Day You Started
Thursday. A book signing last night at the Edinburough Castle, a hole in the wall bar with literary pretensions located in a hole in the wall neighborhood of San Francisco. My kind of place. Mr. Wilson's new book (The Art of S. Clay Wilson), billed a retrospective from the early days in the late sixties to the present, most of the pieces full page full color on glossy stock, is for me a lesson in how his technique has changed over these last twenty years, the sharp edged ink drawings of the early years morphing into something softer, not in subject matter - The Checkered Demon, Ruby the Dyke, Star Eyed Stella, and Captain Pissgums are all intact - but in an almost organic feeling in the drawings as if he'd moved from metal to flesh, from Wilson to Wilson with a touch of Matisse. Wilson has a great ear for dialog and I personally would have liked to see more of the strips rather than the panels, but there are other S. Clay Wilson collections where they can be found. Nice. The back cover illustration dedicated to Lorraine is special, a great example of where he's gone.
And did you then arrive for your stress test today with a hangover?
Ah, man. I was so good. A single Guinness nursed over a two hour evening, home by nine. Nine. Still a good time running into people from the early San Francisco days. Good to see they're still standing, good to hear of others not in attendance doing well. We traded notes on Jaxon's suicide in Texas and I was reminded that Cunningham had shot his wife and then himself (the fucking idiot) in his own bout of madness.
You read about these things in the news but you don't expect to have them happen to people you know, particularly when there seemed no sign such a thing might be coming. But these were peripheral things, touched upon briefly, one of many items covered. The book was published on Wilson's sixty-fifth birthday. Reminds me my own sixty-fourth is coming in another six months. Forgetting birthdays is a benefit of short term memory loss (I was about to say), but then I realized what kind of life that implies when you've lost the day you started.