday that they do not wish their children to write with all of the LOL OMG chic U R nonsense. They were at a birthday party, and this fellow's sister-in-law got in his face, saying, as he told me, again and again that he was "cray" for thinking in this manner, and that texting should be for fun.

I asked this person why someone else would think it's fun to sound like an idiot. I cannot take a person seriously who communicates this way. I speak only for myself. I cannot respect them. Immediately, in my view, they have told me that they are not worth listening to. (I am being delicate here; what I actually think about them is something I'll not say.) If I must interact with them, they're a problem with which to be dealt, to be done with, ideally, as quickly as possible.

One's language is often one's first impression to the world. New parts of the world into which we come. New people whom we meet. The language we use says a lot about us. Our minds, our character, who we are, what we offer. Speaking like an idiot saves no time, it saves no energy, and it costs us, when we meet the people who are worth our knowing. Self-respect is also involved. Have respect for yourself to put your best self forward. To have your words valued.

This person detailed how his brother-in-law--who was wearing Capri pants--proceeded to get drunk on bottle after bottle of Samuel Adams, which he called Sammies--and then tried to stand on his head. Sunday night at a kid's birthday party.

I had to get up and make some hibiscus tea for my blood pressure. (NB: Having read that mushrooms promote heart health, I've also become a mushroom guy. Lots of mushrooms of late.)

But it's not even just what a person is saying in that moment, that sentence, that text. It's often not. It's what it says about them. Also, we are rarely compartmentalized. There is so much bleed-through in our lives. What we do in one area, influences other areas. What we are in that one area, becomes an awful lot like all of the other areas. And vice versa. The breakdown of our culture and society began with the breakdown of language. That breakdown has been a path to unwellness, at the group level, and the level of the individual. Connection is destroyed, self-esteem is gobbled up and replaced by inferior substitutes. Healthy, active, forward-moving behavior is replaced by the passive aggressiveness that now dominates the world. I don't think that's going too far. It dominates human existence. And for God's sake, if a person wishes to be funny, be funny. Nothing ever became funny because they stuck a "LOL" after their remark. And nothing was ever thought to be funny.

There is a little girl who lives upstairs named Bella. I like her. She's cute. She asks a lot of questions in a very soft voice. She asks about the flowers outside my door. But she runs around their apartment non-stop. Constant drumming into the floor. (They don't live there full-time; I think they must have a second home which is their primary home.) She has some quick feet. There is no respite from her pounding. Boom boom boom. I think somebody else would knock on their door and say something--it's maddening--but I also don't want to dampen the child's enthusiasm. Ironically, when she goes out with her mom, she doesn't like to walk. The mom will say, "We'll walk," and she's like, "I don't want to," and into the stroller she goes. Maybe walk outside more, and run inside less? Though that's a mom thing, not a child thing.

Have noticed how easy it is to go into a Boston bar or cafe that has half a dozen TVs and the Red Sox game will not be on. Not even yesterday, for Patriots' Day. How things have changed.

Downloaded a fifteen-disc set of Hendrix's complete studio recordings from 1969.

For my own organizational, grouping, and planning purposes, this is the clutch of music books I intend to do: the first Beatles book, which is well underway; Blackened Birds, which is about the influence of American Black musicians on the likes of the Beatles and Rolling Stones; the Joy Division book; the volume on the guitar solo in Pink Floyd's "Time," which I've recently detailed in these pages; books on the Who, Radiohead, plus collections of my writings on jazz, and I'd like to do one on the Stone Roses at some point, but I have more concern about the Roses and Who because on the face of those subjects that wouldn't sell as well. Now, if I am where I am trying to get to, and the book isn't looked at as a book on the Stone Roses but a book by Colin Fleming, then it's different. But right now, Same Band, which is the first Beatles book, Blackened Birds, the Floyd, the Joy Division, and the Radiohead have the better commercial prospects. Same Band will definitely sell if Da Capo or a large press put it out.

"Sammies." Good Christ. Samuel Adams used to be my favorite beer before I gave up the drink. I'd take some up on the roof and read. I drank so much. I'd start earlier and earlier, too. One o'clock, two o'clock. Easily 100 units of alcohol per week, a unit being a glass of wine, bottle of beer, or ounce of hard liquor.

I was telling someone yesterday that art is all that matters to me. It's everything. It's all I care about, think about, want to make, be surrounded by and immersed in when I get my house back in Rockport. It's all that interests me, it's the lens through which I view everything. I don't have a second when I'm not thinking about art. There is nothing else that is compelling enough to me, has the depth I need, holds my attention and fires my imagination. There is nothing and no one I could ever love like I love art. Nothing else excites me. Art is all for me.

I read an article last night where these doctors said--are now saying--that turns out one did not need a mask outside all along. I have never worn one. I am not going to walk outside, or run, or do my stairs, in the fresh air, and inhale my own spent breath. How many people said something to me, in all of my thousands of miles? About a half dozen. One was a male--a groundskeeper at Boston College who was twenty yards away from me with no one else out as I ran my stairs. One was an insane Woke woman in Brookline who screamed and took flight across the street. Totally normal. We were about fifteen feet apart. I'm sure she's very stable in her life. She called me a "cocksucker." A person like that lives for moments like that. She wants to have it. That's her life, that's her identity. We are a fundamentally unwell society.

I believe in mental health, daily growth--hourly growth--physical fitness, listening to John Coltrane and Mozart, reading Keats and Thoreau, regular, challenging exercise, and effort, not excuses. Do that, and we're all fine. We're all great. We're all healthy. Society is healthy. I also believe in Darwinism, and rarely in my life do I have a level playing field. I will embrace the level playing field. Further, my life is controlled, owned, and made unlivable by people who do not work on their mental health at all, and their failure to do so creates a daily life and death struggle for me not to die by my own hand. They flaunt their lack of mental health. If they were not going to work on a part of their health, which is the far bigger problem in the world, and is actually destroying the world, I was not going to indulge anyone or anyone's deficient understanding of science by humoring them with a cloth.

I have created more work than I have ever before, and my fitness is what it is. This I have done while so many others who hate me have said they cannot do anything. They hate me more as a result. As they sat around, creating nothing, doing nothing, becoming less well, and less healthy. Now, would I have gone inside with lots of people, sans mask? No. I've been to no parties, no retirement homes, and have not so much as touched a single human being or been touched by one in a couple years. That's my life right now in this hell. I may not have been comfortable sitting in a full football stadium of people either. But walking on my own? Running stairs? Keeping my distance? Not once did I wear that mask. Additionally, to do so would give me a headache. I suffer from violent migraines. I was also not willing to have migraines to humor people who do not tend to their mental health, which affects me at every single level of my existence. Also, I work constantly in my head when I am outside. There was also no way I was going to let anyone, ever, infringe upon my ability to create. I kept a mask in my pocket. When I went into the Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, I put it on. When I came out, I took it off. Just in case, I kept a wide berth of everyone. Less a "just in case" for me, and more for them, and also because I had no interest in dealing with grumblers or confrontation. And I went about my journey, and all that ensues.

Out of those six people, the one who perhaps stood out the most was a woman in Brookline who yelled at me as she was emptying her garbage--dumping it right out--on Beacon Street. Not putting out a bag of the garbage. Actually emptying the trash in the street. I'd never seen that before. And it was like noon.

Some pretty intense stomping going on upstairs right now.


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