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Trio en route to quartet

Tuesday 11/26/19

I make this entry largely for posterity. It is hard for me to say much right now, considering what I have lately given. This morning I sat down to compose a story, and that story became a different story, such that the original story still remains and will be composed, but this work with its own eyes and aims, its own life and legs, emerged, it stole its birthright, you might say, or claimed it, and that story is called "Predict the Weather." It's narrated by a woman, and where it goes in its plot and how it is constructed is unlike anything I have ever seen. It cannot be overstated what the creation of such a work does to me. Again, the giving. The scooping out and the giving. Yesterday I composed another story, "Mr. Creed," a kind of monster story narrated by a woman looking back on a period when she was a girl, about the knots on the front of a door which assemble themselves into a human form; it is terrifying, touching, and ultimately uplifting, and throughout it is as surprising as fiction can be. Today's story was 1600 words, that one was 2200. The other day I began a story called "Wet Test," whose first section birthed another story; this is akin to what happened with "Dunedin" and "That Night," it's like a splitting of the artistic atom. Or the way Coltrane might split a note. I create a lot in those splits I make and discover, and that is all new to this year. The result is that "Wet Test" is ongoing, and that a new story was composed and completed, from the nuclear energy of the split, called "The Rulers of the Hertz." I've written nothing better in my life than these works. The surprise factor is at a level it has not been at in the history of letters. Everything surprises about these works, and all is integrated and organic.

This is the first paragraph of "Predict the Weather."


I used to think about those parents who knew they had a kid who wouldn’t live long, and they were going to get like five, six years with it. I’d wonder if I would have wished it to be my only child. You could start over after. It’s hard not to sound cold any time you are talking about people and starting over. Or if it would be better to already have a child when you got the one that was not going to be with you long, because even though your first kid would have to taste a form of hell, I think when you have a lone kid and then you don’t, you are not likely to have any others, but if one was there in the first place, you’re going to force yourself. Force yourself to parent and love. People don’t say this and they would never admit it, but loving someone is a lot like chopping wood. You have to get up and do it every day to have anything to show, really. The kid you started with, the kid who remained with you, would probably grow up to be wise. They’d spend less of their days watching cute animal videos and going to protests that were more like big block parties for attention and salutes, and they’d be that person you called, or leaned on—literally leaned on—after the husband left for good or the sister overdosed and it was time to walk out of the church, even though you hadn’t spoken in a year or two, because they had these principles you didn’t quite get, and they lived by them. You understood them later. And, sometimes, it wasn’t too late. I think we all want a kid like that.


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