I remember something and let’s say it is real. Two girls stood there explaining why they had to go into quarantine. It wasn’t their fault. Someone had sat with them at lunch and later tested positive. They stood far away from me. I told them to go to the nurse, and they did.
What does it feel like to be nowhere and have nothing? I think I know that. And still…and still…no, I don’t. Vainglorious, even if it might be on the back side of things. But that edge, that feeling of doom, of relentless meaninglessness, yeah, on the slide of scroll and pause, that is it seeping badly in.
Okay, here is what I have gotten all wrong until now: humans are in search of fairness. I really did always think that. It seemed so obvious. I delved into the life of MLK, the Trail of Tears, anything I could find on this quest.
And then I realized, just now, older and all, that none of this is part of any goal. To vanquish. That is it. There is just this. The victor, smiling, lying, everyone else justifying. So simple. And sad. In other words, my mother was right when I cried foul. “Life isn’t far.” Nor will it ever be.
It took me two weeks to open my editor’s email. Even then, I was only able to scan them and fixated on one line: This is the point where my growing frustrations would cause me to close the book and not pick it up again.WTF?!?
The opening remarks were positive: I really love this book. So much of the writing is fantastic—clear, evocative, and crystalline. Dee is such a great character!And then…a descent into what he really wanted to say: The tone of the novel, as I’ve mentioned, is at times difficult to discern, at times seeming like realism, other times satire, and others as purposefully surreal.
I still haven’t been able to read all of the notes. It’s like a mild form of PTSD. I mean, I understand the essential problem is the narrative bouncing back and forth between Greenland and New York. What I wanted to do was to emphasize Dee’s indecision, but the audience won’t have it because she needs her motherfucking arc/ark.
I am getting to a point where I can call my editor and talk about it. I’m almost ready. Soon.
It’s been over a year since I posted one of the “Overlooked Manhattan” series, and it’s time I got back to it with one on East 36th Street, which most New Yorkers only know as an outlet to the Midtown Tunnel.
But there is more! Not only are there secret gardens.
But there are also the Missions for Chad and Armenia.
Got to keep my eyes open in this city. Looking for more.
I am angry not because it’s the first step in any program but because no one is honest about who they are. Not one of us. The pandemic has made this clear.
After all of the drivel about finding oneself in the quiet of the lockdown – talk which lasted all of three days – the only thing that anyone did was consume and bitch and consume and consume and consume.
Worth saving? Why? We are fucked. And good riddance to us. Btw, I have a book about that, called Anori. It’s about leaving this planet so we go fuck up another one.
I did get back to it today. And a scene from Baller was expunged.
INT. INSIDE MAX’S ROOM – NIGHT. Dark room, dim light through a gap in the curtains. A gecko clings to the stalk of a mangled plant. Max lies under clothes and covers in the corner of what used to be a water bed. Baz walks in the doorway. BAZ Hey, Max. We got to go. The light turns on. The gecko scurries to the bottom of the plant. BAZ pulls the blanket off the ruined bed, revealing Max lying against the wall in his boxers. BAZ You can sleep in the car. (Pause) We got to go. Baz leaves the room. There is a long pause. The gecko peeks over the planter edge and then vanishes as Graham’s voice comes down the hall. GRAHAM Max! Max moans, his arms draped over his face. Graham stands over him, arms crossed, and then raises his hand, holding a Roman Candle firework. GRAHAM Last warning, Max. (Lighting a match) Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Max opens his eyes and peeks around, almost like the gecko. The Roman Candle firework flares to life. Graham points it at Max, and a fire ball launches just above his head. Graham aims the tiny fireballs, one after the other, at Max. The sheet begins to smoke. MAX (Scurrying off the bed) Are you crazy!? A pile of papers catches fire. Baz appears with a bent pail of water and douses the room and bed. Max jumps away, knocking over the plant. GRAHAM (Jamming the Roman Candle into the pail) Let’s go, Max! Graham and Baz leave. Max, still gasping, stands still for a moment and then picks up his pants and goes after them. It is silent for a moment and then the gecko finally crawls out of the planter and perches atop the mangled plant.
I was all set to have a big writing day. I was going to do a 2-3 hour final draft of Baller, my tree-planting script, and get it ready to submit . And then, after an inspiring workout, I would hammer out 4-5 hours of Fuck Pedagogy, getting out all the nasty details of the year-long arbitration with a former school.
But it was not to be. I didn’t get into the work until late and then realized the opening to Baller needed serious work which stalled everything. From there it was a bad house of cards, finishing up bits of cheese from the fridge and moving plants to more ideal locations on the windowsill.
And then I decided to write this blog and see if that got me on my merry way. I’ll let you know. (Odds are against.)