“A lifetime in three days”

All is quiet on Independence Day, oddly. In my hammock with a book, leaves scitter across the sports court and could be the dog, but she’s inside. Pre-fall, even now. No need for sunscreen, there’s a thin band of clouds for that. Thousand dollar fines here in the suburbs for fireworks, it keeps them mostly at bay. The other day at the lake with Loren there were like 20 or 30 cops there, all with their vests and ear-attachments, and I think in that moment I turned Republican. I had a word with a few, said thanks: I’m so glad you’re here, this is my lake too. No need for drunks and kids out here. (Loren and I each had a roadie in our traveler mugs, watched our kids in the shallow end of the lake, trying to catch fish.) In Portland, Loren and I probably get confused as gay dads with our beards and kids, our sandals. He said they had a nudist bicycle thing and afterwards the bars allowed nudity for one night, and they were PACKED. And it was strange having to excuse oneself through the crowd, for the rest room. Portland.

I didn’t know the song “Stairway to Heaven” was named after a film of the same name. Loren said it starts with a jet pilot who’s been shot down and he’s radioed back to dispatch, there’s a woman talking to him as he’s going down and it gets flirtatious, she realizes she’s the last person he’ll talk to alive, there’s a weird intimacy to that. And then the rest of the film is him in heaven, but it’s that era of cinema that’s part theater, part film, with grandiose sets and period-acting.

I finished my writing project but felt sick from too much coffee on an empty stomach, from being exposed to a scene from the latest David Lynch project…and with the clouds and no more story to write I fell into a funk, and took down the large Coleman tent I put up for the kids, seemed like the thing to do.

I didn’t have my story outlined so that was an experiment for me in developing a story based on themes vs. plot, and a challenge to finish something. There are 37 ‘chapters’ about 1,500 words each, and I’m going to copy/paste into a Word doc and read on the plane to DC later this week, for work.

Thanks again for your support, “you”: and here are the chapter headings below for posterity’s sake.

Entering Elma
101 to Aberdeen
Day 3 of 40
Up Ulrich’s Couloir
Birth Ritual
The influence of the tides upon the streams
River theme
The Death Card
The lover before your last lover
Last time at Mosquito Creek
I live on the corner of the 99th floor of my block
Dead Souls
The rat torture scene reveal
The jet hold
A new path to the waterfall
Dead Reckoning
The imagined superhero complex
“Hang on to yourself” (the faith, identity theme)
The beauty of the snail
West Cork Roundabout
What became of camp
Suicide in the Alps (father figure theme)
The expansion and compression theme
Too long from the dark, this deep into June
“These are the days now”
Existential work theme
The Cascadian fault
You have to learn the lesson twice
The day I turned purple (ghost theme)
The Tower card, reversed
The ‘kill your idols’ concept
I’d love to turn you on
The black Opal kombi connection
The charm of making
Trying on masks
Over the hills, where the spirits fly
The Chris Cornell rat scene reveal

Categories: Memoir, writing

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. It’s pretty amazing what you did in 40 days of writing. You should be proud of it.
    As for fireworks … sigh … I live in a neighborhood that will sound like a war zone in a couple more hours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Smoke ’em if you got ‘me Mark! Thanks for the note and for reading along. I am proud, and thank you for saying that. Prost! Life is good! Couldn’t get any better right about now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats duder on getting to the end and putting the proverbial pen down. I get what you mean about the falling into the funk business, too. Have a stogie for me as you read. I know you’re not supposed to on the plane, but just explain, they’ll understand.


  3. you made it through and lived to tell. was that moses or jesus who wandered through the desert for all those days? i would never accuse you of being a prophet, but it might be fun to try on tor a day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. These would make great song titles.
    Fireworks ban kind of captures America right now, don’t you think? A tradition that’s developed out of a spirit of celebration but has gotten out of hand so you have to police it, curb it. Same thing happened when you entered God into the constitutional equation.
    Crossed the border last night for food and fireworks (city) at the lake. The food and service were lousy but it felt right to be a part of that celebration, like an awkward hug between brothers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well put on the ban. Our neighborhood has had it in place since we’ve lived here though and it makes me happy, I’ve never been a fireworks guy. More into real bombs and explosives, none of this Mickey Mouse shit. Awkward hugs still better than no hugs, and better than drugs for sure. I like you thought the chapter headings sound like song titles, that’s good. And now, setting my pinklightsabre out of office (OOF!). Bye for now buddy! Bill


  5. The list of titles really drives home what an achievement this is, Bill. Great job, and I think you succeeded in one thing that a lot of writers have trouble with: making the reader feel like he/she’s right there with you. Including, sometimes, in your head. That’s quite a feat. (Head and feat — unintentional …)

    Good luck with the readthrough. Super plane reading to DC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Kevin, long time…thanks for your note here and not sure if I replied. Hope you’re well! Still in D.C. and no readthrough yet, have to reestablish my plan here. Not sure how precise your scheduling/availability is but I’m looking at more like end of July for a rewrite. In other words, I’ll likely want to do a revision before the beta. And going to Alps mid August so that will be another forcing function, so to speak. Will catch up soon. Looking forward to being back on the best coast.


      • Hey, Bill! How’s things in DC?

        No worries on the timing. I can swing whatever works for you, unless, that is, some agent asks me to revise my book in a hurry. (I wish!)

        Good travels to you. I’m not sure I’d want to be in DC right now …


  6. Wow.. I really like the list of titles, its gripping. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person


  1. “A lifetime in three days” — William Pearse | pinklightsabre | Indy's Untamed Travels

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