The Syracuse Situation

On the one hand, you certainly don’t want to see shit like this. On the other hand, I recently read that they think the number of men who have been molested is like one in six. I don’t know how true that is, but I do know this–this isn’t something men really talk about. And it is, for sure, not something society has done a very good job of acknowledging. But it is very, very common.

So, if the news coverage of the Penn State scandal and the coverage of all of the ways that programs and people help to sweep this shit under the rug helps other men come forward because they know they’re not alone and it puts pressure on the authorities to not blow it off, that is a good thing.

But damn.

I Think I Have One Christmas Present Picked Out

I think I’m going to get my brother the “Let’s everybody writer Hank Williams songs” album. I’ve only heard a couple of songs off it, myself, but I think it’s an interesting idea and I think he’d get a kick out of it. To go back to my desire to have everyone cover everything so that it remains lively and vital, I think there’s something to be said for going into the drawers of old, good, songwriters and bringing out what might not have quite worked with their audience, but might work with ours.

I guess my philosophy is that if you love a song, you should sing it.

I don’t know that I quite apply that to my writing–that if I like a story, I should write it. I mean, I think I tend to be more about liking the characters. I like witches and weirdos and gods and ghosts, so that’s what I populate my stories with.

But I guess “Bone” was a retelling of a story.

It’s funny. I didn’t quite like The Sisters Brothers but this story I’m working on now, about the witch that ground up Big Harpe’s head, something about the narrative voice of that is borrowed from The Sisters Brothers, though I don’t know that I could point out exactly how. I named the witch Sarah Clark, which is amazingly and not so coincidentally close to saraclark who comments here on rare occasion and who I know in real life by her real name. I wanted a name that seemed plausible and there’s a something Clark road near where they stuck Harpe’s head and then, when I thought of his ghosts bellowing out “Something Clark, Something Clark,” I just knew he’d have to bellow “Sarah Clark, Sarah Clark.” One thing I really, really love about those words is how you get to hear a variety of short a sounds in a very close space–the way I say it, it sounds like “Sair-aaah Clahrk.” Like the “ah” in Sarah and the “ar” should almost be the same, but I drop my jaw more when I say “Clark,” almost like I’m making an “a” sound while making my mouth shaped for an “oh” sound. One letter, three different sounds. Plus, that “k” sound is so nice. If “ssaaaaarrrrrrrrraaaaahhhhhh” is the killer calling for you, “k”lar”k” is his footsteps on hardwood.

Not that I give that much thought to my characters’ names normally, but when one strikes me as being exactly right, I like to mull over what it is about it that works for me.

No ideas what to get any of the rest of the family yet, though.

Well, I’ll Say This…

1. If a dog is only as good as its owner, I must be an inconsiderate doofus oblivious to the worry my wandering off causes.

2. I wonder if the Tea Party people are jealous they couldn’t get that many motivated people out for their crap?

3.  Eh, fuck it. Here’s what I want to say. The dog ran off last night. Not “I’m chasing something. Fuck you, I’m not listening!!!!” but just “I know where I am so it’s not that important that you know where I am so I’m not listening.” I called and called for her and I couldn’t find her and she didn’t come and I went inside and I put my shoes on and I stumbled around in the dark and finally, the back light came on, which is motion triggered, and there she was by the back door.

I felt this feeling, like fear and relief and rage combined. I was relieved she hadn’t gone too far for too long, but lord, I was pissed she didn’t come when she was called. It’s been a decade. She knows the drill. I slammed that back door so hard I’m lucky I still have glass in it. And I wanted to beat her down.

I mean, lord, I just wanted to drop her.

And that feeling scares me, you know? My whole life, it’s scared me. I’ve never beat my dog. Hell, her favorite game is “smack my bottom” so I can’t honestly say I’ve never hit her, but I’ve certainly never hit her to hurt her. But last night, I wanted to.

It’s weird. You know, they say as you get older, oh, you’ll regret not having kids. But, honestly, I don’t. Not because I’m not curious about what it would be like to have children, or that I don’t like children, or that I’ve got some great radical feminist anti-child agenda. It’s really because here I am, with eight hours of sleep, a non-stressful job, food on the table, money in the bank, bills paid, car working, all my family in good health, and one little hiccup like “Can’t find the dog for ten minutes” flips something inside me that scares the shit out of me. How do you put a kid in the path of that?

And it’s not just hypothetical, you know? I used to wonder “How could this relative do that to that relative?” But honestly, I get it. They feel what I felt last night and whatever thing there is in me that keeps me from acting on it? Theirs either broke or they never had it. Maybe there is a long path from “I feel it and it frightens me and I don’t act on it” to “I feel it and I let it wash over me and I rage at the people and things I love like some angry demi-god” but I’ve never really felt sure enough about that to bet someone else’s well-being on it, you know?