No wine tonight. Aiming to wake early tomorrow to read more of the novel and write in journal, experience the early hours with rabid indulgence. And keep my books flying from my thinkings like a virulent pulse, never halting for anyone or anything. Had a conversation with a coworker the other day, talking about how we’d be on our last day, and so many are having their last days, moving on. Why not me? If I put my faith in education to get me out, I’ll be there for ever. And teaching high school, I don’t see myself happy doing that, especially with this most recent rejection of academia, the current-day student habits. I keep writing, hoping something will land, or explode, or that metaphor of throwing mud or something at a wall, “something has to stick” I think it goes. But I could be wrong. On my last day at the winery, I’ll be silent, write everything down before I go.. have either the end or beginning of a book, a novel of course. Or a memoir. I don’t know. But something.
I want to drive across the country. By myself. Take notes of all people, gas stations, hotels and motels, meals and wines and form that into a manuscript somehow. I don’t want to have a “bucket list”. I want to have a target list, and just take what I want, attack the target and have definitiveness within days. So first target: The Road. Second: my second novel, getting more into the character of Mike Massamen, but this time with “the nucleus” as he puts it, taking about Art, living Art, and seeing everything as material, paying more attention to the motions of his son and the little guy’s character development; putting words together, the new sentences (nearly two or three everyday), and his total lack of stress or over-concern. Mike wishes he could be more like his son, in everything from daily habits to running to writing, obviously. Speaking of running, I’m registering for the Santa Cruz 26.1 at some point this week. Again today I associated half-marathons with works that aren’t book-length. Can’t remember what I was doing when I made this connection, but I– Now I remember! I was at the doctor’s with Jack and Alice, listening to the doctor make funny sounds to Jack, and my little boy laughing, joking back at the doc. They’re half-efforts, only half notable, any run shorter than a 26.1. I want to write novels, BOOKS, not chapbooks or newsletters or literary magazines. NOVELS. Meaty manuscripts that feel heavy when lifted, and demand investment from the reader, in terms of time, to get through. My books will be challenges and rewarding, mostly for me but hopefully my readers as well.
Tomorrow morning, I want my mind wandering, roaming and acting oddly. I think of Dav when he used to talk about waking early to get the right light for his shots, and how the light makes everything, and that harsh A.M. sun that takes so much discipline to go meet is more rewarding that most moments, to an Artist. The Artist HAS to be extreme. So on my last day at the winery, I’ll be extreme in my silence, scribbling, and people around me, all my coworkers, will be thinking something to the presumption of, “Why is he so quiet today? Isn’t he happy he’s leaving?” Or simply, “What’s Mikey’s problem?” If only they knew. You’d probably expect me to get drunker than drunk, be dismissive and confrontational with management. Well, I don’t need wine to do that, have that mentality, and I don’t want to give Them or anyone the glory of seeing me that way. And that day, my glorious last, will be here before anyone expects. And I’m not counting on this indentured adjunct life to shape and shift the ingredients so such is possible.
Over a thousand for day. And I won’t have the papers graded before the 24 is up. But no matter. I’ll grade some of those in the morning also. Here, and in the loaner the car shop offers me. Yes, again taking the Passat in. That goddamn car… But it’s old, and I drive it a lot to Mendo, so… This is all an expedition. A mental hike, or climb if you will. Looking around, at mountains, and the clouds that compete with the peaks. I stay in my tent that’s only inches from a fatal fall, but I don’t let it rattle me at all. There’s a cold quiet here that doesn’t need to be captured but felt– Sorry. Looking at a picture of Everest, or one of the peaks around it, on the Nat Geo site, and it reminds me of how much I need to see, still, and what I’d write if I were on such a mission, up those slopes and mountains, and camping by that jagged rock, and the clouds that quickly change shape and fly against my cheek at certain points and turns in their lives.