Reggie, Woody and me


October 4, 1980


Strange days for me, Woody Allen and the New York Yankees.

The Yankees pulled their usual magic and managed to beat the Kansas City Royals again for the fourth time in five years to win the American League championship with Reggie Jackson living up to his title as Mr. October.

I watched as he watched the first of his four home runs sail into the upper deck, then he calmly strolled around the bases as if he didnít have anywhere to go, and that the homerun didnít mean anything when it really did.

The crowd chanted his name as if he was the new messiah.

Meanwhile, I went to see Woody Allenís new movie, and came away with the impression that he had collected a bunch of junk and passed it off as art.

I know Iím being hard on a guy that is seen as one of the great film makers of our time, but his work has moved way beyond my simple tastes. Iím a slap stick guy at heart and heís got a vision of a society that doesnít relate to me.

A few threads worked for me, moments of what I would call legitimate humor, but for the most part it seemed self indulgent and said nothing about real people.

I kept thinking the whole time this must have been the outtakes of the real film that someone had mistakenly put on the reel, leaving the real stuff on the cutting room floor.

Unlike with Reggie, I was not impressed.

Maybe it was just too high brow for a low brow guy like me, since my girlfriend seemed to like it well enough and nobody is as high brow as she is when it comes to stuff like that.

Or perhaps I judge him harshly because I envy him, since I have tried similar things in my writing that he did here in film, and it did not work for me.

This seems to have led to the dispute with my girlfriend, and left her crying, and me feeling guilty over it all.

But this symbolizes a lot of what we are about.† We are of different worlds and temperaments.

She likes everything controlled and in its proper place.

I am a series of mixed scenes all running together at the same time. There is the confusion of the crowd in me, all yelling at each ball and strike, and often the final score is inconsequential.

Like Woody, I am always trying to explain myself, but canít often find the right combination of words, and sometimes get images muddled.

Even what I write here canít quite get it straight since I canít keep it all straight in my head.
I approach the end of this notebook with more than a little awe over the written word, and hope that someday I will be able to constantly write without having to worry about making a living.

This year, I turn 30, and Iím told that from now on the years run more quickly.

I donít want to have to run out of time, which is perhaps why I trade off one thing in order to find time to do the other, mistakenly believing that what I scribbled down in these pages has something to do with art.

If I can find a way to write when I sleep, then I can double my efforts, but this is not likely.

I often write when my girlfriend is sleeping, doing without a few hours of sleep myself, sometimes even putting up with the chill of the night that numbs my fingers so I struggle to hold my pen.

Forgive me, Woody; forgive me, Reggie.

I canít stand at home plate and watch the pitch I hit sail into the bleachers, I can only huddle under this blanket and try to keep on keeping on before my eyes close and I finally fall to sleep.




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