Black Bill Part 4

Notes in preparation for the novel:

He claims that O’Hara “doesn’t introspect or recollect much,” which is a lie if we’ve read the same thing. Every instant is recollection.

I watched that movie where time folds in on itself, people avoiding encounters with their past selves as they re-mold the future, which is my experience of time. No innovations necessary.

Some people write simply, others pretend to, and others write simply as a device. I think you have to know which one you’re doing and why. But it’s not enough to know.

Every book I read about being a mother was elegiac. Every serious book. It’s a corrective, I get it. But I didn’t have a life to mourn.

I wish I wanted to be in the thick of everything again, but I’ve had my fill. Now I just fantasize about it without really wanting it. This is how my mother lives, too.

Why do dogs listen to us? They know something that they’re not telling, and yet if we promise them food, affection, they listen to us. Children are not necessarily like this.

Who’s written about having twins? There’s something strange that goes on in your own house with them. Like a board meeting you must attend without being on the board.

A bad math problem isn’t a difficult math problem, it’s a problem with too many hypotheticals, everything in suspension. You’re not looking for an answer, but the question. I should’ve studied math at a higher level.

Does anyone want to know what I’m thinking? No one asks anymore. How To Appear Interesting. It’s criminal if I have to prove myself at this age.

Her appraisal of style is that it’s just style, intrinsically empty. And her appraisal of good is that it’s something she likes, intrinsically weighty. She’s pursuing an advanced degree. I would die to be so stupid.

We always look to mom for certainty, because she’s suspicious about the right things/people. I read novels and the main characters have shaky-at-best reads on those they’re closest to, unless it’s a detective serial. Is it unliterary to be accurately perceptive? Or is that solely reserved for the author?

Russian novelists. I must remember. Because they let their characters be emotionally intelligent and it doesn’t derail the conflict. There are things you have to do even in discordance with your friends, and usually it is for ideological reasons or for love.

I can’t pretend I’ve read everything. But it’s difficult not to.

If I ask myself why I don’t just write poetry instead of trying to start up this novel I balk because the answer goes against my ideology.

Nobody I know remembers off the top what happened to them when they were 13 and yet there is a lot of art about that time. If you didn’t have sex or get attacked at that age it’s kind of like repression works.

I love religious people who lost the conviction or fled the mandate to actually practice but are still compelled by the clarity of a moral framework. Everyone raised Catholic claims to be like this but most of the ones I’ve met were brought up in something more niche and cultish. There’s a noble sense of death and destruction, an ability to look exactly at what we are and still say, somehow, I want to live.

Black Bill is a series of stories.