By Kyle K.Mann
April 15, 2015
40 years ago this impossibly young version of me heard the call. The all-caps self-growling is the clue:
Tues. April 15, 1975
I MUST WRITE! Sue Saunders was inspiring yesterday – said she puts out 2,000 words a day. Surely I can scribble into this journal at least once a day.
Well – how to tie it all in with the above entry? Crazed ride with the pick-up-oids to Gilroy _ a fascinating blend of persons I the back – Mike the hitcher from Guernville had a great rap about eye contact in hitching and vibes – all important.
Writing in this book is discouraging because it’s not convenient to write in, but Fuck it. Words need to be arraigned correctly to help me express myself
April 15, 2015 again
So there it is, 40 years ago this 23 year old me is saying how determined he is to start continual writing. Hey kid, you made it.
The entry mentions friend Sue Saunders, several years older than me, and a forceful presence. I was jealous, I suppose, that a housewife with two kids could also write 2k words a day. What?! But somehow, also, That was the moment I saw my path ahead. This modest entry, more than any other single point, launched me. But whatever happened to Sue? Damn.
It’s still a failure, this entry, in many ways. Too short, no detail, missed opportunities left and right. I mean a ride thumbed from Santa Barbara to Gilroy in the back of a pickup truck with a bunch of weirdos, all the while thinking about the incredibly luscious, funny, talented, fun, sweet, spiritual Aralee Hambro, and all the amazing people I had just met at Cal Arts who created at will, for the joy of it. I knew they had it right. I would be back, and changed forever by them.
The entry leaves off with no period, I notice. What happened next, according to the next day’s entry, was an “LSD binge.” So it went, four decades back. There was a lot of it available, and all strong and good. Taking it was fairly casual.
Am I lusting to take LSD now? Hell, I haven’t even seen any this decade. No one has it, that I know. Maybe it’s just as well.
Meanwhile, up at the top of my oak-studded Topanga Canyon hill, there’s a heavy wind blasting us today, with temps in the low 80’s. Here comes fire season, the one thing I fear more than earthquake or a Hillary Clinton nuclear war. You see, I was here in the canyon in the 1990’s when we had our last big firestorm. I was living across the way, in Old Canyon, up on the roof with the hose as a wall of flame approached. I watched in shock and disbelief. It looked grim.
Suddenly, a team of firefighters in yellow suits appeared, furiously chopping a firebreak. A beefy black guy looked over at me and said “Don’t worry man, we’ll save your house for you.” They were all convicts. They not only saved the house, they may have saved my life. Such are my current thoughts in the roaring wind as summer barrels down on us in SouCal.
Delighted to take a break from work on Hollywood film sets. But sending a check earlier today to the IRS put a decided ding in my consciousness. This kid who happens to be me didn’t worry about such things. In some ways, though hopelessly naïve, he was much better off.
And if I am alive 40 years from now, and still somehow cogent at age 103, will I feel the same way about me that I do now, looking back at the 23 year old? Maybe so. See you tomorrow, God Willing.