My wife’s birthday, and I feel like I’m still, or running in circles, or struggling to get caught up, something. And I’m here after our dinner at Sea Thai and with a glass of the ’13 Mendo Ridge Pinot. My mind’s exhausted and drained as is the physical, and nothing to report– feel like I haven’t written a thing in days, and this is the second or third time I’ve felt such in the last week. But I’ve been writing, reader! I swear I have! Just not with the confirmation of the blog, that immediate posting. Rather, I’ve been typing in this bloody laptop for me, and scribbling in the Comp Book, like a real writer (my def’ of a “real writer”, anyway). Called W——— today and inquired about my passport, if I left it in my folder– yes, their very elaborate system of each employee having a manila file folder and a dimwitted slot or insert on the wall to side of that micro- managerial desk/hideout. I know, I’m the buffoon, but I had to call and ask (only to later find I left it in my desk, left drawer, top shelf). The HR empress I spoke to said she mailed my check, “unfortunately”. “Unfortunately?” I thought. What did that mean? ‘Unfortunately’ that I left, or that they couldn’t keep me, or that I didn’t remain duped by the emaciated wage at which they had me set? Don’t care, either way. Tomorrow I’m at Arista and I couldn’t be happier, at an actual estate, not on Hwy 12,– out there, with a view, views, a spot for me to write, collect Self, sincerely immerse in wine, its story.
English 1B today went more melodically than I before measured. Not sure why I was so nervous, or reserved– as a teacher, I thought to myself walking to the PC library, “I can’t let myself get rattled or reserved by what I think the students will say in reaction.” True, I now know. I just have to trust my instincts, and like my sister told me in ’11, “If I second-guess myself I’ll never make wine.” And I’ll never teach. And I’ll never write. I’ll never do anything. My glass, left, more than full, and I sip slow, thinking of the rest of the semester. Just finished Week 8, and this is when everyone starts to become a bit agitated, stressed, kerfuffled. And I now grow and empower from such reality whereas before I would crumble under it. After 1B, went to the library with one of the students, ‘S’, who submitted a piece to me, one he wrote on his own times, and I finally had a chance to react to it. Not sure how old ‘S’ is, I’m guessing 19, or 18, but his writing accuracy and boldness is already reader-worthy. With a certain Philosophy gallop and coercing, tackling notions of conformity, capitalism, society and general existential sight. And it’s a standalone, not part of a larger effort.
Later in the day I halted at the store, to pick up some bubble and beer, celebrating Ms. Alice’s cumpleaños, and ran into ‘D’ from the estate. He told me that he had a gift he’d been meaning to give me, and insisted I take it now, as it was hibernating in some cavern in his car (a BMW SUUV, I think an X3, or 5?). Doesn’t matter. Anyway, he ran to his carriage then back to the isle where I guarded his items, we spoke a bit then parted. I came home, unpacked my articles and unwrapped, read the card, and was touched… ‘The Writer’s Desk’, by Jill Krementz, showing many known and widely cannonized writers and their spaces, practices, each with sovereign disclosed or capsuled narratives on their practices. And now I’m more pushed than ever to find my desk, buy it, rent a space or studio somewhere (like Ezra), and finally start the life I envisioned in Mr. Sullivan’s Creative Writing class, Senior Year (’97).
I feel old today. I do. I won’t lie or try to hide it it’s just on my mind, my thinking, in everything I do, my age… When I forget where something is or if I forget some paper at home or if I lose a submission (like the original paper ‘S’ gave me), I wonder “Is this part of getting older?” Fuck! I then think. I don’t have to like this, at all! And I look at my wine glass and think “I just need to keep sipping. I just need to get in the character tomorrow demands, at this new estate. It’s not the old estate.” It’s definitely not! No offices on some soggy higher floor, no boring meetings that succeed in nothing. No nothings, no meaninglessness. Not this time. I’m done with that, and I’m done with the obligatory, done with the expectations set by others.. like when DP said “It’s going to be what I want, not what you want…” I still laugh. ‘Cause look at me, my studies, where I’m going and who I see myself as, finally.. it’s above what they measured, and what any fucking winery is willing to award, pay-wise. Even if they could, it’d just be money, something to try and keep me happy, sedated, subscribed.
My son, asleep upstairs, I think. When we came home after retrieving him from L & B’s house, just around the block, while we had our birthday dinner outing, he was vocal, hungry, refusing pattern. And who can blame him? He gets that from me, his defiance. Hope it doesn’t hurt him later, as it has me. I’m convinced: the reason I’ve had trouble keeping jobs is because of who I am, WHAT I am, a writer, a thinker, someone who thinks and questions and talks. But I can’t blame the wine world, W——— or K—e or any of them. They think simply.. they market, they sell, and it’s all around wine, and their interpretation of wine and the wine pattern… There’s no other proper perspective, right?– Or forget ‘proper’, they just know what’s right and how to do it and everything and they are the only, everyone should join their Kuaint Koreshian Klub, yeah? Why not? There’s so many boons! Your life will be so much better, no? They’re not accepting or welcome or even minusculely open to objection or question. You can’t fault a monkey for doing what it does; You can’t engage a dummy in dialogue; If the pig snorts, and just waddles circularly, then it’s just being a pig.
But I return to the day, my goddess’ celebration… Last of the Pinot, and relaxing on couch (Alice upstairs to horizontality, and me to follow soon). Time for day to close, I don’t want to but that’s truth. I’m distracted, I’ll admit, by my phone and email and school and Jackie’s toys and– Excuses, I know. I breathe, and think of tomorrow, envision my day and the exposure and the new story.. wine shouldn’t be stressful or corporate or penny-pinching, or punitive. What some wineries need to learn, especially if they’re to boast they’re “family-owned”. If that’s elemental and intrinsic, then the familial fiber should pervade to all relations… But what do I know.