The first fourteen chapters--of twenty--of the meatheads novel are now proofed and edited. (Chapter 15 might be my favorite.) I will finish the rest by tomorrow AM, return it to the publisher for their corrections tomorrow, or by Friday. It's a beautiful book. It's hilarious. It's even making me laugh right now, in this hell I am at. It would be one thing if it was just this funny. That would give it a special place, value, but it's so much more. And I think when you start reading it, you would never see that coming. You'd think, okay, this is super funny, it makes fun of these meathead idiot bros, down with the patriarchy (if you are someone who thinks in such ways), but then it grows into this enveloping, touching, moving work that brings us all together. Without your expectation or even your choosing, the book shows us how we are all connected, it happens to you, sneaks up on you, comes over you, and I think a person just says, "damn, my God," when they realize, when they look up and the full effect has happened. I think it's a work to truly change how we all tend to think and view the world, a game-changer of human understanding. This ostensible wise ass of a book making fun of meathead idiots. What if a wise ass book making fun of meatheads is also as a rich an experience we can have in all of literature? In art? Because that's what is happening here. It is also a bringing together of the intellectual worked and the lowest-common denominator populist and pop culture one. You should never qualify the word "unique," but were it permissible to do so, I would do so with this book. As in, "more" unique.
- - -
Two quick sports items: Chris Doleman, the Minnesota Vikings' Hall of Fame DE, died, only fifty-eight-years-old. He was one of my favorite players. Sack master. I would be him in Tecmo Bowl.
Also, playing outside in the winter on frozen lawns and icy driveways. Or else Andre Tippet.
Once I met a woman who claimed to be a huge Vikings fan. Grew up with them. I mentioned Doleman. She had never heard of him. Most people know nothing about they things they say they care about and most people are lying about almost everything they say. People know nothing. I met someone today named Louise. Right away I say, "great John Lee Hooker song." You think maybe she'd know that. With her name and all. Even if I were an idiot, and there was a song named "Colin," by, I don't know, Toto, I bet I'd know it. "OMG its my favorite song now LOL." And, yet again, Colin is done with another lady. Mor-fucking-on.
Also, have a guess--well, don't peek an inch below these lines--whose 162 game averages these are: 28 home runs, 96 RBI, .301 batting average, .893 OPS.
Like a really good offensive catcher, right?
What do you think of those numbers? Pretty good, yes? Not elite. Definitely not elite.
Those are Mookie Betts' career 162 game averages.
Not at 39-years-old with bad years as he aged to knock things back. That guy--who, incidentally, sucks at a historically bad level in the postseason--wants more than $400 million over a dozen years. Leave. Just go. Cut him loose. He's a good fielder--albeit a pretty unfocused one last year--and a slightly above average base runner. I'll tell you this, too: those numbers are inflated by what he did last season when he "saved" his personal numbers by racking up meaningless stats when the Sox were eliminated. He's a San Diego type of player.
Mookie Betts is good at scoring runs. Or is he? Because he had three guys with 30 homers and 100 RBI behind him in the order. And that tells me that a slap hitter like Marty Barrett leading off would have scored 100 runs last year for the Sox.
This dude is so overrated. Doesn't mean he sucks. He doesn't. He's really good. But nowhere near as good as people talk about him.
- - -
This is typical.
Woman: What is your storie? Where do u live? What do u do
C: It says what I do and I'm not six so I can't do the "u" thing with an adult. But good luck.
Just cannot fucking do it. I just cannot do that fucking shit. And you know what? It gets worse. Because, sure, I've said to myself in the past, "True, she seems like a total fucking idiot, but it's just an opening exchange, give her more of a chance."
And you know invariably happens? You learn that that first exchange was the person at their mental apogee. That was as smart as they were ever going to come across. So, you leave on a high note. Before life or film or music or ideas even get a chance to come up, because ain't none of that going to go very well. "You don't love Toby Keith? ROTFL!!!!!!!!!!"
(Nota bene: Though a lot of people seem to stop on the way to Toby Keith concerts and have threesomes in alleys which someone films and sticks up on Pornhub.)
- - -
I walked three miles and climbed the Monument five times.
- - -
I wrote another short story today. Because of course I did. It's called "Spring-Heeled." An excerpt:
“So much depends upon me,” the child says behind the kindergarten, though not in a boastful way.
The word “kindergarten” has always felt to me like a German spy. Or a term planted here by the witch who knew Hansel and Gretel.
The child is not real as we think of a child, but her question is. She asks me if I detest my girls, twins, knowing they were twins without my saying so.
She asks with the catch in her voice of someone already knowing an answer, aware what the question suggests to a third party, but we are a party of two.
I do not understand why, in these decades, this school, which adjoins another school, stuck to the end of it, like a tin-domed hubcap, should still stand in this place, where I was once at kindergarten.
Nor do I know if the child is dead and returned, or she never existed as we think of existing. But she is adamant about the centrality of her role, which is why I accompany her as I do each time I see her.
“Are you me?” I asked the first time we met.
“No,” she said, and laughed, but cut the laughter short, which people who do not laugh often will do, even children. I drove to this town where I grew up because of my girls. They had come to me separately and asked the same question, which is the way of twins.
“Have I done something to make you not love me?” Angela asked first, Hely after.
“No,” I told both of them, separately, then together. “I am not fit and your father is.”
I am not fit, because I do not love my children, but I am not going to say that to them. I don’t love them less than anything. Technically I love them as much as I can.
The child who is behind my old school, sitting at one end of teeter totter with me, has bulk and mass. We are able to go up and down. That I can see through her does not preclude me rising a few feet in the air. Down the hill from the school is a baseball diamond. I was not a fast runner, but one day I was, and when I look back upon who I used to be, I think about the time on that field when I made it from home plate to first base in what I thought was record time, and later in life, as an adult, at least impressive, if not record-making, time.
I was spring-heeled. I could feel the clay I had dug up pitter-patter my calves, then not touch my legs at all, like I was outrunning the earth.
- - -
Oh. Well that's kind of fucking good, isn't it? Let's make sure the world never sees the full story, that will teach that guy, we'll show him!
Sick evil fucks.