June 23rd, 2004



Yet more evidence that I am a Wrong Thing. People die, and it affects me hardly at all. I don't know how long it's been since the death of a human has truly affected me. Many, many years. But a tree dies, and I almost shut down. Which is to say that the Asian pear in the courtyard, the one I wrote about last week, wasn't saved. As I write this, it's being cut down and fed through some huge yellow tree-eating machine, the chewed up bits spat out into the back of a big white truck. I suspect more effort could have been expended to save it, but the people who own this place, well, never mind about that. I took a few pictures of the tree yesterday evening. Here's one:

And another shot, of the place where the fallen section lay last week:

Last night, about nine forty-five, as the dusk was turning to night, I looked out the front door and thought how this was the pear tree's last twilight, after all the decades, and that it would only get one more morning. I wanted to go burn candles beneath it, because that felt like the right thing to do. But I didn't. I often don't do what I know is the right thing to do, because I fear it will look strange to those around me who are not Wrong Things.

This morning, I'm playing the stereo in the living room loud, trying to block out the noises of the tree-eating machine and the chainsaws. It isn't working very well. Now the courtyard will be exposed to the sun. I doubt it'll be a pleasant place now, though there are still the hydrangea bushes. Ah, well. We're leaving here in December, anyhow. At least the tree didn't die in winter. Winter deaths are the worst of all.

Yesterday was frantic, as one would expect of the day before a trip that will last two weeks or longer. But we did manage to proof "Night Story, 1973." I am very fond of this story. It was almost like reading it for the first time. It's one of those things I wrote at a very busy time, one of those things I wrote and forgot. I'm glad it's being reprinted in The Last Pentacle of the Sun. And in a lost month, it was good to do a little work.

There's so much last minute stuff to be done today. I'm clearing mp3 files off Hinderance so there will be room to store jpgs on the trip. I erased half a gig of mp3s last night. Images are very important to my writing, and we'll be taking a lot of reference photos this trip to be used while I write Daughter of Hounds. I also got the new Nar'eth pin-up online last night. Thanks, Leh'agvoi, for things that make me smile.

I'm going to try very hard to make an entry every day during the trip. I'll include some photos. We'll be spending a couple of days in New York City with Peter Straub. We're driving up to Ipswich and Cape Ann to look for Innsmouth. We're planning to go to Boston, to visit Chris Ewen (Future Bible Heroes) and see the New England Aquarium. There will be a great deal of exploring around Providence, southern Rhode island, perhaps Stonington, Connecticut. There are many cemeteries I need to visit. We've talked of driving as far west as Amherst, and as far north as Nova Scotia. We shall see. We'll will be driven to the station by Byron; it seems fitting we have a boy to see us off. But now I have to go finish packing, and all the other stuff yet to be done. It's already eleven forty-five...
  • Current Music
    Peter Gabriel, Up, from the living room