Yeah, she was bugging me too. Big time. I don’t know what I was thinking; that haircut was a true traffic-killer.

One flake on Monday morning. One single snowflake drifting down, bored, indifferent. They act like this when they’re confident and have the run of the joint. At least I slept late and missed seeing the early morning temp in the high twenties. I was deep in a dream that reminds me I spend too much time on the internet: I had broken a vase over the head of a well-known blogger so I could have his hotel room. Knocked him right out. I felt horrible about it, especially after he didn’t wake up. Oh, he wasn’t dead; still breathing, which was a relief, but it was unnerving how he didn’t move. Annoying, really. Eventually we just got used to it and walked around him.

DADDY! LOOK AT THE TIME! Gnat in the doorway. I checked the clock: hallelujah. She’d been up late last night and slept in as well. I installed a screen saver on her computer that tells time in digital format – looks just like the old digital clocks that flipped a card over every minute, and so now she reads time, more or less.

I prefer analog clocks, myself. I was a kid when the digitals came out, and of course everyone had to have one – the Panasonic in the parent’s bedroom that gave a tiny tick! Every time the card turned over, the digital watch the size of a Big Little Book, the kitchen model with glowing red LEDs. The future! And how charmless it was, really. Yes, it was precise, and while there was a certain thrill in knowing it was 10:17, not a little past a quarter after, that sort of information ruins my life to this day. I’m one of those people who is always on time, and abhors lateness. You tell me to be there at noon, my hand is poised to knock at 11:59:59. Digital clocks make it possible for me to be punctual, but they also tell me how late I’m going to be. Digital clocks make the hour a pack of slick cards, and every day is an endless deal; analogues make the hour a soft stick of butter, carved up in pliant pats. No one looks at an analog clock that reads 2:17 and thinks 2:17 right away; you think a quarter after melts into 2:20. If you grow up in a school that had a big clock over the door, the bottom of the hour has a certain power – when the minute hand begins its climb up from the basement of the Six, the hour is practically over. At least if you don’t look at the clock for a while.

DADDY! LOOK AT THE TIME! Who-hoo. I had slept like a king. We went downstairs for a light breakfast, looked at the papers. A story on a nice young man who was in a high school music group until he got into radical Islam, which led him to blow things up in Egypt. I tried to recall if I’d seen any stories about the victims – hmm. No. I did learn that after the guy got that new-time religion he insisted that his sister wear the chador. I almost expected the reporter to note “Yes, he was the boss of her.” Like that would fly here. Checked the comics; laff free, mostly. Well, we’ll try again tomorrow for the 92,332nd time. Maybe tomorrow Cathy will stick an index finger in the air in that timeless gesture of assertion and conviction comic artists have employed for decades, despite the fact that no one does it in real life. Or maybe she’ll just shout Ack.

Soda’s done; time to go back to my desk and work on the column. I would have done a Joe, so to speak, but the matches are on another computer. Besides, that’s going to be a W-Th-F thing, I think. I want to take this summer easy. I also want to finish the Joe book before the end of the summer, and that means I have to figure out some sort of cliffhanger that will keep you in suspense for, oh, a year and a half.

Later. Both columns are done, more or less. The Newhouse column about the remarks by Pat Robertson and an arse-chapeau in the Arkansas legislature who wants to ban from the school library anything written by gays, pretty much wrote itself. Great idea! Buyt what about something written by a celibate bisexual? I know: let them see it, but only if they wear a hazmat suit and someone turns the page with lead tongs. I know I will get angry mail on this one, just as I got flamed when I wrote about how the FCC should keep its hands off cable; my favorite letter was from a guy who didn’t watch TV and had no idea what was on cable, but he was agin it. (And I said all this in the context of keeping public airwaves free of loose boobies and cussing; the idea being, if someone wants to subscribe to HBO with the full knowledge that boobies and cussin’ are contained therein, so what. But that didn’t matter to this fellow, who assumed I had Larry Flynt on speed-dial because I didn’t throw a brick at the TV when Tony Soprano walked through the Bada-Bing and you saw gauzy gyrating doxies in the background.) This is separate from the whole Buster-Has-Six-Daddies argument about what and when kids should be taught to; the legislator seems to assume that exposure to the work of gay artists is somehow corrupting. If that’s the case, then keep them away from Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Lord of the Rings. I know that one look at Gandolf and I wanted to cross party lines, if you know what I mean. Criminey.

Anyway, now I’m going to relax; it’s been a great day, albeit a cool one, and I foresee more of the same tomorrow. The book is not only done – I heard from my editor yesterday, and they love it. Whew. On to the next; time to sell Joe Matchbook, as I’m going to call it. If I do sell this thing, I may actually go to Cleveland to research it. Which would be fun.

See you tomorrow. New Fence – it got cut to ribbons in the editing, alas; came in way too long. The Sunday column is intact, though.

Perm link: here.

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