Speculative nonfiction: “Silence 104—We play nothing, all the time”

Came home. Read some. M and I were up ’til about midnight—then there were what sounded like firecrackers outside. Dog panted by side of my bed. About 12:34, we got dog onto the bed and I kinda hugged him, spoon-style, and M said I fell sleep before Sam left.

Old Man Show’s back on [the radio]—he said #1 on 26 December 1942 was “White Christmas.”

Had an idea while outside: how if I quit [my subscription to newspaper] RRStar (“I don’t give a sh!t. It’s not like I ever read it,” M said just now, at 11:10, when I asked her if she’d mind me canceling RRStar), I’ll be out of that conversation.

How people get excited to see people they know on TV (Mom even used the term “Tebowing” to mean going down on one knee—I was surprised she knew and used that term.)

M and I joked about a radio station without talk or songs: “Silence 104—We play nothing, all the time” and “We’ll be back with more silence after these words from our sponsors.”

We joked at Copy Center counter about “Fiction on Demand.”

20 years—”Enter Sandman.” I heard that on way to New Year’s party. It’s been out 20+ years, that song. I played it at my graduation party 20 years ago.

Mom: there’s less pressure now on young people to get married than there was in her time.

Me: I don’t like life, being alive, well enough to bring someone else into it? My life’s not so great that I need to bring others to life. Mom: We don’t give life, we force it on people. Me: Maybe people don’t think about it this way? Maybe they just selfishly want kids, or didn’t want kids but had them.

Mom: Having kids is wonderful, but fraught—worry, disappointment. One invests in other humans, but bad things happen. Being a parent can be wonderful, but it can also be the opposite of wonderful.

People growing up to do their people-things.

The wrong beast: M said she was talking sweetly to Sam as I held him, and I fell asleep first—the wrong beast fell asleep.

Mom: “I love learning things—new ways of looking at things.” She said this when she was telling example of perspective, how an artist told about how important things in Eastern art are larger in depiction—a mountain is top or bigger (not distant as in Western art).

M liked “speculative nonfiction” as a term. (It helps explain stuff her parents say.) M said all nonfiction is an argument. Nonfiction makes a claim for truth, so fiction either claims falseness, or makes no claim. Every nonfiction statement about the future is B.S. (as Wendell Berry said, the future doesn’t exist), whether it’s an expert’s prediction or an idiot’s. It’s just that some predictions are less likely than others.

I was saying last night that the possum we almost hit in Chana at railroad crossing a couple years ago—the possum I advised to “pick a direction”—was maybe a “hobo possum,” ridin’ the rails. M said, see, you make up things all the time—why not write fiction?

[From journal of Sun., 1 Jan. 2012, Journal 152, page 16-8]

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