Not Much

I posted a tweet last week that read, “Not much to report—worked, paddled, walked,” which described a typical day lately. All is quiet, all is calm. While paddling in the harbor I came across a harbor seal and her recently born pup, both of which popped up next to the kayak, gave me a look of panic and descended in a flash—and I didn’t even have a harpoon with me. I later watched them haul out on a spit of sand at the mouth of the harbor next to another mother and pup combo, a rare sight these days because of human presence. It was an uncharacteristically cold and breezy day and so, mercifully, no one was there roasting wienies over a charcoal grill or tossing Frisbees over the recursive pounding of a boom box. Normally, the seals and sea lions haul out on the bait barge anchored in the harbor, but it occurred to me that there was no way the pups could manage to clamber up there, as it sits a couple of feet above water level, and I couldn’t think of another spot in the harbor or along the adjoining beaches where they could have privacy—and safety. Still, there they were, and it was glorious to be there to see them.
In my last post here I was looking forward to getting out a bit more since I’d received my second COVID shot, and that has been possible, but in a fairly limited way so far. As it turned out, I was not able to go into the studio to record “The Shape of a Teardrop” for The New Yorker but had to pioneer doing it here at this desk, with results that seemed to please my editor. My tech staff (wife, daughter, son-in-law) have provided me with a high-quality microphone and the dog was confined to the guesthouse for the duration, so we forged ahead. The process was relatively uncomplicated—the phone didn’t ring, no cars backfired on the street and no leaf blowers flared into action—but it was a far cry from the studio. Next year I hope to record, in studio, all thirteen stories of I Walk Between the Raindrops, and do it up properly. At present, however, the highlight of my post-lockdown venture into the world was going to my favorite bar/restaurant here in the Lower Village, in the company of my son, Dr. Boyle the Younger, who was there to fight off any errant viral particles, finding a seat outside and having my first bartender-mixed drink in more than a year’s time (the occasion is commemorated in the accompanying photo here).
At this point I’m looking forward to the time when we’re all vaccinated and we can meet safely—and joyfully—in public. I’m tired of viewing all other human beings as interlopers, as sacks of infection, as annoyances. In the fall, I have two live performances booked and I hope by then we will actually be able to enjoy one another’s company sans paranoia. I’d like to read “The Shape of a Teardrop” to a live audience and maybe attempt the trick of becoming a middle-aged woman for a reading of “What’s Love Got To Do With It?,” which features a first-person female narrator. Stay tuned. All things are possible. The bartenders are working their wrists back into shape and I am eager to become T.C. Boyle again, even if I will have to wear a wig, a skirt and a touch of lipstick.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...
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Published on March 30, 2021 10:18
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message 1: by Terry (new)

Terry Gardner Impatiently waiting to tip a few, hear some live music, and try my pentatonic scales at the local blues jam. Oh yeah I also have to listen to your reading of The Shape of a Teardrop. I did read the story of the trials and tribulations of today's dysfunctional family but want to hear the writer's voice.
Good luck in the coming year with your live performances.


message 2: by T. (new)

T. Boyle All you have to do is lie back on the couch, pull the shades and crank the volume. As I have said here before, I do love performing the stories because it brings me back to my earliest experience of the magic of my mother reading to me.


message 3: by Charles (new)

Charles Wolfe Really enjoyed the story from The New Yorker. I also listened to all the stories on Word Theater. "My Pain is More Than Your Pain" is one of my favorite stories, and Goldblum was superb. Absolutely excellent reading of a top notch story. The rest were great also, but that particular story is just so brilliant and demented.


message 4: by T. (new)

T. Boyle Many thanks, Charles. I am especially gratified by the adjectives you use to describe the story. And yes, Jeff gave a championship comedic performance. We are hoping to do a live fall show with some of the new stories. Stay tuned. I'll let you know if and when that materializes.


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