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That's why I don't try

Thursday 8/24/23

Over the last two days, I've worked on eleven different works. Eight of them are now complete. I'll account for it all thoroughly later.


Found string-less versions of Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left and Bryter Layter.


Looking for an affordable version of M.R. James's 1925 volume, Abbeys, which is about, as one would expect, English abbeys.


It is hard for me to qualify things here in the masterpiece factory, and I have to come up with different ways of putting it. "If I hadn't written anything else but this one work in my life, I believe it'd be the best thing anyone has written." But the truth is, I've written all of it. To pretend for a second, though, the above quote could be applied to the story I think I'll be completing tomorrow, which is for The Solution to the World's Problems: Surprising Tales of Relentless Joy. The story, which is called "The Installation," is from some years ago, but I took it out and overhauled it. I've been working on it for a while again. Staggered me today.


Walked six miles this afternoon. Went to the Monument to run stairs but it was closed on account of the reconstruction being done to the outside. You can now see the scaffolding from this side of the harbor, which is still not halfway to the top. I don't know what the schedule will be. A sign does say that on account of this reconstruction the Monument could close at any time. Perhaps I should just do the City Hall stairs tomorrow.


Downloaded Skip James's 1931 sessions. The CD is somewhere but I won't see it until I'm back in Rockport. Part of my motivation: to be in my house, listening to Nick Drake and the Grateful Dead, reading M.R. James's writings on church architecture, windows open, smell of the sea coming in. I try to keep thoughts like that close by, to keep going through this hell.


It tells me all I need to know about a writer--well, lots of things do and I come by them quickly--when they talk about instincts in regards to humans. You are a writer. You're supposed to know what words mean and how people are. Certainly at a basic level. Humans don't have instincts. They have free will. People will want to argue this, but it would be like arguing that we don't breathe oxygen.


Steve McMichael made it through some round of cuts for the football Hall of Fame. I think he belongs. That 1985 Bears team should have someone else from the defense in Canton. Right now it's three guys. Make it four.


I did find an inexpensive ticket to that Paul Lewis performance of Beethoven piano concertos with the BSO in October. It's that Friday matinee, where it's the C-Dawg and then a whole lot of people over the age of eighty. I'm like a whippersnapper at those performances. Feel as if I ought to do something with a hoop and a stick and make like I'm Tarkington's Penrod.


Mookie Betts went 5-for-5 this afternoon and is now hitting something like .442 in August. He is a hell of a ballplayer. And they have him playing second base a lot and even shortstop. He doesn't have any errors this year in right or at second. I think he has three at short. He looks much happier in LA than in Boston, too. That's a stacked team the Dodgers and they're not even as stacked as the Braves.


The Red Sox are about to wrap up a rout of Houston. Say this: They could have quit after dropping the first two games of this series but they won a tough, tight game last night and now with this win they'll split the series. The series against the Dodgers at Fenway will mean something. The Sox need to win it.


Yesterday after I did three circuits in the Monument I was on the grass at the bottom doing my push-ups. You can imagine what I look like: focused, sweating, locked in, all business. As I was finishing these push-ups, I see this middle aged guy walking over to me, so of course I'm thinking, "What the fuck is this now?" I stand up and he says, "It's not easy for me to keep this body in shape for the women." Did you walk over here to do jokes, man? I won't indulge you. I won't be part of your little routine. I have no interest in that. But he keeps going, and he does his punchline: "That's why I don't try."



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