vintage: J. Barleycorn, ’79

Sleep, I win this round.  Time, 4:57am.  Almost went back to sleep, but then realized how sick of failure I am, was.  Finally having my London-like way.  Failed last night, though, in distancing Self from wine.  I blame Kunde, its winemaker.  The profiles of those bottles, more than from which I’m able to just turn, walk away.  Charismatic bottles, each of them, with stories in their sips.  It’s like they were made for this writer.  Anyway, the new routine, as it stands, tentatively: write in night, run in morning.  So, truly, I’ve already faulted.  But, I figure, if I can’t run…  WRITE.

Feels odd, writing this early, but it gives me time to evaluate, re-evaluate, these past four days at this new winery for me, my pages.  Was nice to run into that former student the other day, only my 2nd day, and to be invited to the wine blogger tasting of those three Kunde wines paired with those small plates.  Has me thinking I may want to re-assess the whole “wine blogger” approach, perhaps.  Maybe give it another attempt, or try something different.  Was also wondering what life would have been like, what shape it would have taken had this writer not majored in English, pursued professorhood.  Useless to entertain those likes, I don’t think so.  I think that’s what makes me a writer, all the what-if’s that sail past my scope.

Already feels warm in this Room.  Believe the temperature today’s supposed to run past 90, if I heard correctly on last night’s news…  Feel like I’m supposed to type some carefully-crafted cataclysmic opus in this early hour, but I stall, like an ill-piloted aircraft, not certain where it’s supposed to land.  Then I think of my travel list.. Athens, Croatia, my eventual return to Paris.  Not sure I’d call it adventure, anymore.  But definitely, “exploration.” Writing assignments abroad.

“I can’t paint,” she says.

“Why?” I ask.

“I just…  I can’t, I don’t know what’s wrong with me this morning.  I’m just.. stuck.” Kelly looks through her sketch book, comes across a piece she did the other day, but then passes it, frustrated, sets the book back onto the stack of magazines, sips again from her dark off-green mug.

a former student of mine, Jeff, and I in the Kunde tasting Room …

And I wish I COULD just set this laptop back onto the desk, or floor just beside this old, metallically vocal bed, but I won’t let mySelf.  And I’m targeting much more than a mere thousand in this cruelly houred sitting.  Or, “session,” as I’m not really “sitting.” Not traditionally, anyway.  Think it was Capote said he does most of his writing lying down, or on his bed.  I, personally, have always preferred the desk, the official for this writer.  Maybe that means I’m INFECTED, with the office mentality; the crustacea of conformity’s shores have settled in my cognition’s hillside.. I certainly hope not.  But I think it has, to some degree.  I blame the box, their ways, how they take something so beautiful, WINE, manage to make it nothing more than a money vehicle; stripping it of all Art, beauty, spell and splendor.

I’ll never be back in such a toxic Titanic of a workspace.  They claim that’s wine-related, what they do.  Complete deceit; not just of themselves, but their employees, those “boxies.” Hated my title, when there.  Never quite knew what it meant.  And just being in that box, that cube.  THAT CELL.  Never again.  Now, I see hillside vineyards, those Kunde caves, the mountain top, my tasting Room characters.  And now that I remap my writing ways, it’s better that I sit–it works for me.  Maybe the urge’s roots spring from the box, or another office job–office JOBS–I’ve held, but it’s working now.  It allows me space, stretches to gather Self.

Still plan to write that piece exposing the box, all “businesses” in wine’s world of similar folds.  Was cited yesterday by some guests, who it’s fair to estimate had visited a couple tasting Rooms before ours, that I was “schmoozing.” Not sure what that entails, defines or delineates.  But, if I was seen as enjoying Self, my time with new guests, pouring wines and speaking on those glassed dollops, also smiling from the new elements at this new winery for me.. then this penman is undoubtedly GUILTY.  I’m not living box-like.  Ever.  Again.  No more hating each work day, each hour in that day.  The only thing I can credit the box: writing material, vessels-worth, and knowing precisely what I DON’T want from life, from my “professional” life.  And they always threw that term around the confines of that gray labor camp.  “Be professional,” they’d say.  “Talk about the wines professionally.” Please.

5:31am.  Before sitting, or semi-sitting, to launch in this entry, I stood by the bed, looking at the little monster laptop, coiled on desk.  Felt it taunting me, daring me.  Also thought of what it’d be like to know I fell short, AGAIN, in my aims.  Do I feel any rush in this session?  Not a drop.  Feels wine-like, feels free.  There’s a definite definitive freedom in writings like this.  No countdown till, or rush against, when I have to hop in my car, leave.  I’m just enjoying my Craft, or quasi…

Will I regret waking this early, dragging Self around Kunde’s estate, exhausted from this early of early sprints?  I hope so.  I want it to hurt.  Mr. Barelycorn pained himSelf to step as he wanted to.  Wish I could write from that mountaintop, or on one of those hills.  Soon.  Want to settle in, first.  Looking through pictures snapped over the beginning days, I know I’ve found something here, in this family’s story.  But how to approach so it works for MY story…  Remember asking students, “What’s your story?” Was a question I heard Anthony Hopkins’ character, former president John Quincy Adams, in “Amistad” ask Morgan Freeman’s [think it was Freeman’s].  Just thought it was fascinating, being asked to encapsulate your life thus far, in a couple lines; what brought you here, who you are, why your are the character on the current page, in present day.  Then I think of how I react to wine, the bottled character greeting this Literary bottled ox.  Now I feel the depletion.  I’m envisioning sleep, fantasizing about it, dreaming about it while typing.  But what would it do for me, more sleep?  How would that get me closer to what I want?

What do I want?

Noted: printed two pages yesterday morning, for book idea; need to take notes, my notes, on wines poured behind bar [initially typed [“proued” .. dyslexic?  Lysdexic?]; Run in morning, perhaps after this sitting/sitting-up-ing; more pictures, use little camera Dad took to Europe [first typed “Eurpoe,” must be getting tired.  Good.]; collect 41 pages, all printed in morning, each set could be releasable, salable.

Have to blend the rhymes I have scribbled into the little notebook, my right-rear pocket Literary lifesaver.  Wonder how many standalone pieces I could produce from what’s there.  Time, 5:54am.  Lassitude, remerging.  Thinking I’ll leave by 6:15am for my run.  Hope I’ll enough Me left for day’s remainder, to stand lively & Literary behind the counter, converse about wines‘ collective and individual character, characters.

6/10/12, Sunday