“We need more stuff to eat,” Smith says as he cleans the kitchen table. There’s an onion, a clove of garlic, a half bag of peanuts. He picks up garlic skin, sweeps crumbs into his hand.

“I know,” I say. “But I’m tired of going to the market. I’m tired of cooking, too. I need someone to feed me food pellets. What I really need is for my mom to come down here and cook for me.”

“Yeah, but then I’d have to talk to her, before and after.”

“Not my mom. She’d be happy just reading a book.”

“No. They all expect human interaction, social intercourse. Maybe we can keep her in a cage.”

“Fine, as long as she has a book.”

“We’ll put a pile of really really good books outside her cage, just out of reach. Turn the spines so she can see how good the books are. Maybe tie a string to them so we have them close enough so she can touch them, then slowly pull them away from her. We can leave one really good book close enough for her to get, but we’d make sure it’d have blank pages.”

* * *

I’m spending most of my writing energy revising Smith’s biography, CRIMINAL. This is the 11th round of editing with many more to come.

I’m spending less time on MySpace and blogging because I need to focus on this writing project.

Here’s a passage I particularly like:

We were poor folk, but we ate well. We had our own garden. We had beef, pork, rabbit, chicken, goose, infrequent duck and frequent venison. We ate chicken eggs, goose eggs, duck eggs. We churned our own butter, had our own whole milk that was at least one quarter cream on top.
  I roamed several hundred acres. Forty were ours. I knew where every apple tree was. I raided the garden, ate the raspberries, ate raw peas in their pods. I sliced a dug-up potato and cooked each slice over a fire I made. We had a fruit cellar. Mom canned peaches and pears. She dyed the pears green and red and pink and yellow. I’d steal a jar, and I’d have to eat the whole thing. You can’t leave a half jar. Evidence.
  Up in the attic of the fruit cellar, I found boxes of old magazines from the thirties and forties. Colliers, Liberty, Saturday Evening Post. I tore out advertisements and played with them. I still do, only now I call it collage. I’d still rather have an old advertisement than a new thing.

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