Well, it's been two days since Xmas, a day I look forward to all year (this is a sort of hard to explain quirk of mine, since I hate Christianity and sort of all religion so much, but I seriously LOVE December) and nothing much has changed but the wonderful red Minnetonka moccasins and Gryffindor sweater I'm wearing to work today. I do feel bummed that I don't keep up with my blog, and also that I don't really write anymore these days. Also, I've been very lonely. I have a wonderful son and a great husband and they are my best friends, but seriously, I'm so goddamn lonely anyway. Maybe I will feel less lonely if I get busy on my blog again. I don't have many new ideas or fictions to share right now though so I'm going to serialize my novella Yesteryou, to get me back in the swing of things, and maybe to get discovered (chuckle times infinity). I started to serialize it a couple years ago and in fact the below chapter first appeared on this blog in November 2009 (with a little introduction about the man I wrote it for, my wonderful dead friend Bill Tunilla) but after that, I only serialized chapter 2 before getting discouraged by not getting more than 1 comment. But I want to give it another shot, not as a way to elicit comments this time, but just as something for me to do to keep a hand in. So without further adieu, here is the first chapter of Yesteryou.
Imagine the sun beating down on you, on a day in the year in which
you feel the most youthful you will ever feel. There is a breeze. You
extend your bent arms out a little further along the arms of the porch
rocking chair so you can feel the jewels of sweat that have been forming
slow as a drugged breath along the curves of the caves of your armpits,
every inch of you radiating unshakable confidence, for once. It is
1956, George. Shhh. You are not dead yet, you are still alive and I am
still just the ephemeral glow surrounding fireflies or the particles of
dust that drift visible across shafts of sunlight through the curtains
on a Sunday afternoon, I am not yet born. This is one of your
birthdays. This is the day on which you feel your absolute youngest.
Does it feel good? Yes, of course, but not too much better than later
birthdays on which you will feel old. No better, really, than being 45,
when it is painful to walk but you are gifted with love.
was born in 1943. He was 25 when "Yesteryou," a song sung by Stevie
Wonder, was out and being played on radios. This was his all-time
favorite song -- for the most part he didn't notice music, though he was
often mistaken for a music-lover. But he loved the way this song
captured the melancholic, sunsetty feeling of nostalgia. There's a part
where the lyrics ask: "Where did it go, that yester glow? When we
could feel the wheel of life turn our way?" When someone asks a
question like that, it sounds like they are scared, of the way time
moves and the way it feels to get older, and this was the anxious way
George felt about the passing of time as well, the pure inevitability of
time. But he also appreciated the song for itself, for the way it
sounded. Like I say, there's something of the sun in that song. The
beauty of it agitated him, even, made him ache for an omnipotent
knowledge of how other people felt about the passing of days.
he was a child, he and his family moved from a mostly black suburb of
Connecticut to a mostly black suburb of Los Angeles, called Inglewood.
He would remain in Inglewood several years into his adult life, before
settling in a different sort of Los Angeles suburb, a place called
Pasadena, where he would eventually open a used bookstore that would be
like heaven to spend his afternoons in, friends and customers drifting
in and out all day long, and only one robbery in all the years the store
On this one birthday of his childhood, the day he
feels the youngest he will ever feel, he has a broad, bespectacled,
homely face, and he always will.
Beth, on the other hand, was
born sleek and slender and night-visioned and falsely inviolable-seeming
as a young tomcat. That might have been the most power Beth ever had,
sadly -- when she was a beautiful baby girl.