Naming my fat book after the working title of Knausgård’s fictional memoir (or a country in South America, home to a host of writers I keep coming back to including Aira, Borges, and the Pole, Gombrowicz — to name just a few) is more than just a whimsical notion, and has some justification in a line I found in Gombrowicz’s Diary. My own fat book has at its center, at its very heart, the state of Oklahoma which could be described by the words Gombrowicz used for Argentina: “…a country richer in cows than in art.”
ONE CAT PLAYING A PIANO.
Nemo cast a blanket of white over the landscape last weekend. The nearly three foot thick layer of snow made roads impassable. Regularly scheduled activities (soccer training, soccer matches, work, school, etc.) were cancelled. Nemo’s gift was free time, extra time (stoppage time?). His price was a few hours of shoveling, but the benefit was a triple return on investment. I disappeared into my study to write. My work in progress: Angels and Monsters.
Watching football was my escape from the labor of writing. Stoke City v. Reading on Saturday morning. The US Women v. Scotland in the evening. The Africa Cup of Nations final on Sunday. Liverpool v. West Brom on Monday afternoon. Celtic v. Juventus on Tuesday. Then something happened. Wednesday. I had a football hangover. Champions League: Man United v. Real Madrid. The idea of watching that match made me sick. The MetroBulls played a preseason match against Real Salt Lake. I couldn’t even bring myself to watch that. All I wanted to do yesterday was read. And read I did, finishing Cosmos by Witold Gombrowicz.
A fresh layer of snow covered the steps and driveway this morning. I started the day with shoveling and the scattering of ice melt (salt of the earth). My son was hoping for another snow day, a day off from school to play, and to lounge lazily around the house. Today is a normal day. A short commute to the office. Meetings. Manuscripts to read. Decisions to be made. I hold authors’ futures in my hands. Do I feel that weight of responsibility? And when I return home, the hope that the book I ordered will be waiting for me on the steps. The Novel of the Future by Anaïs Nin. I’ve read it before. About ten years ago. It was one of the first books I read after moving to New York to become a writer.