I read a good portion of Executioner's Song while waiting in an aiport terminal for my then-beloved to return from a job interview. These were the days you could wait at the gate, and I plopped myself down in the very wrong terminal and waited and waited, getting lost in the world of Gary Gilmore brought into being by Norman Mailer. While I always enjoyed Mailer's persona, his anger, his crazy-ass antics (stabbing his second wife at a party ranks right up there with William Burroughs infamous William Tell moment with his wife), I read his books because I felt that I needed to, not with the rabid pleasure I had with many novels. But Executioner's Song was different. Weighing in at over a thousand pages, I felt mesmerized by murder, Mormons, death-haunted families, and the Bonnie and Clyde elements of the story. I finally figured out I was at the wrong place and had to stop reading and get my bearings.
I often get lost, so much so that I build in time for it in my schedule, sometimes arriving way too early. And I get antsy while I wait for anyone and carry around books as a protection against that quiet time when you have nothing to do but think. I don't want to think! No way! I don't know what inspired Mailer to write Executioner's Song; in some ways, it's his least characteristic book. But for a long time, I was in God-haunted Utah at every stop I made, making my life so much better for a few minutes. Mailer talked a lot of shit, stirred the pot, made many appearances. But for my money, he did what every writer wants to do in that week of Executioner's Song -- he wrote something that made me trade my own despair for someone else's.
Michelle's Spell of the Day"Every moment of one's existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit." Norman Mailer
Cocktail HourDrinking movie suggestion: Year of the Dog
Benedictions and Maledictions
Rest in peace, Norman Mailer! Happy Sunday to all! Still working on catching up on e-mail.