Half past four in the late afternoon. I prepare for the week. Just back from the harbor, where I read Thoreau's journals. I toggle between the NYRB edition and the complete journals on my phone. At some point--certainly when I am in Rockport--I'll acquire the whole, unabridged shebang in book form. I'll pay whatever I have to for that when I have the means and the space.
Today marks 160s days, or 229 weeks, without a drink of alcohol. For the third day in a row, I walked eleven miles and ran the BC stairs ten times. Didn't stop once with the thirty runs--up, down, up, down, up, down. I tailored an op-ed pitch I'm still working on regarding the lost art of humor--human humor--in today's world, where humor, such as it is, is often disconnective, a pose, attitudinal shtick, defense-mechanism, attempt to be cooler than someone else. People call it "snark," a term I loathe for a kind of false-humor I loathe. I am dead confident I have written the funniest book there has ever been in Meatheads--until Musings with Franklin comes out to tie it--and it spares nothing in its humor, but it is human humor. Not that it's touchy-feely humor--there's a lot of edge, which makes it more real. Not a lot of books have a haunted Hitachi vibrator. But I guess a person has to experience it. It's just unique. I can't compare it to anything. I feel like there is no one who does this right now--it's all cooler and holier than thou. I don't do that. I don't need to do that. I have so much more that I can do with how I make people laugh, and so I do it. But when people say that Meatheads makes you a better person, they're talking about a number of things--the surprising and epiphanic nature of the book--what you discover about yourself via this person--this kind of person--you think you are so different from--but they're also commenting on the humor. It's a binding agent. It's a connector--not a pusher-away. Not some wiseass grab for more followers who are similarly insecure about who they are on the inside. There is power in these works I am creating to shake society. Now, and for a long time. Indefinite time. If enough people see them, and I get out there, I have the platform, I have the mouthpiece.
I worked a lot in my head today on "Eede Upstairs," another short story which I have not formally started. But it will be a doozy, and I'm getting certain things "head right," if one will; of course, I am also writing two dozen other works simultaneously. The way it works for me is once I figure something out, I need not have it written down, I need not think about it for seven years. It's like breaking a horse--you break a horse, you can just walk up to the corral and ride it. I have these pages in my mind holding every relevant thought, feeling, exchange, invention, stray daydream that will matter later, in my work, that I will ever need. They are always there when I want them, once I have "broken" what I need to break. And I know that. It's not faith--it's a kind of total knowledge that I reduce to "that's just how it is." I also worked more on how I'm going to handle this Billie Holiday book. It's time to finally start moving, get the possible--and likely--press what they need to see from me, and crack on. I wrote Meatheads in a week. I wrote the Sam Cooke in a month--not working every day. Probably twelve to fifteen writing sessions. Writing books has become for me what writing stories used to be for me. If this ever changes, that's will mean a lot later.
I saw that Notre Dame beat Clemson--hadn't realized until the game started that Trevor Lawrence wasn't playing. I sense that he is not this end-all, be-all QB that people tout him as. He's more Andrew Luck--if he's even Andrew Luck--than Peyton Manning. I didn't see the second half--I get up at like four, so that can be tricky. Sounded like a great contest, though. Clemson feasts year in, year out in that soft ACC. BC, meanwhile, had a very lethargic performance in Syracuse. Get it out of the system. I do think they will give Notre Dame a game next Saturday.
I'd like to see Brady do well tonight. He's on pace for 4400 yards, 40 TDs, 8 pics, 103 rating, 12-4 record. If he does that--or better, obviously--he'll be the MVP. In theory, he should be getting better, now that he is settled in.
The Italian-American club is forty yards down the street from me. On days like this when it is unexpectedly warm, the members of this club--men in their fifties and sixties, none of whom seem to own a neck between them--come out into the street and drink. To say they are crude wouldn't do them justice--a reverse kind of justice, I suppose. In all of my years in locker rooms, I never experienced people--not kids--this emotionally stunted. They make the most outrageous sexist comments. They torment old women and ask for blow jobs. I don't think a single one of them can pronounce a single word correctly (it's a neat trick to mangle "the"; it's almost as if the tongues of these fellows don't fit properly inside their mouths). How do you get to be this way? Someone might say lack of education, but we've been through this--I learned nothing in college. One can learn in life, in what is seen, read, processed. Heard. If you tried to be a neanderthal as part of some competition where the goal was to be sub-human--like something that thought maybe it'd crawl out of the ooze, but wasn't sure yet--you could not beat these guys. In one way, it's harrowing. A three-year-old couldn't get away with this behavior. Even with dreadful parents. They grab their crotches, high five each other. It is quite the display. And the guts on these civic exemplars--the stomach-as-sprawling-land mass. Some celery and a glass of water ain't gonna kill you. I was going to say a jog won't either, but that could well be off-base considering.
I am impressed with Jon Favreau's writing for The Mandalorian. Someone told me a while back that they'd like to see me write for a comic book series at some point. I pay a lot of attention to this kind of thing--not just because i used to collect comic books, but I was thinking exactly along these lines.
Also: that baby Yoda will eat anything.
Have had Dylan's "World Gone Wrong"--well, it's not Dylan's is it?--in my head all day.
What Thoreau writes about not wanting to be a traveler is profound. People boast endlessly about how many countries they've been to, and Thoreau flat out writes that such a person is a fool--an unfortunate, even. He's one of a half dozen people who largely figured "it" out in, my view. I'm not talking about traveling now.