I’m on the couch, sipping what remains of the red from last night. Already looking forward to coffee, and the run tomorrow night, after work. What can I do– 5 miles? Six? Still feel the Foot Race, in upper portions, legs. But what can I do? The pictures I took this morning, while on the side of 12, on St. Francis’ grounds, urging me to expand beyond what’s normal, what’s known and expected. I want to be in a car, one just driving, through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and wherever else I find myself. I want all to be unexpected, all to be unplanned, and written. I need another sip of this Cab-centered blend. Sometimes I wish people would just stop talking. I think that’s why I was so perturbed today with every body that came into the Room, asking their fucking questions– “How does this Chardonnay taste? Is it oaky?” I don’t know, dumbshit, why don’t you taste it and find out? I don’t know what it is, but I woke with venom, I wanted to bite.. anyone. But my wife calmed me. She told me everything would be fine, that she was there, there, there with me, for me, it was about me. And I felt horrible. So I change, or I plan to anyway– I just want to drink my red, enjoy this movie, the one about Kerouac… The waves, just below Big Sur, delicious about the curl of water, but I can only stare, like a famished and parched jackass. That’s me, and that’s my Beat, the one of dumbdom.
Can’t write this morning. I feel like a paperweight.
Not able to compose an article or piece worthy of eyes. I need more, yes, coffee. But I can’t find quiet, either. I’m a mess this morning and I’m not even hungover. I just watch Jack play, envious of his energy, optimism. I need to go, early, to work, so I can write.
10:30PM. Sipping water. Lime. Sparkling. Hoping that will help the writer wake earlier than any earliest early. So what do I do? Watch the Big Sur movie again, or whatever I can before sleep. Have to grade all the ‘100’ papers tomorrow. And I will.
7/7/14– Canceling class tonight, Jackie taking a fall. My heart rate, still up, and I’m jittery and jumping. Didn’t get a chance to write anything today but those infernal wine club letters. MY mood, sharper, falling, angry. Not because of Jack’s fall, just from the constant plainness of this all.. the winery and these ridiculous teaching assignments. I finish two standalones tonight. And from there Life’s changed.
8:15PM. And I’ll write, straight till 10:45. Same thoughts and entertainments, and ambitions flying through head like lost sparrows, or hawks, some just dumb gulls. After Jack’s fall, I’m still shaken, beating myself internally as if I could have prevented it.. and I think I could have, but what will this interrogation do? Feel like a tired writer this evening. It’s up to me to change my mood, to strip the angst away and just keep with the typing.. truly immersed in Kerouac’s cognition. I think of Big Sur, or anywhere I want to write– it has to be location-based. Assignment by assignment.. Two standalone works, at ready on desktop. But I have to finish that short story.. the one about the journalist, using company dime to write his freelance works. Love how into photography I’ve been lately, and how the visual just keeps me hungry for the Road, for that Newness– and that’s my “beat” as Dav says.. or ‘Beat’, as I always write. What if.. by Fall… I’m free. Just. What. IF. What if it’s not a ‘what if’? It won’t be! Challenge to Self: 1,000 words, everyday, and each day being its own standalone, its own assignment, as long as I can have the stretch last… Done. Then tomorrow’s our first day. Has to be fiction. And no interference. Each day is its own project, its own world and calculation, there for creative manipulation. And what do I have to change about mySelf as a character– everything. But I begin here.. and I think about all the notes I took in college, both undergrad at at CSUEB, for my Master’s. And now I think of what it did for me, if anything.. well, contributed to the habit, of journaling, I guess. I need more solitude, to get back into the journaling habit in a way I haven’t been, for years. You could call this a journal, but I post it to the goddamn blog– Kerouac never did that from Big Sur. He went there for isolation, recovery, recalculation. He wasn’t tweeting, posting photos, “blogging”. All I can hear right now from this kitchen nook is the TV, the show Alice watches. So tomorrow, I’ll take lunch by mySelf, have quiet on top of quiet.. have my thousand words done by the time I’m back in that tasting room, answering the same humorous inquiries and repeating the same wine “facts” I always do. Should be preparing for class tomorrow, and I will, in a bit. I don’t care how hot it is, I’ll write in my car, pen to paper, like Kerouac did, and feed from the vineyard views, the mountains and how they look down at the owl boxes on the estate, the parking lot, the garden, “Hill House”, and me.. the dizzy writer, probably penitent penner, still looking for his path, at 35. With my night’s capping now alongside, I can focus on the visions– the boat taking me up the coast, or the mountains going east, or in the Swiss Alps– driving across the country, where I’d stop.. if I could document that. I will. But what I have now.. the students, this class. And certain explorations of wine. The vineyards, now, coming to life like they can’t wait for harvest, like they can’t wait to be in bottle. My camera on the table with me, begging me– or more tempting, to look at the stills I shot the other day. Was that Saturday? Think so, but anyway, I refuse to leave the words, these paragraphs for some still image.
Posted to teaching blog, and the cap is nearly dead. Good, I need full concentration. And hope to wake at 5, or earlier. If I do, I WILL NOT go back into that pillow. Yes, that will make for a longer day, but I don’t care. I’ll deal with it. It’s all for the thousand words. For the work, the character– the FICTION itself. My character, Dave, or “Dov” as some of the other journalists and editors call him, dreams of going out to Africa, the Middle East, to capture political development with his lenses. OR, how the sand changes the environment, and how change revolves in the unexpected social, climatic, political shifts. But he wants to write to his photos, as I do.. but the difference between he and I is that his aim is always the shot where’s mine stays the page. But he keeps shooting. Anything. Everything. He make sit Art, with minimal post-production, or editing, or coloring, or “shopping”. He wakes early, goes for a walk/hike, every morning, for the light. “It’s all about light, and what light type the day gives me,” he wrote once, in one of his journal, one he can’t find now. His work has piled, accumulated messily, hastily, but he has no choice or recourse or maneuvers, he produces too fast, and too much, but that told him that he was, IS, an Artist, one true to Craft.
Wine, I’d be sipping it, if I were in a hotel, like Dav told me he did for one of the ‘5’ papers. I’d look out at whatever city was lit, wonder what people are doing there, there, over there by that building. The fantasy makes my reality bearable. Jackie has a father committed to his vision– “What does your Dad do?” his teacher will ask. “He’s a writer,” he answers. Smiling, firm, proud– or something to that line, shape. He knows who his father is, and he knows that Dad KNOWS who he, himself, is. His father wavers never– he’s a soldier, one by thought, entrenched in sight, belief.