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This dog

Thursday 1/18/24

For the last few days I've been working on "The Ghost and the Flame." This is a major work. I should be done soon. I mean:

The man, or what had been the man, or what was most the man, and most the boy, knew he was in the room where it had happened. It was his room, with posters of famous baseball players on the wall. The room in which he grew up, or didn’t.

His mother must have gone there when he was at school. She must have been terrified. Trembling. She was probably crying, resulting in the stormy, stomping appearance of his father, who hated the sound of tears, which is a very real thing, as valid as a cry for help or a gunshot, as the boy knew.

She wanted it to be that room. No one told him after the fact. The doing. They weren’t going to tell him. She wanted his father to know that the selection of this space was not accidental. She wanted to show love, the best she could. And protection.

The ghost stepped into the flame, joined with it, because it seemed like there was nothing better to do, and just nothing else left to do, no other way to let go of everything that it had held on to for so long, including when the ghost was a man, and the ghost was a boy.

In the relinquishing came touch. Contact after the years apart. Droplets of moisture hung in the air, the illuminated tears for a past at last put gracefully to bed like a child who has finally lost its consuming fear of the dark.

Might we have a prose off coming? Hmmm. I think we do. In imagining the reaction of those on the losing end, I am reminded of those words of Stud Cole: Burn, baby, burn.

Stop the bigotry, make it right, and you put an end to it. Nothing else will. You would have a better chance calling off the dogs of hell than this dog, who is also entirely in the right, as everyone can see.

Also worked on Musings with Franklin: A Novel Told Entirely in Conversation.

Must do a Beatles piece, film piece, and an op-ed. Would be better to have those all done by tomorrow. Will need to buckle down for that.

Listened to the Vaccines' new album, Pick-Up Full of Pink Carnations a good fifteen times. This is a very good record. Also, the new Jimi Hendrix set from the Hollywood Bowl in August 1967, in which he pretty much mocks the audience for not getting or appreciating what they're doing (the Experience was opening for the Mamas and the Papas); the first two takes of "A Day in the Life" repeatedly for Same Band; A Hard Day's Night again; a Tallis Scholars album of Palestrina masses; an LP of Mozart overtures from Neville Marriner and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; and Sviridov's The Snowstorm, Miniature Triptych, his cantata, "Snow Is Falling," and Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien. Listened to and made copious notes regarding the officially released version of the Yardbirds' Anderson Theatre concert that came out a few years back.

Watched the British horror/sci-fi film, The Earth Dies Screaming. directed by Terence Fisher. These people are very relaxed during the early hotel pub scene considering everyone else is dead. I felt like pulling up a chair and getting in on the chat.

Also listened to the Quiet, Please episode, "Whence Came You." Most of the Quiet, Please episodes survive in poor sound, but this one--which is one of the best ones--thankfully sounds great, like "The Thing on the Fourble Board."

Downloaded the rest of the Standells' catalogue. I have those Sundazed reissues somewhere, but who knows where. Won't see them again until I get my house back. A couple different editions of the Byrds' Preflyte material as well. Also Robert Nighthawk's Live on Maxwell Street - 1964 and the Shadows of Knight's Raw 'n' Alive at the Cellar, Chicago 1966! which is a fascinating document from the vintage garage rock era, one of those things that you are surprised was made and exists.

Ran 3000 stairs, did 100 push-ups.

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