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You have the advantage

Tuesday 1/16/24

I would say that there is no one who would rather just be left in peace than I. I don't want confrontation, I don't want to have to light people up, call them out in public, say something to them that they won't get over.


It's like with publishing. I don't want to be putting people up here exposing them for their bigotry, evil, thievery, incompetence, imbecility. I simply want to not be discriminated against and not have my life subjected to and limited by the extreme failings of other people. And more importantly, I don't want the world not to benefit to the degree that it would from what I can uniquely do.


I want to have as little interaction with people in publishing as possible. Even--in almost every case--if that was with some non-evil, non-bigoted person. I don't want to follow-up, I don't want to importune, I don't want to say "You've put me in a bad spot with what has gone on here for years and now I must do something unless it stops." I'm not looking to be friends with people in publishing--though I'll help anyone out, if I can and it's warranted--and nor do I want to go to parties or any of that. I never will. Even if I get where I'm going, you won't see me at such things.


Why? Because it's not productive. Creating my work is productive. And all I care about is that work and getting it to the world. I'll do anything that doesn't compromise my character for those two things. Obviously. It's what every day is about here. And if I have a billion dollars and can call all my own shots, it still will be all about those two things. That's why I'm here. In my personal life, yes, I'd like to meet some great people to have as friends and I'd certainly like to meet some brilliant, kind, rare woman with whom I want to be and can be. But those last two things are outside of publishing.


I've seen publishing people try to use the blame-the-victim tactic of, "But you write me and others so much," as justification for what they do. Right. Like that was ever what anything was about. Me doing this thing I'd rather do less than almost any other thing. Raluca Albu tried that, when anyone could see--and many have, as a result of this journal--what she was up to. How did that work out for her? You think I wanted to ever write Raluca Albu more than I had to? Would you?


But if you're fucking me, and I know you're fucking me, and I know all you want to do is get away with fucking me, I'm not going to let you fuck me by just going away so you can fuck me.


I want to be perfectly polite and professional--as I always am--and simply deliver the best work there is, as I always do, with no following fuckery. If you need something else from me, I'll do it. But a lot of it should just be, "Amazing story, here's when it will run, can you send me your bank details?" And we're done. Until whatever is next.


Sure, there could be very rare exceptions, with a given person, but there is no one less interested in schmoozing, hanging out, back-slapping, cheerleading, brunch, log-rolling, chit-chat, etc. Production, substance, value. That's what I'm about. I go A to B. Not A to Y to L to G to D to B. A to B. There isn't a lot of wasted motion in my life. I have timeless works of art to create every day. Sending emails I shouldn't have to send does not help with that. A to B.


An exchange on the stairs this morning was somewhat suggestive of what I'm saying. It's snowing in Boston today. And there I am, out on the stairs at City Hall at 6:15.


So what does that look like? It's dark. There's basically no one out. You'll see the occasional person. Anyone you see is by themselves.


I'm on the right side of the stairs--where I'm supposed to be--and doing my thing, making a little path for myself in the snow as I go. A large woman then comes from this stretch of pavement that is between the third and fourth segments of the stairs--from way over on the other side. She's seen me. The stairs at Government Center are quite wide. Thirty or forty feet.


One thing that's amazing is how miserable and consumed with self-loathing people are that they'll go out of their way to instigate a confrontation. Then, if someone dares not to let them get away with it, they're so delusional and entitled that they think they've been wronged.


Again, that's how publishing people are. Punch Hutton was a good example. Years and years of behaving in the most condescending fashion, and then going the ignoring route when I still kept trying, before saying "Are you seriously writing to me with attitude?" because I said, after years, I was having a hard time getting word back.


Do you think that said the whole truth? This totally benign thing that I said? Or is it more accurate to say I was dealing with a miserable, twisted, arrogant asshole of a sub-human who maybe could grow the fuck up and do her job with some competence instead of just galling entitlement?


But I didn't say that, true as it would have been. I said I'd been struggling to get word back.


Anyway, this woman this morning comes all the way over to where I am. Walks across the whole thirty or forty feet to do so. When she could just go down the damn stairs. She puts herself right in my face, essentially.


What are you doing? You have to want to behave like a dick so bad to do this. I move. What am I going to do? But she's going to say something, because that's the point. I know what she's thinking. She's hating me because here's what she thinks of as this jock, and jocks are bad, because she is what she is, etc. Exercise is bad, etc.


And she says to me, the acid so apparent in her voice, the total bitch-tone, "Seriously?" Not a friendly, "Oh, wow, can't believe you're out here even in this weather."


So I say, "You have the advantage, you can just roll down."


The expression of mirror-melting rage on her face.


It's like look, lady, I'm just over here minding my own business in peace. What did you think might happen if you go out of your way to create a confrontation, avalanche-starter?


And of course she works at City Hall. If she had just gone done the stairs on the side she was on--where there's a railing, as there is in the middle of the stairs--it would have been the exact same distance, but such people rarely have any self-discipline and will attempt to get one part of a journey out of the way as early as possible, never mind that it doesn't change anything.


I didn't want to say this to this woman. I didn't want to have anything to do with her. But you're not just going to walk over, be an asshole, and carry on like it's your right.



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