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2008-10-06 - 2:18 p.m.

Rumination on a word: I was just reading a magazine article and came upon the word "leonine." This time, it was used to describe the director of the Atlanta symphony, about how he conducts, waves his baton, about how he moves. The other time, about two years ago, it described an American soccer player, a black guy who was playing very well at the time. The reporter was watching the team stretch and warm up, and the coach pointed out this guy, saying, if we had more athletes like him, we'd have a better soccer team. And the reporter called him "leonine." The reporter was a man. I remember thinking that description had a vaguely homoerotic feel. In any event, it's a nice word and brings certain connotations to mind: curves, strength, maybe the way smoke rises from a cigarette in a still room.

The hardest part about writing a memoir, besides the usual writer-struggles of actually sitting down and doing it every day, is probably the exercise of what's worthwhile to write about. Does stealing eight-ounce bottles of Coke from the church's vending machine count? What about the urge I often had of wanting to shout "Fuck!" while in church and the terror I'd feel when I realized that no one was stopping me, that I could, if I just did it, actually do it? Of course, what matters more is what I do with it, I think, but I'm nonetheless trying to focus my energies on what might, in the end, turn out to be keepers. When in doubt, I'm going to keep the stuff that has to do with girls, violence, thoughts about sex (girls), dirt, food, or school (girls, a lot of the time).

I started a little essay about, basically, what people I know might think about in their last 30 seconds if they knew, because of a meteor, that the earth was about to end. It's proving harder to do this than it would be to list, say, what I might think about.

We live in a studio apartment. Her little brother (17 years old) crashed with us Saturday night. He slept on the couch, which is about eight feet away from our bed. The bed's up on a riser, but there are no walls. The bedroom's separated from the main room by a curtain-thing that the girl ingenuously put up, using bolts of cloth, heavy-duty steel wire, washers, and screws. We were pretty sure he was snoring when we did it on Sunday morning. We were quiet and it went pretty fast but it was nice. Afterwards, after she'd woken me up and gotten things going, afterwards, I fell asleep again.

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