My Daily Day

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Tuesday, August 30, 2005
the Orpheum Theater was deserted except for them, and they talked about the survival of tropical fish in a vat of human blood.

On Sunday, August 28, 2005
he sat on top of Mill Bluff as dusk approached, reading The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway told him, "You paid some way for everything that was any good. I paid my way into enough things that I liked, so that I had a good time. Either you paid by learning about them, or by experience, or by taking chances or by money. Enjoying living was learning to get your money's worth and knowing when you had it. You could get your money's worth. The world was a good place to buy in. It seemed like a fine philosophy. In five years, I thought, it will seem just as silly as all the other fine philosophies I've had."

On Friday, August 26, 2005
he noticed that David Byrne in Stop Making Sense bears an uncanny resemblance to George McFly.

On Wednesday, August 24, 2005
perhaps the lake had more value in his imagination. Adam told him about the lake, hidden in the Underdown somewhere off a desolate logging road, deep and clear and cool, pure as rain. Adam called it perfect. They were going to go swimming, with Burish. Adam said you can swim out where sunken logs lie beached just beneath the surface, and stand on them. Two people can stand on the opposite end of the log and jump, teeter-tottering you our into the water. He imagines the lake as a pristine, hallowed place, surrounded by birch and poplar. A good place for escape. And now he thinks that the lake, if he ever gets there, will disappoint him. Maybe we built things up in our minds, endow them with qualities they may not possess, because we are like most people, and the elaborate banality of daily life hasn't entirely killed a latent romanticism.

On Monday, August 22, 2005
he had an hour to kill before the Howetown Sweethearts played. So he went for a walk, up around the capitol, down the upper end of State Street, past Michaelangelo's, then back up over to the rooftop garden of the Monona Terrace. The moon was low over the lake, fat and orange as egg yolk, and it cast a wide shimmering swath across the water. He leaned against the rail looking at it. The night was cool and clear. He could hear a couple making out somewhere to his right but didn't turn to watch them. Funny, here he was a year ago, same spot, same moon, same lake, bidding Madison goodbye. Now he was back. And he felt happy. He felt really, really good and still young.

On Saturday, August 20, 2005
he stood in the driveway, after the show, looking at the moon. He hadn't really looked at the moon in a while. Thin wisps of clouds the color of smoke pushed across its face, in an otherwise clear sky. For most of human history, long before calendars and any concept of the solar year, our survival as hunters and farmers depended to a certain extent on an understanding of the moon and its cycles. Only by a close study could you track the seasons and know when to plant, when to expect the first frost. Like all celestial objects, what was once invested with spiritual significance is now relegated to the province of physics and astronomy. We know the gravity field, and we know the pull of imagination. They told stories: the moon was once human, once sister to the sun, and the miracle by which she became the second brightest light in the sky was the source of myths the world over. From myth to math. Do you really need to look at the moon? Would your life change dramatically if it was destroyed?

He knows that every person in history with eyesight has looked at the moon, and this common experience transcends millennia. Geologically, the moon is a thin, crater pummeled hunk of basalt and feldspar, with a now inactive core that left ancient lava formations and the ghost of a magnetic field. But it is also a serene, sleepy being, who is lonely, because the humans he loves so much live only a short while, and he wishes he could somehow atone for their fallibility.

On Thursday, August 18, 2005
all the way from California to North Carolina and back, she said, her and a boyfriend, hitchhiking all the way, those truckers, lots of times they're just bored and they'll drive you 500 miles as soon as look at you.

On Wednesday, August 17, 2005
he went bowling in Merrill. If you are from a small town, then perhaps you appreciate why a bowling alley with stained carpeting and water damaged ceiling tiles is the coolest place in town to hang out.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2005
the horse ambled lethargically, trailing behind the others by a good fifteen yards. Despite Pete's sincere attempts to prompt the horse into a jog, kicking his heels into its sides, it remained unresponsive until Ike told him to hiss at it. Then the horse took off. Pete's beer foamed and spilled all over his pants until he reigned the horse in. Dusk settled over the wide, rolling farmland, and darkness crouched across the gravel road as they trotted home.

