Next day, I’m up around 6:40-something. Sipping coffee, watching little Kerouac play, on this toy drum that talks back to him and encourages him to hit harder, make his own music which I like. Last night, sleeping better than I have in some nights.. deep, composed, still and mentoring. Jackie doesn’t like me typing, so this session has to be postposed.
Didn’t want to come in early. And I’m not. I’m just in the parking lot, the “overflow” as they call it. Part of me was afraid to come to the estate early– “the estate”, makes it sound so exalted, so mighty, but it’s not, it’s an ordinary workplace, just much prettier. I look out at the Merlot and Chard blocks, see the tree to my immediate left, nearly touching the roof of this Passat. It moves with the wind’s orders. And I listen to my music, pretend I’m not here, or fully embrace it. Have to apply to that job, the distance learning assignment through Klamath. OH– and I need to call Solano. Should do that now, or do it on their dime, while I should be working or setting up or counting some bloody register. This novel will reveal everything, showing all the industry that writers won’t be quiet– and I mean REAL writers, not dim-witted and dopy-brained bloggers or wine journalists, or wine writers– yes, I know I titled my latest blog, which I started over 2 years ago, “another Literary wine blog by Mike Madigan”, but that’s just it.. ‘another’, meant to be sarcastic, satirical and spiteful, and ‘Literary’ meaning that it’s more important than the wine component, and not just from being capitalized. The jazz, telling me to go to San Francisco, walk where the Beats did, live like them, continue the revolution, or social movement.. move, you have to move and be in constant movement to be part of a movement, don’t you? The mocha, in fact all the coffee I’ve sipped this morning, making me uneasy, a bit touchy, or “punchy” as Dwight says of me when I’ve had too much, but I’m rolling with it.. this fiction, about the characters based in the TR and the ones visiting, sure to change it all, strip this guised industry of the fantasy, show how most Rooms are merely revolving doors, only interesting in the “bottom line”. You could call it justified in the capitalist net, but I call it carnivorous opportunism. And I’ve had it. Now the coffee feel’s beginning to balance. Much better. Miles Davis with me, and the image of a dark room, trumpets, saxophones, drums, a young female vocalist riling me. On a trip, to Manhattan, for my book, then down to Missouri to see my brother, Dav.. check in on his photojournalism, his studies, his latest works. Now Sonny Rollins, I’m on the Road, visiting people I never thought I’d meet. So I continue with the logging of everything I see, each corner, light, building, smell, concrete stain, bookstore, auto repair joint and tavern. But I don’t drink, not a single thing, which is hard to believe for one formerly in wine’s wicked industry. I have only the little pages in my back pocket…
See a young lady, sipping her coffee at the bus stop. Part of me wants to go up to her, see her coy red lips, not too bright, up close, and examine the pattern of her white shirt, sleeves only going down to where shoulder meets bicep and tri, how her hairs like a thick caramel path to her upper back, partially exposed; I wonder what she does, she’s probably a singer, or maybe a student, why is she taking the bus? Maybe that’s what they do in New York, no one has a car– I’ve heard that actually.
Alley. I want to go down, but something tells me know– I mean ‘no’. See? Too much coffee… I only see a lone dumpster, no litter on ground which is curious to me. No people, no cars, just quiet, and the dead-end, like an atmospheric message saying ‘don’t bother, you won’t get far’.
9:11AM. Should go in soon, or not. Maybe I should leave early. That would help me, and that’s all I’m concerned with at the moment; the page, the characters, the story, my novel. A former student, ‘A’, experiencing fiery betrayal from a loved one; I tell her it’ll get better, but I understand pain, the two-faced reptiles that hive and enter our lives. And I think about what I wrote her, mostly questions– she, a grad student; me, envious. But I’ll be on the Road soon, maybe visiting her, in Portland, or wherever in Oregon she is. A little hot in this car so I roll down both windows, but no crossing breeze greets me– there it is. How will I look back at my position here, at the winery? Will I wish for it one day, regretting my resentment? I don’t think so. I’m 35 and know what I want– or more, I know who and WHAT I am. Novelist, poet.. with maybe a short-short and/or vignette in between. I heard a weed whacker, or lawn mowers, and it intrudes on Arturo Sandoval’s playing. Goddamnit. “Shut up!” I want to scream, and hope someone hears me. Maybe I’d be fired. Huh…
9:17. And the fucking countdown. One of my coworkers just pulled in; Karen, in her red mini. She has the same expression on her face that I held driving in, before I started writing: “And again…” I don’t blame her. Why else would I be writing, wishing for a Road, wishing for visits, those Manhattan sights, the Portland micro-breweries. Don’t think I’ll make a thousand or maybe I will, but I can’t edit a single thing– this does this to me, the schedule, the clock and how it’s always threatening; you don’t clock in you’ll be written up, you won’t make enough, you.. you.. you….. How is that a Life? Well, plainly, it’s not. Certainly not Art. I want more coffee, the most jurassic I can find; I want seismic coffee, that makes me rattle and results in internal tsunami. Love. that’s art– the push of Self. Oh, jazz… Kerouac…. poetry and Life and escape and Big Sur and the Bay Area, where I grew up. I see my whole life and I’m not dying. I’m just coming alive in a way that was drawn, that Grandma promised.
9:25PM. Sipping the 2012 Malbec. I know, I should have waited, but I didn’t want to, and I have no regrets. Yes, it’s muffled, but I don’t want to think, I want to enjoy what I drink. Nice class tonight– oh, need to post to blog, almost forgot. I’ll do that after this little paragraph. In full teacher mode, especially with the possibility of landing a Comp section at Mendocino, for Fall. Couldn’t be more excited. This weekend, my writer’s retreat, and I’ll write the whole time. No Gatsby nights, as I used to. Total isolation.. printing.. wine.. relaxing… Jazz. I want it to be one of those sittings where I remove all clutter from this kitchen nook table, maybe setting it on floor or on one of these teetering wooden cheap chairs, then having one of my favorite bands or artists play what gives them life, then giving me life, finishing my novel.. and the wine, only an additive. Not really needed at all, just pleasant to sip in quiet, my peace, my place, my night. Little Kerouac asleep upstairs, and I envy his peace, his optimism and joy and movement, how does he do that? My notes from tonight’s class, just ruin, and what do I do tomorrow night to keep them interested? How do I keep it “fresh”, whatever that means? There has to be some teacher magic or resource, or “method” (hate that word when talking of teaching, sounding so clinical)– But who knows. And if I was traveling, how would I have time to teach? It’s just what I’d rather do. I do love it, but not as much as the reality of living by pen– PEN, not laptop, which is what I now touch, these fucking keys and the noises they make, like little plastic giggles reminding me of what a bloody hypocrite I am.. no, I’m not a man of consistency, but one of layered pattern and myriad mess, failed test, just more unrest.