Saturday, July 26, 2008

Of angels and slugs

Whew, what a day! First I get that downer news that those angels mid-aisle at St. Ann's were not there when my grandmother walked down the aisle. Darn! And I had such a romantic picture in my head. Read it and weep.

Well, thank you, Professor, for setting the record straight. (See comment yesterday.)

Then I blew all day today working on this story about Leonard Pennario I want to send to the Wall Street Journal. Ten hours, vaporized, like that. Do not ask me why I am going through this trouble. I have absolutely no guarantee they will run it. The day after Leonard died, I took the liberty of giving their Arts and Leisure editor a buzz. I emailed him and called him. I am normally too shy to call strange editors but I have read that in extreme situations, we are capable of extreme things, like picking up cars. That was what it was like for me that day.

So I called this editor and got his machine, and I explained who I was and what I was doing, and said that I was going to be sending this story to him. I never heard back from him. For which I don't blame him -- I am the queen of lapsed correspondence and unreturned phone calls. No one can touch me in that department.

But, you know, it would have been easier to get this done if I had just had a note saying, "Sure, Mary. Send it along and I'll see what I think." Maybe there is some reason they cannot do this. I don't know.

All I know is I worship at the altar of the Wall Street Journal. I love the writing in the paper and it would help me find closure, as the cliche goes, to get some kind of appreciation of Leonard in there. I loved the beautiful obituary in the New York Times but I did not get to write that myself, though the generous writer, James Barron, was gracious enough to quote me quite a bit.

So for the last 3 weekends, or however long it has been since we lost Leonard, I have been working away at this thing, trying to get it the way I want it. It is a challenging assignment: "In 1,000 words or less, describe your feelings for this person you care deeply about and state why he matters to civilization." What a pain! No wonder I am banging my head against the wall. My friends think I'm crazy. It's getting so late, they point out. It has been what, a month?

Maybe it is too late. But I am doing this anyway. Then I will dive back in and finish up the book. Will I be sane at that point? Or will I be curled up catatonic in a ball, drinking herb tea and listening to gospel music?

Oh! I almost forgot. Speaking of challenging assignments, a few days ago, Anonymous issued a good one. "Define slug," she said. I am not sure Anonymous is a she but somehow I suspect it is.

Define slug! That is something to think about.

I will need a couple of days. But I will do it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're welcome, but don't feel too bad. One of the things I do best is ruin people's days.

Possible definition: "Slug: see Gutterdweller, Professor." (?)

Hang in there. I believe the friendly shade of Pennario will help you when you least expect it.

Prof. G