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The point of being alive

Monday 3/7/22

* I'm writing the introduction to that book I mentioned yesterday.

* Yesterday I wrote an op-ed for St. Patrick's Day on drinking and how I gave it up. It's a great piece. For many years, I drank upwards of thirty units of alcohol a day. A unit of alcohol is a beer, a glass of wine, or an ounce of hard liquor (a shot). I have tips. We look at everything as an act of heroism or victimhood. What about treating things as tasks? What you simply get done. Take out the trash. Meet the deadline. Go a day without a drink for a start. Build it up.

* Yesterday marked 2072 days, or 296 weeks, without a drink.

* Today I ran 5000 stairs.

* Yesterday, in following from the 10,000 stairs I ran on Saturday, I ran 10,000 stairs again. I've run as much as 20,000 stairs in a day, but that was the first time I ran 10,000 stairs on back-to-back days. Degree of difficulty is about the same, because there's some muscle fatigue from the day before. In theory. I felt fine, pretty much.

* I was at the cafe working on a Beatles project so I didn't see it, but the Celtics beat the Nets in what seemed like an exciting game. This team takes you up, and they take you down. Maybe they'll peak at the right time and keep it together. They have the talent to win the East.

* Someone read the Putin satire I wrote the other day and then went around all weekend quoting it and laughing their ass off. Phoned today and asked me if I could do something book-length with it, like Meatheads, but with Putin. Then we talked about how the drones of publishing would be horrified by this, not get it at all. And they wouldn't. It'd have to be put to them in such a way where it was billed by the right kind of people as this blah blah that foregrounded geopolitical absurdity blah blah blah. They're so fake that they'd buy in then, hail it as this modern Swiftian masterpiece. But, I don't have people doing that on my behalf, certainly, so what I have is an amazing, ingenious, spot on work that no one is going to get to read/experience right now. It's so good, though. I can't stop quoting it. I could write a book-length geopolitical satire that covered so much about our world via this Putin character from this story, who obviously isn't the same as real-life Putin, save at a core essence. Don't be bitch would also be an effective T-shirt, once the sales racked up. Besides being uniformly awful, all of the modern fiction I see is uniformly humorless. Lifeless, of course. But there is never any humor. These people hate it as much as they are incapable of it. That's part of why they hate it. Humor is natural. These people are unnatural.

* I mentioned "Find the Edges" the other day, in that discussion touching on Harper's. It's in Cheer Pack, that story. I saw where someone had written about it, and they said it was a "very very very sad story." Something like that. I think there were three very's. I wouldn't say it's a sad story. Sad things happen in it. Sad things happen in life. But that wouldn't be what ultimately makes a story sad to me. Not at all. In fact, I'd never characterize that story as a sad story. In the end, they are intact. There's that beautiful scene, where the neighbors--and you have to be a kind of loving person yourself, to intuit as these neighbors do, and to behave as they do--drop off the two boys who get into the car with the protagonist. They come together. After all that has happened. Is that not hopeful? Is it not the start of healing? Is that sad? I don't view hope and the start of healing as sad. I think it's too easy and misplaced to say, "well, this is a very sad story, because these things happened to these people." Where are they come the end? Are they apart? Together? Are they together within themselves as individuals? What might become of them? Can they know happiness at some point? Can they help each other to come to know it? The answer to those last four questions is closer to yes than no. I wouldn't say that makes for a very, very, very sad story. I'd say it makes for a human story. A story of extreme humanness. I will never call extreme humanness sad. I will call it the point of being alive though.


* It's twenty of one now. The introduction is complete. 2500 words.


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