Another Merlot tonight, and I growl at the reality that I can’t find what I wrote this morning. I mean, it wasn’t anything cosmically brilliant, but it’s an effort gone. At this time of night, 10:34 precisely, there’s no way I’m touching 3,000 words for the day. No matter, though. I’m here, writing, and that’s all that now in this moment matters. But the funny thing is, is that the writer may just be writing to write at this point. I mean what do I type after a day like today? The fact I was behind the bar by myself for a solid 25 minutes on one of the busiest Sundays I’ve seen since I started there? Do I write about the Merlot? I have to say, as inspiring as wine’s world is I do find it quite limiting in terms of subject supply, what’s in front of me in the glass (right now, no glass for the writer, nothing to sip, but I’ll soon that so change). What do I do? Don’t want to be one of the wine critics, the number throwers. I’m 37 and I’m not that clear on what I want to “be”. Wine on mind, but in what context? I mean, how else can I approach it? How do I write about wine in some new way? As a literary entity, as I have before? Yeah, but… that’s kind of assumed that I’d do that. Why am I letting wine stress me out like this, ruin my written sitting after the day I’ve had, how I’ve been looking forward to just coming home, far away from that tasting room (that I love being in, writing from, walking about), and just having time to write. Thinking about skipping my run tomorrow, or limiting it to 45 minutes so I can have a firm blocked hour or more to scribble, type, put something together in this month of novel composition.
Merlot in the kitchen. When wife goes upstairs, I’ll pour myself a glass. Not that that means anything I just want to be left completely alone, no one around me while I enjoy my wine. Can’t believe I lost that writing from this morning. Again, it was no opus, but it was my writing, my words— fuck, I wrote it on my cell phone, while the babies were playing, didn’t save it. I swear, I more deplore tech and what it’s doing to us. But here I am writing on my laptop and checking my phone’s email and social media accounts between types. Such a goddamn hypocrite. Wine, though, I have to say is like a mediator in internal intersections like this, after a long day in the tasting room, not able to write (which as a writer always pains), and now having time to self but there’s a contingency, always a ‘if’. Wine makes me think about it more, like when I was in Paris, introduced to Saint-Émilion, sipping with Mom and Dad at that small restaurant down the road from the hotel. Wine anymore marks my progression through life, since my first day pouring at St. Francis, when I first started teaching. Then the other tasting room gigs, that marketing firm in Napa I called “the box”, then AV Winery, then K——, and now at Dutcher Crossing. Wine tells my story and I tell its narrative as best I can, at 37, with too much “experience”. Just need a glass of wine, from that one bottle on counter. This Bottled Ox needs just one more glass before closing day, before continuing his wined story. If wine is life then I definitely need drink more, regardless of what anyone else would say or postulate.
One more thing— I went for a quick vineyard walk after inhaling the sandwich my mother dropped off. What I saw out there, different than all my other stroll. More calm, more something, more something but what— more life. I need more life. I need more wine. The wine will lead to books and travel, more money for my family. I now see myself as one linked to wine for the remainder of days mine and writing from wine’s crook and nook. In this glass that I just poured for writer’s paginated sake, I see time and then no time— a pervasive time void. All the hours put into the composition of a bottle, vintage variation which of course is finely adhered to an acceptance of time’s topic, and then me here on the floor of my studio, looking at the time, looking around me and seeing toys that only remind me they won’t be playing with them forever. Wine is a blend of death and life for the sake of life wildly held before death. Delicious postmodern paradox, this writer this night finding himself in. Last glass for night, chocolate and mint, clove and pepper… vanilla? This wine is beyond those simple describing condescensions. Why do they, the “experts”, always minimize something as worldly and emblematic of life as wine into adjectives, a half-witted cascade of descriptors? I’ll never understand that.
Already time for the writer to be thinking about his bed. And there it is again, TIME. God I hate it. But it motivates me, encourages me to defy all those conventional language strictures. This wine wasn’t made by following rules. Wine is never about pattern, it’s about dream-chase. Just leaping. ‘Taking off’, as Kerouac insisted. So I know what I’m to “be”. The wine tells me. This last glass decrees. Settled. I’m settled, finally. At my old age. Swear this is like the sitting that will never stop, not to say I don’t want to be writing just that the clock is taunting me, telling me that I can’t get to my word count and that the night will just wheel on without me. What the fuck, I say to myself with that pained face, all squinted and slanted and sent. Now I pour again, but only for me. In quiet, too. Odd. Tasty. Lively. Lovingly absurd.