I walk around singing Franz Ferdinand's "Katherine Kiss Me."
Katherine, kiss me
Flick your cigarette, then kiss me Flick your eyes at mine so briefly Your leather jacket lies In sticky pools of Cider Blackberry Your glances ricochet From every alpha male behind me Eyes like marbles on a washing machine.
I sing it again and again as I think about what is being done to my life, and by whom, trying not to let anger overcome me, focusing on creating, composing, what I need to do to fight back--and take it all down. Writing "Eede Upstairs" in my head. Wondering if the entire story can be told via what is inside of a car. Unity of time, place, action, though we go to other places, at other times, for other action, but we are always within the main time, place, action. Spider webs in autumn. Why they are there. Contrails just for you. Motel pool and walk to another family. Seat belt buckle compromises. Omegle. Beagle. Bagel.
I was playing hockey once. It was a meaningless game. More meaningless than usual--a spring league game. A fall league game. Whatever it was. When you drive to the rink all ramshackle-style with your teammates, and the big joy is the stop at the Taco Bell on the way back. I was in front of the net. A shot came from the point. The shot was deflected. A couple times. I shielded the puck, as it settled--in a fraction of a second--with my skate. For even less of a fraction of a second, no one had a clue where that puck was. But me. And I knew--in even less of a fraction of a second, with my back to the goal--that I would put it in the net without having to turn. Through my legs. I was the only one with that knowledge. And it was total knowledge. The goalie, I knew, would not move. No one would understand what had happened. And that's what happened.
I'll get a story on my stick like that, so to speak. "Fitty" was one. "Girls of the Nimbus" was another." "Eede Upstairs" is a third. Maybe with art, or art of this kind, it's not so much as what's on the stick as what you recognize as having carved out its patch in your soul. There are others I would have thought of this way if I had lived with them longer. Before their official creation. But I am realizing that my works have no official moments of creation. They are always there. Then I take them. I claim various states on their behalf. Written in my head. Working on in my head. Formally down on the page. Some come, and there they are. Others I take around with me.
Today I walked eight miles. I ran sprints on Commonwealth Avenue. Sprint a block, walk a block. At my new stairs, I ran up and down ten times. Just outside of Washington Square. Legs churning. My new stairs have a name I noticed today: Summit Path. And I thought, well, okay, that's appropriate.
Come out flying tomorrow. Enough with these books. Make it so they are crossed off the list. Then do what is next. And fight. And have faith.