Yesterday, as I checked the calendar at Viva House, I realized that the combination of the book tour and some family travel meant that I would not return to the soup kitchen until May 8 — nine weeks. I couldn’t have been more depressed.
Let’s be clear: Viva House doesn’t need me. I need Viva House. My shift there is one of the reliable bright spots in the week. There are, apparently, scientific reasons for this, relating to the pleasure centers of the brain and how they respond to such activity. I’ve gone up to a month without being able to go there, but nine weeks! I haven’t had a streak like that since I started in 2003.
Meanwhile, interviews continue. One yesterday, two today, one Sunday, three Monday. There is a temptation, among writers whose work is wildly varied, to invoke Graham Greene, who characterized some of his novels as “entertainments.” I could do that, I suppose, but I think I would sound like an asshole. And while I, like Tess, would rather be an asshole than a bitch, I just don’t think I can carry the Graham Greene thing. I choose to compare myself to Wee Willie Keeler. One of the early Baltimore Orioles, Keeler had great stats, including a high on-base percentage. He achieved that, in part, by putting down something called the “Baltimore Chop,” a grounder that bounced so high that Keeler, a short and speedy man, could reach first base before the ball was fielded.
So I am the Wee Willie Keeler of crime fiction, hitting them where they ain’t. It is probably inevitable that this will somehow mutate into a claim that I compared myself to Baltimore’s former Cardinal William Keeler, now Archbishop Emeritus, if I understand these distinctions in Catholic hierarchy.
Off to pilates. Don’t mock.