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Strong writing

Tuesday 7/6/21

Working hard on the Beatles book today.

I think someone is going to come here in September and try and help me make this space somewhat more livable. I'm so embarrassed--the shame is so deep--for how I live. I just want to get out of here. I want space, I want my books, records, DVDs organized, my art work on the walls of a house, I want to pace, walk floors, have everything be clean, comforting, and go to my desk and create, knowing I can relax later in comfort, find any record I want, any book.

I can't upload photos to the blog right now. Because of course I can't. Because nothing with this host site ever works, and the few things that do work, stop working.

I wrote an absolute masterpiece all-timer of a story today. "The Half Slip." It's 1400 words long. As pure as writing gets. It's about a woman who has two girls, age twelve and fourteen, and she's lost them in the past. She's tested for alcohol in her blood stream as part of her probation. Which has gone on for a long time, so there's been some really bad stuff. And she's been sober for a while, but in the story she's at home--they have little money--and she has what seems like this fairly expensive vodka she's gotten. She's alone, and the girls are off doing whatever. She's trying to figure out how she can take the drink. She goes into her history with her probation officer, rationalizes that they're kind of friends now, after a fashion, she could call her up, they could hash it out after, she'd understand. We go through aspects of her relationships, with people she's been with, what the family's Christmases are like, her relationship with the girls now, and when they were babies. As she's having this crisis upon which so much hinges. It's just a beautiful, beautiful, powerful story. So many killer lines. I don't like breaking down a story that way--every word has to tell--but damn there are some priceless lines in this story. There is an unrivaled raw power to the work, but also an unrivaled polished power. That's as good as I've done.

I can put up videos for now. I watched the 1949 noir, Too Late for Tears. A film I like a lot, despite its flaws. Saw it on the big screen at the Brattle a couple years ago. Hoping to be able to find enough funds to afford a Brattle membership now that they're reopening. Really it's my only social life. That and museums and the Aquarium, where my memberships have all lapsed as well.

The Arthur Kennedy character is such an idiot that you don't mind when he's knocked off fairly early on. Then again, Molly completely played me. I see these films, and I never see anything close to her level of evil. A complete sociopath. But it's another reason to try and keep going--to get to a place where I can tell that story.

With how things are and how I am it feels silly writing about anything but what pertains to those things. But I'll do it. I'll force myself. I awoke last night to hear that the Canadiens won in OT. They were leading when I went to bed. Just goes to show how hard it is for them to take a single game against a team like that. They need everything. I would expect them to get destroyed tomorrow night--6-1, 7-0, something like that. I can't see them being competitive. They needed their goalie to be otherworldly to have any chance, and he obviously has been pretty plain. This Tampa team is probably the best team this century. They have a lot of depth, high-end talent everywhere you want it. They're stacked. They could win next year, too. The class of the league.

I also watched Ford's 1939 picture, Drums Along the Mohawk, his first color film. I'm a Civil War buff and a Revolutionary War buff. I love anything Americana-related pertaining to old New England and old New York. New York state. The land of the Headless Horseman and Rip Van Winkle. The scene where the parson shoots his own man is well done. I felt the spirit of the land watching the movie, which is set during the Revolutionary War.

I listened to Jerry Lee Lewis's first album and the live album he cut in Las Vegas in 1970. Also, the Tallis Scholars' record of Christmas carols and motets.

This is the Johnny Dollar five-part episode I talked about on the radio tonight. Came out this week sixty-five years ago.

Talked about Dave Kingman as well. So enjoy this treat of a game from Chicago's Wrigley Field in 1979--a 23 to 22 slugfest. Reminds me of playing backyard baseball and losing balls because you keep hitting them into the woods or past the neighbor's yard. Weirdly, that Johnny Dollar episode takes place in Kingman, Arizona.

Here are some fascinating numbers. The Red Sox have a record of 54-32. That's a .628 winning percentage. Which is obviously awesome. But their run differential is only +64. The 43-39 Blue Jays are +73. The 52-33 Astros are +137. So more than double the Sox. Who have a better record. Normally, there is a direct relationship between run differential and quality of ball club. What does this tell us about the Sox? That they win differently than other teams. And they win differently than other teams have historically won. They win by scrapping. They come from behind. Oftentimes multiple times per game. And they win with bullpen pitching. A very different kind of formula for winning ball. And they also don't walk a lot, which bucks the trend of how the game is played now. They're going about their business in a way that is different from the rest of the league.

Today is the anniversary of the day Lennon and McCartney met in 1957. Here is a recording from that day:

Wow that was a strong story I wrote today. I didn't even plan it. Was working on the Beatles book, and something gave me an idea.


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