The reading went very well last night. I read a section from my novel, which was good for me, to see that people could like it--this book I’ve been writing privately for some time and probably won’t be seen in full for a long time more. My story on Cloverfield Press, Gentleman Reptile, is the first chapter of my new novel. It’s about a father discovering his daughter doing porn on the Internet. The piece I read last night is the continuation—when the father goes out looking for the guy who made the video. People seemed like it, they laughed. Which is strange, in a way, because I’m not ever writing thinking, This is funny. And the section is about a pretty fucked-up situation, with some bumbling weirdness as the father tries to deal with what his daughter has done. It’s heartening to know people could like it, especially as I’ve been getting more and more momentum with the book.
I almost didn’t read the piece because my daughter was in the audience. Had my story “Camera Shy” as a backup. Felt strange reading it with her there, even if the writing went well over her head. She’s a writer’s daughter, there will be much more stuff like this in her life. I’m very glad I chose to read it. Laurence Dumortier, the writer before me, used the word “Fuck” in her story and that freed me up. Reading the other story would have been a cop-out.
The small triumph made the Mets’ loss go down a whole lot easier. I brought a walkman so I could hear the game. I was huddled every once in a while trying to get a glimpse of the game and I thought, Why bother, this is what I do when I’ve got nothing else to do. Seemed silly to be obsessing at the reading. I was able to catch the last inning on the drive home. Truth be told, I’m glad to not have to obsess for another four to seven games, watching hours of television. Sort of hard to tell my daughter she can’t watch TV and turn around and watch TV myself. This postseason has been nicely diverting, but exhausting.
The Mets just got beat. It wasn’t a tragic mistake of a loss. Bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, their slugger up, they couldn’t get the hit. Wasn’t meant to be. I can live with it.
Thanks to Christopher Meeks, author of The Middle Aged Man and the Sea, for what he has to say about North of Sunset in his newsletter (under “A Colleague”).
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