WEEK IN REVIEW: the things we did and didn’t say

(Evan Karp)

August. When the unaccountable rises up like a cobra and tortures you with stillness. Only the temperature is pleasant, the cobra a construct for your better self. In the same way that the buildings in Denmark are proportionate to a common human stature yet lend themselves to fairy tales, Charlie Getter‘s book release on Wed Aug 10 was one of those events that just made “human” appropriate.

I had $58 in my checking account. About average for the second week of the month. Maybe a little low. Nicole got to Vira first and purchased all three volumes of The Garrulous Progress for $25; I joked with Charlie that this was a strong reason to keep her around. But not strong enough not to have my own copy. I left. On my way to the bank I passed a swankery; a well-dressed man was lathering butter onto his bread. I started to tear, but not because I was hungry. I passed Ritual Roasters, and every time I do I look in to see if Stephen is there. Why? Because that’s where I first interviewed him and, in my mind, that’s where he writes The Daily Rumpus. When he’s here.

Then I passed Lost Weekend, where Hannah Lew of Grass Widow works. I thought, what giants I know. I thought, how they go, they go. If this were a poorly written story my pace would quicken, my tears would fall. I know I thought of Charlie again, how he might have to move back to Florida, how this book release might be a last-ditch effort to keep him here. I thought, is that reason for a book? And, what better? In this case. What better?

When I got to the bank it was locked and, in frustration, I banged it a bit. Nothing crazy. But I didn’t want to miss any of the readings and I needed a copy. Refusing to leave, I backed away and stared at the door until someone else walked up; instead of telling him about the lock, I watched as he slid his card into a new slot. The door opened.

This new addition to the Bank of America on 23rd is hardly worth mention in this week’s review. But it got to me. The transitoriness, how all things change and eventually pass: friendships, projects, desires. But books… And whoever cares about them…

On the way back I passed a man chomping unabashed on a piece of pizza. Whose fault is it, this fight; what are we wearing; how did we meet all these people; what are their respective followings? I answered those last two, this week, about seven writers I admire. Some sort of research by another writer I admire.

When I got back to the creation factory I met a kid who had never been there before. He asked me how my night was going. My response: “I’m very well. I’ve been looking forward to this night for a long time… long before I knew it would actually happen.”

I had spent the day in the studio with Fox & Woman. It was an emotionally overwhelming day. I love everyone in that band so much. What kind of blog is this? What kind of songs are those? I went from one party to another, never speaking, never contradicting myself, always avoiding the bulls-eye. I drank, for once, and made some noise. I hope I don’t ever forget that day.

I said this on a Saturday night. It was not quite the heart.

There were other events, too, so noteworthy, so very full of talent and timelines. I felt so many things worth repeating. Find me. Press me. I will tell you as much as I can.

I couldn’t get to Why There Are Words or new poetry mission or InsideStoryTime or Bawdy or Fireside Storytellings; to Writers With Drinks or Lip Service West or Mortified or SF in SF or Oakland Pet Cemetery. And I thought: As you get older, life is just a list of things you don’t get to do. And I thought: But wasn’t that what childhood was?

I went to Previously Secret Information and The Rumpus and We Still Like and Bang Out. It was a full week. I’ve got nothing left.