Sorry to be writing so much about the writing process, but it’s really all I’m thinking about lately that’s interesting to me. The problem with politics is that it’s really the same old people doing the same old crap while you hope they’d be better. I mean, the TNDP is rushing to Lincoln Davis’s defense because he didn’t want to fill out a provisional ballot but instead wanted to complain about the insult of being treated like a black person.
If I ran the TNDP, the second somebody was like “Don’t you know who I am?” and expected special treatment because of it and, when he didn’t get it, complained that he now knew how people who fucking died in this state for voting, I’d be like “Fight your own battles, jackass.” But that’s probably why I’d not running the TNDP.
And I was going to say something about how organized the people at my polling place were–the voters. They all had their IDs ready. They all had a plan for how they were going to vote. And then I realized, yeah, they’ve been through this before. Those little old ladies are ten, fifteen years older than my dad and my dad graduated from high school in ’63. A little voter suppression tactic like a photo ID is nothing to them. I’m always amazed at the difference between voting in Bordeaux and voting in Sylvan Park. In Sylvan Park, I had little old ladies ask me who they should vote for at the polling place. Here, little old ladies come in with a plan.
The Democratic party would do well to learn from the obvious information infrastructure in the black community and replicate it, but whatever.
I think the draft is winding down. There’s only so much left in my outline–Sue gets shot, Lee dies, John leaves–and I just write “Sue gets shot.” I know I’ve gushed about the gun guys before, but man, having that conversation with them has really helped this part of the book. I didn’t need what I thought I’d need, but I ended up needing something they just mentioned in passing, about how your scope, when level, aims straight, but your bullet, when your rifle is level, doesn’t go straight. It has a curve to it. So you have to set your site–like zeroing out your measuring cups–to adjust for the curve of the bullet (and the curve may change, too, depending on wind and stuff, but I didn’t want to get too in over my head).
It’s hard for me to explain just how beautiful I think that is–a straight line meeting a curved line, and the ability to figure out where that intersection will be. I mean, I sucked at physics, but this is it, right? This is the beauty of physics–that you can know that something that looks straight–the path of a bullet–isn’t really. You can plot the curve and then still get your tools to do what you want them to do.
John thinks that it reveals some secret of the universe. Which I like. It’s a nice contrast to his dad thinking that the secrets of the universe all involve commanding dead people to do things. I also like that he takes meticulous notes about his gun, well, about how it fires, whether his aim is off, etc. And some of those notes are incomprehensible later, because he wrote them while out of his mind on meth, but he takes the fact that he still writes them as evidence that he has self-discipline.
And I wrote a brief history of the Black Spiritualist church in Nashville, which I really enjoyed. This first draft may suck on a lot of levels, but it’s full of all of the nerdy goodness I know about Spiritualism in Nashville.