I've worked pretty hard today. Pitched a couple horror related things, sent some of the new book--which is one of like thirty--to a couple people who will ignore it. This being There Is No Doubt. Over the past week, I wrote two huge masterpieces. Major works. And of length. I'll go into all of this later, as I said. I had mentioned this second one, knowing the other day when I started it--whatever day that was--Thursday, maybe--that it was big. Landmark. Then I left it there, complete. Now, anyone else would have called that the final version, and it would be better than anything else they could ever dream of writing. Not me. I had that breakthrough I spoke of, and that made the ending, and I was like, "Holy fuck" when that just opened up and there it was. But I still wasn't done.
I get up today, and I'm sitting at the desk at five in the AM, and I make a third file for this story, because now I want to move the blocks, move the pieces, erase, add, make it a big mess that's not a mess. And now I'm controlling so much at once. It's exciting. Because I am in complete control of a masterpiece that is being overhauled. I'm focusing especially on the first few pages, but then I'm coming up with other shit that is amazing, without trying, because I never try, I don't have to, it's all just going to come. And then there it was. I'll call it the most important story ever written. I'll call all of them that. You can't compare any of this to anything else out there. I'm still letting it sit. I'll come back to it in the morning.
Also this morning, I ran 3000 stairs. Then I walked five miles. Then I ran 2000 more stairs. The second time there was a tour group sitting the entire length of the giant stairs. People could not give a fuck about anyone else. I don't think anyone else hardly ever enters the mind of anyone. Because if you were that way, your first thought in a situation like this would be, "Am I in anyone's way?" Everything in the name of "cause" is for fucking show, attention, glory. But there I was, needing to break through the line, because you're not slowing me down. And I just dripped on people. That's disgusting. You have my liquid all over you. Sweat flying off me, flowing down my face and off my person. And they don't move, just sit there, oblivious, a lot of them chewing on whatever.
In the land of the Zulu, stopping is for pussies.
Read Poe's "The Lighthouse," the last thing he wrote, which is a fragment, and is not actually called "The Lighthouse," because he died without titling it and it just goes by that. Listened to some of 1937's The Cinnamon Bear, which was a whimsical radio series for children in the month leading up to Christmas. Also watched the Christmas episode from the first season of Father Knows Best, which was kindhearted. I like Robert Young as an actor. Watched René Clair's 1935 film The Ghost Goes West, about a Scottish ghost who has to haunt a castle because he let down the family in real life with the castle then getting taken apart and shipped to Florida wit the ghost going with it. Charming movie. Graham Greene was a fan.
Wrote Kimball about what we'll discuss on the radio on Tuesday: a jazz feature I did, M.R. James's "The Mezzotint," via a reading by Michael Hordern; the 1957 film, The Monolith Monsters and H.P. Lovecraft; and the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star," specifically the 2/13/70 version from the Fillmore East but also the concept and methodology of the track as a performance piece.
There are moments in art in which the universe cracks open and some of the mystery of what it all means escapes through. One such example is the simple tom-tom fill before the return of the chorus at 3:39 in Radiohead's "Let Down."
I feel like the Red Sox have reached a point where they can only beat teams that suck. Saw a thread where someone asked who the best goaltender of the 1980s was. Then you look at the comments and see Murray Bannerman as the first answer and Pete Peeters as the second. Remember when we discussed the "ass voice" in these pages? That's all anything is--people employing the ass voice. They will just say anything. And then want it to be valid and count for as much--or more--than anything else from anyone else, simply because their dumbass self said it. The best goalie of the 1980s was clearly Grant Fuhr. This is not a question of the most talented goalie of the 1980s. It's who, on the balance of the decade, was the best across those ten years. So obviously if you start midway through the decade--like Patrick Roy--you can't "win" this sort of thing, though Roy, of course, was better than Fuhr. You know who another solid choice would be, though? And I think this is interesting, if you were talking with someone who actually knew hockey--and that would be Mike Liut. I'd have him in the Hall of Fame, actually. Gretzky once scored a crazy goal on the face-off off of Liut in the 1981-82 season, after Liut had finished as runner-up to Gretzky the year before in the Hart race. Watch.
Reading Van Gogh’s letters circa 1889 is a shattering experience. “I’ve tried to force myself to go downstairs, but in vain.” The strength in this man.