I wrote all day. And then I wrote more. I went at it too long, and now I feel stupid and stoned. I was out of it, that was certain, all those images and words gone from my head. I was voided. There was nothing.
I remember thinking that the story was important. But now…I don’t know. It seems more a never-ending thing about drugs and sex and redemption too, but all towards death and forgetting, tomorrow and tomorrow and who cares.
My hands looked weird, and I didn’t know where I was. I tried to think if I could still get booze at the store and got vertigo. That was all I had. And I needed something for tomorrow. I knew that. And the day after that. I just didn’t know what.
George Miller’s 2022 film Three Thousand Years of Longing revisits the tale of the genie granting any three wishes, which apparently can only lead to ruin and was food for thought on my recent hikes.
I started with the obvious…1. Wealthiest person in the world 2. Power of Invisibility 3. Crazy fun sex with a multitude of gorgeous women. (Which would be good for at least 10 years. Maybe even more?)
I reconsidered and focused on more of who I am. 1. Publish several novels to critical acclaim 2. Produce several films to popular acclaim 3. Lots of crazy fun sex, etc.
And then I realized that maybe I had fallen into the trap of this game and tried to dig deeper…1. Rediscover the wide-eyed rapture of life 2. Not feel like I always need something else to be happy 3. Help society in a more fulfilling and less self-destructive direction.
The satisfaction with the last set lasted all of a minute and I returned to my first try. Being invisible with lots of cash, and, yeah, you know the rest, that sounded good to me.
“We worked only two hours a day,” Screenwriter Julius said of he and his identical twin brother Philip’s routine. The concept of concentrated brilliance was foreign to producer Jack Warner, who believed in a full day’s work – or at least a full day’s presence – for a full day’s pay.
“One day, we came in at 1:30 or 2:00 and Warner was furious. ‘Read your contract!,’ he said. ‘Bank presidents get in at 9:00 and you’re coming in the afternoon?!’ We had a half-finished script in our office and sent it to him and said, ‘Have the bank president finish the script.’
“A year or so later, we came in at 9:00 and sent him a scene. ‘The scene is terrible,’ he told us. Philip said to him, ‘How is it possible? It was written at 9:00.’
‘I want my money back!’ Warner yelled. My brother told him, ‘I’d love to give you your money back, but I just built a pool. If you’re ever in the neighborhood and feel like a swim…’
It’s just a half-realized thing. I can see it. Or feel it. That’s a better way of putting it. The thing is half obscured but there. I look the other way and pretend I’m thinking about something else. Something mundane. And then it flares out, a word or phrase or image, or just bits of those things. And so I continue to pretend to think about dinner, even think the phrase “Nothing going on here.”
It pops out, suddenly in the clear, an image, dialogue too, but’s it’s slippery and goes off again. I can’t chase the thing. I can’t think about it, not directly. I just have to sit and think about not thinking. And then it’s there, electric and brilliant, and I write.
It’s strangely intense, like I’m no longer me. I stay with it as long as I can, hammer away, even if it’s turning into nonsense, because maybe it isn’t, until it’s no longer and my brain only wants to think about dinner.
Over ten years ago, I decided upon Anori as the title for the first book of The Cx Trilogy. Meaning ‘wind’ in Greenlandic, the word is an apt metaphor for a number of themes of the book, including the acceptance of change. I was happy to learn recently that a Greenlandic wind turbine company used the name.
I was less happy to scroll through the film titles on my Air Greenland flight to Ilulissat and find a romantic drama of the same name.
And so that was it; no more Anori for me. My replacement title is Em, who is the clone of the main character, Dee.
Hello? Yes, mother? What’s that? You’re worried about me? Okay, me too. But…I’m worried about you too. I get that you’re into this knowing life thing, growing babies, losing your figure and all that, but that doesn’t mean…That’s what I’m saying. There’s dark matter and things like that. No, you don’t know about that. You don’t.
I know it’s not fair. You taught me about life not being fair, remember? But all this goddess stuff, I mean, it’s like father being strong and smart. He gave up on that a long time ago. Anyway, yes, my point! Watch out for Hubris, okay? And always being in control. It’s a bad look. Just saying. Love you too, Ma.
Cases of beer and champagne made the halls narrow, the wives arriving in anticipation of a cup win, one commenting that there was no way the captain would sing Karaoke at the Equivocator’s house. And no one would ever visit the Finn’s place except the Finns. I realized that the black-suited reporters were all old-time Republicans and ducked outside.
Pen and ink sketch, Goya
The space was open at the center with winding corridors and passageways off to the side. I found a bathroom under the stairs with a view of the valley, but it was packed, some of them my former students. I pleaded for them to leave, but it was a big joke and they took pictures of me as I crapped in my hands.
I’ve read a number of books by writers about writing, and two things have stuck with me over the years. Ian Fleming attested to writing five pages every day before noon so that he could spend the rest of the day swimming and drinking. (I substitute swimming with hiking.)
And Ernest Hemingway was clear in his autobiography, A Moveable Feast, to not drain the brain so that he always had something to start with the next day. In other words, if you go too far one day, you might not get anywhere after that.