Mountain Letter [draft]

3/30. Not 5AM, but not after seven either. 6:32AM. Was going to go back into the morning’s sleep, but suddenly I was jolted. And I’m not sure by what. As if something said, “Don’t you dare. You need to be writing.” So here I am. Still very much feel the run from yesterday– And like that, I hear Jackiie upstairs calling for me. He’s not crying, nor seeming upset, just light calls to “Dada.. dada…” No rain this morning, but there are clouds. Not sure if we’re in for a day as busy as yesterday or not, but I need to be noting wherever I am, wherever they have me. Yesterday, I wasn’t a writer at all. No notes. Just overly concerned with my bloody phone, where I could charge it as I didn’t the night before. That’s not Literature. And not writing. Won’t be the case or set of affairs today. Need coffee. None in the house, shame. So very glad I didn’t have any wine last night. I already feel like a monster writer, someone who would be in the café with Hemingway. And on the note of cafés, I met another writer a couple days ago. ‘Faye’, her name. From D.C., a writer, ballet dancer, and one of the more memorable, sweet, and enriching characters I’ve lately met. She messaged me yesterday, with a sample from a writing project of hers– a blog, with her friend I believe. I loved the tone and vision of her prose, and the almost immediately disclosed backstory and impetus to the effort. She sent me honest writing, which as you know is my obsession, very much these days. And she also reminded me, through the narrative of her piece that life is hauntingly curt, and that we need jail our dreams, keep them captive, put them into action, join the dream itself in blossom. 6:41AM. This room quiet. And no more calls from little Kerouac, upstairs. The fridge, not humming as it was a bit earlier, when I first woke. So the sound circulating this room from these writing fingers spiking the keys hopefully doesn’t travel upstairs, through little K’s door. I think it’s so pride-dousing when he recognizes me as a writer, seeing a pen on the couch or ottoman, so floor, kitchen nook table, and saying “Dada.” “Dada? Is that Dada’s?” I’ll say. “Yyyyeah!” he yells back, smiling, so confident and proud of his answer. And I say ‘pride-dousing’ not because I’m proud of mySelf, that my son already knows me to write, but I feel such pride in him, how vocal and almost academically analytical he is, this little Artist. Still feel the Lawndale run, very much. Both in knees, back, thighs.. strange, for when the run was finished, I didn’t feel quite as damaged. If anything, I felt very much as I do now: championed, in control of everything in this writer’s way. Class tomorrow. I’ll prep FULLY tonight. And I’m quite settled on Life & Death.. how the semester became with the latter, and ends with the former. Writers need to acknowledge death, yes, but be charmed by it as some ‘marketable topic’. The focus needs to be Life, and how it can belong fully to you. But, then I think of Faye’s writing, and how it sharply carves the reminder that Life is short, and that you won’t be here forever. The heater comes on, Jackie calls. Of course…. 7:17, downstairs with the little Artist. His waffle cooks while my coffee brews, and he watches his usual fish movie. Which is “Nemo”, if need you note. C sat in her office, which was really more of a glorified cubicle. “No, this is a cubicle,” she declared. She started with answering emails from people on the call list, then club members. She had an interesting relationship with the club members, as she didn’t deal with them often. But when she had a campaign with many of them on the call list, she had to deal with them. And may times the needle swam to hate, far away from love. Once that was done, she had a new campaign to design, then pitch to the owner at some point today, or tomorrow, or in the middle of next week. It was never really made clear. Shocker. Right before lunch, she decided to look at her wine/winemaking notes. She looked over what she wrote about the Sauvignon Blanc, night before last. Her writing more took the form of the wine speaking for itself, she thought. C—— didn’t really think of herself as a writer, nor did she really like to write since most of the writing she did was for work, for those campaigns, advertisements, the “tone of voice” as the owner said. She read, seeing the sentence “In the wild, herbal, electric, gripping your attention. I want to put you somewhere else, somewhere far from whatever stresses you…” It made sense, in more that a single stroke. She’d take her lunch early, go to one of the nearby tasting rooms on 12. Something small, though. Something with character, charm. No corporate maze or minefield. XDR Wines, at the edge of Kenwood, almost in Santa Rosa’s proper. She walked in with nothing. No purse, not notebook. Just her, her memory. Whatever made an impression she’d remember, put in her notes. Bar approach. “Hi, welcome,” the young lady said, with her light blue collared shirt, blonde hair tied back. “Wanna taste a little wine?” “Yeah, that’d be great. This is a beautiful tasting room,” C said, looking around, admiring the rich wooden walls, bottles placed on shelves, pictures of the vineyards, both estate and sourced. C didn’t want to say she was “industry”. She wanted to be guised in silence, in the tourist role. And she wanted to feel like she were on vacation. Just once. She looked forward to forfeiting the tasting fee, which, here, was only $5. “Have you had our wines before?” “No, I haven’t. But I’m excited to try them. You do just Pinot, Chard, and Syrah?” “And a Reserve Grenache.” “Really? And who’s your winemaker? Is he here?” “Oh.. actually, I’m the winemaker, I’m him,” she said with a little laugh, for comfort’s sake, making C feel welcome, unashamed of her statement. “We’re just short here in the room, so I thought I’d get out of my chemistry dungeon.” Hmmm, C said to herself.