Entry 0040: The Day Before Vacation


EPS: Kingdom Come by Tom Verlaine/David Bowie

2015 Elektra/Parlophone R7-547633, Record Store Day 7-inch, white translucent

Favorite Track: Kingdom Come by Tom Verlaine

Adult Books by X

2015 Superior Viaduct Sv081, Record Store Day 7-inch, yellow

Favorite Track: Adult Books

I am on lunch break. Five hours from now (and a 30 minute bus ride home) and I will be free for five days. Normally, I would be sitting at my to-read shelf choosing between four or five novels, exchanging a short sci-fi for a long-winded classic and then doubling back to the space lasers just to really want to drink French wine and sit outside in the shade with Dumas.

I do not have that problem this time. I am four-hundred pages into Dumas’s The Vicomte de Bragelonne and I will probably read most of it tonight and then jump right into Louise de la Vallière. I finished the New York Sunday Crossword puzzle, which I thoroughly enjoyed this time even though its theme was gag worthy puns on horse racing. A new Fall album just came out and all the reviews are saying it is the best one in years. One day will be devoted to Dungeon and Dragons. Two others to the Red River Gorge.

What is the problem?

Writer’s block. All the excitement I had been building up from the start of this blog was destroyed in April due to migraines. I let May slip away content with giving myself time to re-cooperate, catch up on my reading, and attempt to relax despite continuing to pick up lots of extra hours from work. At the start of June, which completely snuck up on me, I was ready to delve back into creative writing, my truest passion. And was the well dry.

Even this blog has suffered in the last few entries–pairing Wire albums with Wine and creating a Summer Mix Tape (which is quite good)–but I was hoping this pleasant distractions would shift my brain back into thinking absurdly. It has to some degree, but the spark is missing. That rush of I have to get this down on paper before I lose it all. That rush of I just want to write this story because that is how my mind works.

These days, I have been questioning if my mind works at all. It feels empty. Muggy, humid summer has hit the city hard. Reading outside is an exercise in deep breathing. Listening to records is distracted by the loud hum of the air conditioner. Board games have brought friends over and occupied a day. I re-discovered how truly amazing the ending of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone really is: Eleven year old Harry Potter fights his professor (who was a mad dark wizard’s face growing out of the back of his head) in a secret altar room (surrounded by flames) underneath a magical castle and Harry kills the professor by disintegrating him with his bare hands as they grapple over the Philosopher’s Stone.

I hope I can write something better than that. And that is a tall order.

My vacation time goal is to start earnestly writing the novel that has been inside my head since 2007. I have to re-read Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, but after I finish the d’Artagnan Romances because I am Harry Potter-addicted to them. I highly recommend you reading them. The first book is very good, but flawed as Athos is a bitter, dejected man. Twenty Years After, the sequel to the Three Musketeers, seriously is in my top five favorite books. And, probably, my favorite high adventure novel.

Uh-oh, lunch break is ending. A quick note about the records picked for this entry. The first one is a split between Tom Verlaine (of Television, one of my all-time favorite bands) and David Bowie (another favorite). The Tom Verlaine version has mix tape written all over it. The Bowie version is busier with sharp pop-sensibilities and great bass, but loses a little intimacy that the original has. The X single is a different version of Adult Books than the album version and is much better. I don’t know what the story is behind why there are two different cuts of this song. If you know, please let me know. I saw Television (with Tom Verlaine playing guitar and singing) and X and memories of their concerts are coming back to me. Television was simply stunning. I remember being really hot in that packed venue, but not caring for a moment. X blazed through their opening set (before Blondie) but I remember the sound was off for the first two or three songs.

I am not a music festival fan, but I would recommend seeing both bands while you can, any way you can.


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