On Monday, August 15, 2005
in the attic of his parents' house, going through boxes marked "Pete's books" he wondered, 'How long will it be until I remove them to a place of my own, and will that be an occassion for joy or regret?'

On Sunday, August 14, 2005
a pen befriended a piece of paper. The paper in question had been torn from the corner of a notebook page. Two of its edges were frayed and there was already some writing on it. The pen was a Sanford fine point, standard issue. The paper knew, entering the friendship, the full likelihoods unleashed, the inevitable consequences. The paper knew that, while the pen might drain itself during the course of friendship, the change would be internal, concealed within the pen from prying eyes. The paper knew his own transformation would, though immediately apparent to everyone else, be ultimately superficial.

On Friday, August 12, 2005
he overheard a conversation between Homer and Bob Dylan. Homer said, "Happy the man who ends a long life tranquilly, whatever trials he has endured upon his journey." Bob Dylan said, "Let me die in my footsteps before I go down under the ground."

On Thursday, August 11, 2005
stranded in the commercial hell hole of the West Towne Mall, waiting for Lens Crafters to finish his lenses, he sat in the food court reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. At the table across from him sat a group of giggling high school girls, overly make-uped, surrounded by Abercrombie bags like so many so many pygmy tribesmen bowing to their stone idol. One girl loudly announced to the others the merits of her new boyfriend, for whom she was "retarded" and with whom she hoped spend "like a million years."

"He hates the same things I do!" she shrieked, referring to several clothing lines and celebrities, as if this were conclusive evidence of compatibility, not to say love. Pete stood up and smacked her over the head with a hockey stick.

On Wednesday, August 10, 2005
after watching the movie Alexander, he felt a little, shall we say, inferior. Alexander the Great conquered all of Greece, Egypt, and Asia Minor, by the age of 25. Pete has made several failed attempts to wean himself off coffee. Sometimes, he forgets to shower.

On Sunday, August 07, 2005
the Kissers visited the Little Bighorn National Park and saw the open, yellow starched hills where Custer and his men were slaughtered on a sweltering afternoon in 1876. Blocks of white stone, like tombstones, scattered in clumps across miles, marked the places where US soldiers fell. A few polished granite markers stood where two Cheyenne warriors fell, and previous visitors had littered these markers with coins, cigarettes, small pouches of tobacco and other offerings.

On Friday, August 05, 2005
an older man, mid fifties maybe, in beard and shorts, bought a Kissers disc at the show in Big Fork. He then threw it at Ken and called him an ass, then started ranting that he knew Willy Nelson and Reba Macintyre, they were his friends, and he would not tell them about the Kissers because the Kissers are rude.

On Thursday, August 04, 2005
the dog was mangy, drunk and weaving. Its fur coat matted and greasy, and when it spoke it shook. Though aged, ever the poet, words like a car wreck, "You must choose between money and the shit that comes out of my mouth."

On Wednesday, August 03, 2005
he visited the oracle. In response to his question, the oracle said, "Never a day without something glorious accomplished."

On Tuesday, August 02, 2005
August was jealous of winter as described by John Edgar Wideman

"Snow fell all night and in the morning Homewood seemed smaller. Whiteness softened the edges of things, smoothed out the spaces between near and far. Trees drooped, the ground rose up a little higher, the snow glare in your eyes discouraged a long view, made you attentive to what was close at hand, what was familiar, yet altered and harmonized by the blanket of whiteness. The world seemed smaller till you got out in it and understood that the glaze which made the snow so lustrous had been frozen there by the wind, and sudden gusts would sprinkle your face with freezing particles from the drifts as you leaned forward to get a little closer to the place you wanted to go, the place which from your window as you surveyed the new morning and the untouched snow seemed closer than it usually was."