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Wednesday 1/13/21

Walked four miles yesterday, five on Monday and Saturday, and walked twenty miles on Sunday and ran the Boston College stairs ten times. Sunday also marked 1666 days, or 238 weeks, without a drink. Listening to a lot of Johnny Dollar programs, Joy Division bootlegs, Billie Holiday Columbia sessions, Arctic Monkeys, C.P.E. Bach the Magnificat as we speak), Franz Ferdinand, Liszt. Watching Riot in Cell Block 11, I See a Dark Stranger, The Lusty Men. Reading Grant's memoir, Mencken's journals, various Victorian era Christmas poems from American newspapers--I like to keep the Christmas going all year and will do so without hesitation or diminished effect--and The Breakdown of Higher Education.

Had a nice chat with my little niece and nephew yesterday. They're good kids. They get on the phone with me--speaker phone--and their voices are similar at first when they say hello, and when I don't know exactly who it is, they patiently correct me, but also as if to say, "really, Colin, come on," like I've let down the side. So yesterday it was, "Lilah?" And then, "(sigh) No, Charlie." They were having ice cream--an Oreo and peppermint combo--over at Grammie's and my sister was there, so I learned all about the ice cream, various PBS shows they like, and how Charlie's day of remote learning went. I should check the mail to see if the art work Lilah made for me has arrived. She's very sensitive and I like to tell her how much I love her art.

There's a lot happening and I won't try to document it all now. Some rather interesting posts will be coming. I will not veer from purpose and purposes as the latter arise. They're situational. The former--or what I mean by it--is the constant. When I move, it is with maximum thoroughness. I may channel emotion as drive, but I will not act out of emotion. Which would be better, say, for an enemy.

Speaking of Johnny Dollar the character--I like those shows for many reasons, and I think some of them are brilliant. A word I do not use capriciously. But one personal reason is Dollar's skill at his job. Out of all fictional characters, he may be better at his job than anyone. He's better at his job than Holmes is at detective work. He has that rare blend of extreme--but sensible--confidence, and humility. He knows what he know--and no one can undercut his confidence there--and he understands when he doesn't know something, and works to know it, or do what he has to--bring in who he has to--in order to solve the problem. He's witty, and you don't expect many of the things he says. Someone calls him on the phone, they ask how he is, and he says, "You live, you die." It's this one-off, his version of "Hey, what's up?" in that random moment. But in the aphoristic voice that does not feel aphoristically oriented. It's not there for show, or quotability. My mom likes to listen to things at night when she goes to bed--actually, she listens to Downtown--so I sent her a couple links to the five-part Johnny Dollar episodes from late 1955.

Someone sent me a nice note about how much they loved my reading of that John Clare poem on the radio. And there was another nice note about my writings on F. Scott Fitzgerald that I really appreciated, plus one about the coming Scrooge book from a big-time admirer of the film. They really knew their stuff and shared their Scrooge-related tradition with me. I thought that was pretty cool.

I feel my abilities growing. Powers. I feel myself changing again, becoming yet stronger as an artist, entertainer, human. Someone asked me a while back what it was like to be as I am, another writer, was it like just feeling things surge through you? It's more than that. I would estimate that I am 400% better as an artist than I was at a year ago this time. I don't mean in terms of what is produced--it's all at the same level. I mean on the inside, in the actual production. In the rapidity of my mind, the ease of creation, invention, the further extension of range.

Text exchange:

C: You know that feeling when you're randomly walking and a masterpiece for the ages just comes to you?

Y: I do

Y: It's a great feeling

Y: I just had that happen - I was walking through Home Depot and it occurred to me that I need to wait to seal a clients garage floor until the spring because the sealer will cure better in the warm temperatures

C: You get it

C: You know what they say

C: "You can cure a ham any old time, but best to leave a garage floor to the spring"

Reminder to self: Matchless art, maximum purpose, no mercy. Let's get after it.


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