Brother Dan is A-OK. The procedure took place late Wednesday. I screwed up, went to the hospital at the wrong time, and didn’t see him Wednesday, and yesterday, Thursday, morning when I went in to visit him in the ICU, he was already up and around and getting ready to check out. I took a walk with him and his attending nurse around the ICU—she was holding a monitor to check his blood pressure—and she said the procedure went just great. So that’s a battle won though it’s still hard to tell how long the war might go on and if Dan’s recovery will be complete enough for him to keep his excellent job at Cetrix. They will not make a decision on that till the fourth quarter of the year, October, November, December.
Maybe because I was too anxious on Wednesday to do much of anything else, I got Carol to come with me and we started in to trying to clean out our garage with its 13 years of collected junk. True, we did some prior tossing, but not nearly enough. We have books up the old wazoo. We took three tubs of them to Planned Parenthood. I have got books from college; for example, a copy of Vanity Fair for 1.25 from about 1966. Damn.
I had trouble looking at them and sorting through them. I tried to keep the books, some at least, that I wanted to read again, or hadn’t read completely the first time, or ones I had some sort of reading experience with the first time I read them. I kept for example Jean Genet’s Thief’s Journal because that was the first book I read by an author that I knew was homosexual and who wrote about it. I remember feeling sort of strange reading it, but after a while that feeling went away and I felt I was just reading about a guy with peculiar habits living in a world I would never fully understand. And I kept another, a collection of essays, by Antoine Artaud, another French guy and the father of what they call the theatre of cruelty. Quite a bit of the writing was done while he was in an insane asylum, and the book was given to me by a guy I knew in college who went insane himself.
I remember one line from that book. He wrote, “Let the lost get lost!” I think I know what he means. Just leave the lost alone, and maybe they will find themselves. They are the ones who will have to do it. Trying to help the lost find themselves just mucks them up and doesn’t help at all.
And then I found stuff I had written. Man, I have written a lot of words over the years. Articles I tried to get published when I was still trying to get a job as a teacher of literature and from before that mounds and molding mounds of short stories. Man, I wrote a lot of short stories, and I sent them out too, and got them rejected over and over, except for one that was published in the Kansas Quarterly. I tried to read parts of a couple of the short stories, and I felt odd reading stuff I knew I had written, but I couldn’t remember having written at all. I mean, I couldn’t remember a word of it. The parts of the short stories I looked at were sort of funny in places, the plots weren’t too good, and overall they seem damn strange.
I didn’t throw any of that stuff out. Who knows maybe someday I will read the stuff and try to get a feeling for who I was like 30 years ago. Or maybe I won’t. But I couldn’t throw the stuff out.
Above. I came across his piece of paper going through the junk. When I got it back in 1971 I expect I felt very relieved. Now I just stare at it and wonder why I was “rejected, physically.” Seems sort of redudant to me. Why not just “rejected.”