Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, April 9, 2016, 7:20 p.m.
When I look back on my 58th birthday and its aftermath, all I can make at this point is what, all too often in my life, one I’ve been unable to make.
Thank goodness for the Boston Red Sox, who came from five runs down last night to win and then backed it up with another victory over the reigning American League champion Toronto Blue Jays today.
Now it’s a matter of seeing if the Red Sox can come up with more pitching at the start of each game. David Price? So far, so great. Clay Buchholz? Lord, have mercy. Joe Kelly? Uhhhh. Rick Porcello? Not bad.
John Farrell is nothing if not a player’s manager. He rested several cogs in the lineup and still won comfortably this afternoon. He’s seeing immediate results with the position players and bullpen.
All right. It’s early. You’re probably not that interested in the above, but wait till you see where this blog goes from here. You don’t care about my problems. I just feel as if it might be therapeutic to get it off my chest right now. It is an anvil, and I need this to settle me down.
I can’t remember the last time I failed to complete a writing assignment. I’m sure there’s another example, but I can’t recall it now. Life’s just too short. This day is one where lots of tiny frustrations have boiled over. I’m not even going to mention them all (believe it or not!).
I went to the Presbyterian College spring football game and enjoyed spending time with friends I haven’t seen since the last game of last season, but I had to leave long before it was over to work on a story about a local athlete who’s trying to make it big. He told me to text him at 12:30, which I did, and he replied that he’d text me back as soon as he checked into his hotel.
I waited. And waited. And texted, Long trip? Then a longer what’s the deal? text.
Five hours after we were supposed to talk, he wrote back that things came up, and he hadn’t had any time, and maybe we could do it Sunday night. I texted back that his time was too pricey for me, and I was sure someone else would be assigned to the story, and that I was sorry he hadn’t had time to text “can’t make it” so that I could have done something important like mow the lawn.
I had spent the time watching the Red Sox, reading a book, setting up a giveaway of my new collection of short stories, tweeting, posting, drinking coffee, getting hungry and mad.
Here’s a link to the giveaway.
I finally left for the McDonald’s drive-through, the better to drop everything to talk with the athlete because, at that point, I hadn’t gotten to the “hell with it” stage. At McDonald’s I ordered a salad, and the metallic voice in the speakers, which grew less metallic at the former window because she was live and in person, asked me what kind of dressing I wanted, and I said “blue cheese,” and “ranch” popped up on the screen, and I drove around, and I asked the lady if they didn’t offer blue cheese, and she said that was right, so I said, “I’ll take Southwest then,” and she said, “That’s what I gave you,” and I told her the message said she was giving me ranch, and she said, “Oh.”
I picked up the bag at the latter window, and then, halfway home, I discovered that the bag didn’t contain the wrap for which I also had paid, and so I turned right back around, marched inside, and a fellow looked up and asked, “You the one who got the wrap?” and I said, “Not no more.”
It took a while to get my money refunded, because they said there wasn’t enough money ($10) “in the drawer,” and I came close to saying keep the money and ram the food … well, you get the picture. I thought about it, but Mama raised me slightly better, so I just started over and went to a nearby sit-down restaurant, where the salad (blackened chicken Caesar) was much better but the service only slightly. I needed to sit there a while, though, and calm down, so I commenced to reading so that now I’m no longer furious, just neurotic.
I calmed my murderous outlook enough to leave a tip that was modest where it had been tiny.
The NASCAR race is about to start, except, of course, it’s a bit delayed, so I decided to write this to put out the fuses that lead to the bombs in my brain.
I feel better now. I need to wipe the slate clean and start over. Can I be 57 again? Just for a day?
It’s out. $3.49. You can’t afford not to!
Forgive Us Our Trespasses fell eight months and eight days after the release of Crazy of Natural Causes. Eight is my lucky number, and this is pure luck. Apparently, my speed is about eight months. It’s a good pace I’m setting. You can order Trespasses here.
I have a new volume of short stories, Longer Songs, which you may examine and preferably purchase here.
Crazy of Natural Causes has been out since late July of 2015. In the interest of peace, love, and understanding, I’d love for you to give one or two or four of them a read. If you’ve never watched an R-rated film, then I wouldn’t recommend my novels. If you have, I expect you’ll love them. Soon a print version of Crazy will be released for those of you who eschew the Kindle, and a Trespasses edition is on the way soon, too.
The Intangibles (2013) is based on boyhood memories and is set in a small Southern town amid the tumult of the 1960s. The Audacity of Dope (2011) is a freewheeling yarn about a pot-smoking songwriter who somehow becomes a national hero, and that comes with complications.
Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here.
My short fiction, reviews and essays can be found here
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing) and @wastedpilgrim (more humor and opinion). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50.