Thank you to those who have sent kind messages lately about this journal. We have reached a milestone in it as of this entry. More on that in a moment. Something special is building here. But allow me a quick remark.
If you like this, as it becomes more a part of your daily life, I urge you to purchase my books. They are, more than anything, what I do. They are, more than anything, where the whole of my ability and humanity go. I totally understand if you feel like, "Shit, books are so boring." They usually are now. Believe me, I feel the same way. I'm like you: I want to be entertained, moved, I want something to feel deeply, to care about. And if there are other surprises--if I learn how to live and love better, if I connect with a character who becomes my go-to, if I can't wait to what I just read again, if I have a companion for a dark time, a different kind of dancing partner for a happy one, if I can't wait to share that book with my friends, that's a bonus, but I think you'll find the bonuses here. You will. These are not books like most books. They are not books like anything. They are not like any works of art you know, anything you have ever experienced, and yet they will serve as a prism for much of what you have experienced, whom you've known, how you've felt and thought, wondered, wondered if you dared to dream, dreamed when you dreamt. They'll bring you home to you in a way that...look, I get that one is supposed to do false modesty. Or is that just the person of no ability, let alone genius, who had things given to them that they didn't deserve? But I think the people who read my work, who see my mind, know that I am not about modesty, nor about boasts; I'm about what is. This is. Other writers would say it if they had these works, but they don't, and I'm not going to pretend that they are not what they are. No one who reads the three will fail to know, to feel, to experience exactly what they are. A fourth is coming out soon, but what is available now is Between Cloud and Horizon, Dark March, The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe. I'll put them up against any work anyone else has ever done. And I'd feel good about that. Look, I hope--and I make no secrets about this--to make an absolute fortune, and I don't think anyone can fault me for wishing to be compensated in line with my abilities, especially after all I've fought through, all I fight, for the general good of a greater good. But no matter if you gave me a five million dollar advance, I would still be writing that book for you. I am writing for you. To you. And trust me, I didn't fuck that up with the quality, the value, of what I have to give you.
Made my return to the air of Downtown after a three week hiatus. This was a very good one, and you get to hear me do lots of voices! I do my patented Boston meathead voice, and you get to hear me talk like I'm a woman. We were talking about the Kinks and The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society, but as per usual, this stretched out into larger ideas.
Boy was I wrong about that football game last night. A Clemson steamrolling. What was Saban thinking, though--not that I think it would have made a difference--with that fake field? That completely ended the game. Last night I could not sleep and was up until two, so while I was up I gave more thought on how I want to do that aforementioned book on comebacks. There was an entry a while back about what I had to write at the time, what I would be writing going forward. It's rare for anything to come off a list like this without it being realized, but works are added. I see that three of the new stories, "Jesus H. Christ," "Pillow Drift," and "Mission Brick Candy" are not listed here, because they did not exist in my mind at the time. So, right now, in this planning phase, some of the comebacks--and the people- that will be featured are the 1982 Miracle on Manchester between the Kings and the Oilers, which I wrote about once for The Atlantic; Satchel Paige; Game Five of the 1986 ALCS; Bill Richmond, Tom Molineaux, and Tom Cribb, three pugilists from the 1800s; Clint Malarchuk, Joe Montana, and Elena Mukhina; the 2016 Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Falcons; the Clinton LumberKings; the 1977 New Mexico State Men's basketball team; the 1994 high school football game between John Tyler and Piano East. There will be many other stops, with other people and events interwoven, and this is all fluid right now.
What I know I want to do is employ light first person--so it's not a memoir, but there is a personal element--with sports history and gripping storytelling, and applicable ideas, philosophy, psychology. Right now this is called It's Not Like They Shut the Lights Off: Faith, Fortitude, and How the Greatest Sports Comebacks Can Help Us Live Better Lives. I feel, given this rigged system, that I am always down 28-3 with five minutes remaining. I know what a comeback is. I understand what it is to come back, or to try to, when the referee has their arm up in the air to whistle you for a penalty before you've even hit the ice. Gotten the bus to the rink. Had a shower. Woken up. Just like I'm going to know what it is like to have bested all, come the whistle that matters. That could be the title of something. See how easy writing is? La la la. Write write write.
Fun exercise: name the best NFL team of this century not to have won the Super Bowl. Me, I'll go with the 2006 Chargers.
Pitched something on Picasso.
Took a quick stroll to the Aquarium today. This is the Custom House in the haar.
And this is Murray the moray eel, about whom I will write a children's book someday. This is a rare sleeping shot of Murray, who is quite passed out here, sated with the blood of his enemies, this school of fish that live near the brain corals that he always preys upon. If ever an eel would declaim, "Suck it, fishes!" it's Murray.
This is me, at Starbucks. I am the Walker Evans of the bathroom. Obviously that's not true. But this is what I look like on January 8, 2019.
I had mentioned that this was a notable entry. It's entry #140. It takes about seventy of these entries to make a book. I have been writing this, since I began it in June, as a series of books. Eventually, it will all be collected together, put between hardcovers, put for sale on Kindle, etc. I see you Pepys, and I think I can do what you did much better. At the same time that I am documenting a mind and a life, I am, I believe, documenting an ascendancy, an overcoming, a revolution. As I wrote at one point, the first book will be called The Fleming Journals, Vol. 1: Ask a Question and You Present Your Heart. This second book will be The Fleming Journals, Vol. 2: What's the Problem--Reality?
Listened to Little Willie John's Sure Things and started to dip into the now-officially released outtakes from Dylan's Blood on the Tracks sessions. And now I have to go watch some hockey, and eat a cucumber, because I have not eaten today. In the meanwhile, turn the foldback on, please. Because I will give you everything and more.