Lufthansa has film suggestions: The Thurgood Marshall movie or Magic Mike XXL. Do those two movies sum up America? I don’t think so. My seatmate says she has seen the great parts of the U.S: Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, San Francisco, New York, now Los Angeles. I asked whether she wants to go to the South; she says that she has heard nothing good about the South or Texas. In line a guy told me the best parts of the U.S. are the national parks; he is renting a camper van and taking his kids to see them.
Lufthansa overbooked the flight; they got me a seat at the last minute all packed into the middle, but at least I am getting back to Los Angeles. It was a good book fair, a lot of interest in our titles: things are cooking and being around the Akashic staff is always a jolt. They’re professional and smart and kind and I really like them. Frankfurt was very cold this time, but I feel good about this year’s book fair. A lot of buzz about the Hen books. The petri dish coming to life.
Walking/thinking time. I think about love and how big it is, and hesitancy and how it slows you down. I’m going to read Crime and Punishment again. I’m familiar with punishment. When I was growing up, there was a lot of it, and I was used to it, and the thing about punishment is that it doesn’t usually last forever. The whole time you are being punished, you know that it will stop at some point, and you have that to look forward to and you can think about the morning when you’ll wake up, and it will be over. For Hester Prynne, there was no morning. When Hester Prynne sewed on the A, it was with tiny stitches. Many tiny stitches.
Many times the punishment when I was a kid was no dinner. When I arrived at the New Mexico conference this summer, I hadn’t eaten all day, and the others had dinner, but not me. I sat watching them eat, and it was weirdly strange remembering that curiously empty feeling, I had as a kid like I was floating. When you’re a kid, and you don’t get food for a day or two, your whole body feels like it’s made out of glass, you’re pretty sure someone could see right through you, or they could put their hands right through you. You could become glass and eventually you would have had no substance at all. The less I eat, the more I remember being transparent.
What I have that Hester Prynne did not have. Friends. Well, she had Arthur Dimmesdale, but he wasn’t a very good friend, now was he? He was the kind of person who would let people laugh at you for being a smoker and then sneak around the corner for a smoke. I love the Scarlet Letter.
I have friends who love me and who I love so I am not living with Pearl in the forest. I have a son and a daughter, a family, friends. Having people to love makes life worthwhile. There is love and there are those who carry wood and water. And that brings us to Caliban. I’ve been Caliban, the expendable one who carries wood and water.
Caliban, the ultimate outsider, is neither male nor female, fish nor fowl. Caliban, who exists in limbo, is the subject of Nicelle Davis’ play which will be at Boston Court this Wednesday.
In Hades, there is still great theater, some say better theater than Heaven.