Like the races. Working at this hour like a former student who transports beer in those huge 18-wheeler trucks, all over the state. ‘Mr. A’ I’ve dubbed him in a past entry or two, around the time Spring ’15 ended. Yes, I decided looking at the time, and what wondrous victory for me in this day, and in this point in my life where I’m putting all existential eggs into the basket of writing, teaching, sharing ideas through writing and my push toward Total Wellness— I’m up, I’ll stay up. I have work to do. I would invite any of my students to try this, wake at some painfully ungodly hour and write. Just see what surfaces. Again, for me it’s especially valuable as a writing father, having this time is better than money.. this time is a special tier of health. But anyway, just try it, see what happens.
Can’t believe I brought myself to finally sip the coffee. I had the usual stare-down with the mouthpiece of the tumbler, thinking “Shit do I really want to do this? Once I sip, I’m up the rest of the day.” In the few past mornings when up at this hour, I backed down to that sight of the tumbler’s lip. But not today. Today I’m one of those Indy cars. Testing my speed, testing myself, seeing what I can do, if I can surprise myself. Even though this is time to Self, I’m still in daddy mode. I’m always in daddy mode, with heightened hearing and sensitivity to the environment. So realized, I think I heard Jackie upstairs. Is he awake? Not after the busy fun day he had at the track with us, right? I have to leave the sitting, go inspect. One more sip of coffee first. Maybe 2…
Made it to the top of the stairs, heard nothing. Maybe the early hour’s giving me too much sensory sensitivity. After those two sips, I’m most amazingly like those cars yesterday. Upshifting and downshifting, taking tight turns, dodging other cars. Metaphor obvious, me here on this uncomfortable couch, seeing more about myself than I did yesterday, or the days and years before. I’m sure some editor at some piggy publishing house, if they even read this and not tossed to trash, would dismiss my moments here in the dark, at the 4AM intersection. Probably write it off as ‘unmarketable’, or something. Ugh, “How would we market it, Jim?” I can hear some exec as his fellow exec. They think about it for a second if at all then pour themselves some Scotch at 1PM, talk about their stock portfolios or where they’re taking their mistresses next weekend on the “business trip”. Sickens me that this mold of character and attitude-fold could run the publishing world. But you know what, I don’t care what kind of dragons keep it, the business. They can bloody keep it. I’m starting my own. Two more sips. Toast. To day. To me. To the quiet. To other writing parents. To all whirls and riles positive.
After two more sips, I start to regret taking the others. Why? What would sleep do? What would it accomplish? What would it get done? Can you write in your sleep? Can you plan in your bloody dreams (Well, maybe I can…)? I did the right thing. 5:02 now, and I’m more awake than when the alarm sounded, that’s certain. No light outside, at all. Not even a hint that it’s the 17th of September. The day’s born but not, not as I see it. I’m in a limbo now, both physical with the light and sensory deprivation but with ideas, with action— “Drink more fucking coffee,” I tell myself. Okay, I reason, “I will.” There, easy fix. And now what. Be like those speeding cars, with that high piercing, chilling hum as they by you dart. I’m trying, trying.
Had the idea yesterday, surrounded by all those photographers and photojournalists, and just guys hired by whatever organization to walk around with huge expensive cameras and take shots of wheels and pit crews, obviously the cars and parts, the track— that I should put more creative voltage into my photog. Not sure how or precisely for what end, but to take pictures more seriously. Make a business out of it.— Hear Emma upstairs.. daddy mode.
Now downstairs with my youngest. I type on the floor with her as she plays with her brother’s cars. She’s not hungry, just wants to play, have a little company in this early hour. She keeps putting the cars in her mouth and I say in a Disney voice of some kind, high pitch and low volume, “No no noooo…” She smiles at me as if to say “Ha, papa, you can’t order me around!” She’s right, obviously. She repeats and repeats, repeats the repeats, and now it’s not just repetition or some sort of redundant act. This is purposeful and emphatic, a stark reiteration.
Still dark outside. Emma lights up this room with her curiosity and laugh and funny sounds. Glad now I had all those coffee sips and/or that I started sipping to begin with. Now I have NO option but to awake stay, with little Emma Cat play, go further into the day. Race car daddy, writer and thinker, planner. And what an ample invite for some photography, little Emma as my impromptu model… Just took one picture, but I want to let her play, just watch her enjoy this early quiet hour like her daddy. Surprised to see her this active so early, honestly. She’ll last for about an hour and a half, tops, then I’ll lay her back down in our room. Now she reads one of Jackie’s books, a Star Wars type that make sounds from the movie and engages the “reader” in plot development and character presence. But that’s probably how I’m seeing it, frankly, as a professor, or instructor, or teacher.