Over the next while I’ll be posting excerpts from the notebook I filled up on my trip. These are first drafts from what’s eventually going to be my China book. They’ll be marked “hangman harmony” in the category field (that’s the working title for the book). The opening quote in the notebook is a misquote of a Tom Waits song:
I'm digging all the way to China With a silver spoon While the hangman fumbles with the noose, boys The hangman fumbles with the noose - Get Behind the Mule
When I lived in China (and before looking it up) I always heard that line as “the hangman follows with the noose” and loved the image of a slowly etched out tunnel dug by a man on his hands and knees with a hangman right behind him, peering over his shoulder. I think it’s sort of fitting that my writing about China begins with a mistaken impression because that’s all everything in there is going to be. But I’ll (eventually) let it speak for itself.
The post titles will have numbers in them corresponding to the order the entries appear in my notebook. They go from 1-37 plus a few abandoned roman numerals which are material for a slightly different project. Those have very little bearing on how any final version of all this will look. I’m just saying.get behind the mule the hangman