The last chapter?


October 7, 1980


Well, this is it.

If you dared to read this far, my future self, then you are far braver than I imagined you to be.

I finish this journal book with the prayer that I’ll still be there to read it, and that I have grown so much in the intervening years, that these words become obsolete – and no longer reflect the way I actually write.

These pages are an attempt to express how I feel at this moment, and perhaps are inadequate at doing even that.

As I write this morning, I feel confident that you will be there to read what I write and will be there at that future time continue to write in books like this, putting to shame whatever it is you find here.

Much of what I do and feel is very contemporary to this time and place, such as my still-lingering affection for the New York Yankees, and my struggling relationship with my girlfriend – who might not even know me by the time you read these pages.

Part of the purpose of this book and the books I hope will follow it, is to establish a routine and a venue where I might perfect my craft, not as a fiction writer or a poet, but simply as a writer.

I’m sure even my financial situation will improve by the time you read this, although money is not as important to me as where I might end up creatively. Spencer and a thousand other greats struggled in the same way I do, to make art while somehow surviving. So in that I am in good company.

But I ache for what both Spenser and Shakespeare seem to know even at the worst of time, although even they had their doubts about immorality.

Spenser said that for a short while his words would live for eternity, but that the eternity that lies before us is often in the hands of fools, and if there is be an eternity at all it will be in spite of our present day society. We are not trying to set people free with progress, but further chain them to this world.

With fools like Ronald Reagan, we have brought ourselves back to the idiotic thinking of the 1950s, and if not fearful of the atomic bomb, then afraid of some new calamity he and his ilk declare as a threat to civilized society.

We are fixated on oil, and there is no nobility in greed.

We have given up the illusion of being right, proper and god-fearing to admit we are consumed with greed – and have made greed a virtue.

What I leave you with the end of this book is an uncertain future: mine as well as yours. This is the seventh day of October and a month from now, an election will tell us our fate. This book ends here, but the story goes on, forward and backward in time, but I already know that some of the friends I made over the course of this book – especially those in the work place last summer – I will never see again, and this book closes their chapters and will open new chapters when I start my scribbling in the next book, and those books after that.

I leave you now for the next book, not yet good bye. That is for you to write someday.


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