The Great Pyramid of Giza, framed centrally against a darkening sky and a setting sun, with rising dust all around.

When we crossed the pyramids together

I had a good week.

I wrote a novel last year — I can’t remember if I’ve described this before or not, forgive me if so — not really knowing it was a novel at the time. It was a daily writing exercise, mostly around following my inner voice wherever she wanted to go, that sort of just… kept going. (I guess she wanted to go a long way.)

This week I “finished” that novel, by which I mean, I’ve been through the rough draft in detail, strengthened the structure and connections throughout, dug out a big thorny old root of a problem in the third act and rebuilt that whole section of the book, and — give or take a sniff test on one piece of a concluding monologue that I might do on Monday — have gotten it about as far as I want to take it before I start asking others to weigh in.

Do I have any better idea what this thing I’ve written is, than I did when I was writing it? Not really. I’m going to have to come up with some capsule ways to describe it, which I’ll start doing next week; it’s part (fairy-tale-ish?) narrative, part personal essay, part contemporary imaginary. It’s obsessed with the end of the world, body dysmorphia, cosmic time, girls and childhood.

Whether it gets published or not, the writing of it brought so much out of me that I think it’s part of the story of everything else I’m ever going to do.


I am generally fond of Christopher Nolan but honestly, at this point, I could not care less.

The recent reflection on this year being the 30th anniversary of the Schindler’s List year, though, got me nostalgic; that makes it also the 30th anniversary of my first kiss, because I had that kiss the same night. (It was not, surprisingly, related in any direct way to Steven Spielberg winning an Oscar.)

And that gets me nostalgic because the person who gave me that kiss died about a decade and a half later, of a cancer that took her before she was thirty. I think about that, and her, all the time. Providing absolutely no new insight into the human condition whatsoever, let me nonetheless state here: it all goes by way too fast.

Bendis Items, 3/8/24

ITEM!: Yes, Dune Two really is that bitch

ITEM!: This was a good week for great writing, but this piece by Pankaj Mishra is astonishing. Might be the most important and clear-eyed assessment of the Zionism problem we’re going to get.

ITEM!: From the sublime to the ridiculous, only not quite: this piece about Sydney Sweeney (that is actually not really about Sydney Sweeney) is fantastic.

ITEM!: No one I know, still, knows what bluesky is.

ITEM!: I ended up one (1) Boba Fett action figure and $25 up on the week, which I think is pretty good!

ITEM!: I bought back SURVIV.ORg this week, because — as I told my web services provider — that domain name is the only truly funny idea I ever had.