In the adjunct cell. And I don’t need to be. Tasted wines and wrote and tasted more wines in Healdsburg with client. Once, looking out the windows and seeing sun struggling to speak through clouds, with rain screaming toward the parking lot pavement. And now, back here, on campus, this busy and tireless still-sipping-coffee writing father. Was here earlier to change grades but the idiotic system here requires I do a change-of-grade form for every student. Wasn’t my fault I couldn’t enter the grades using the JC’s infallible online system or portal, or whatever. But here I am, with grades in, and time to self till I have to get the little beats. No one in the halls, no other adjunct with whom I’m forced to share this cell, and forced to talk to. I’m by myself, I can write, have a sitting in an unusually prolific tranquility. “Have to make this session count,” I say to myself, but then I catch myself overthinking. Don’t overthink, like I tell students. Just be in the moment, in your page and on your story, on my beat, listening to an Amy Winehouse track. Cold, windy, more rain on its way. Clock says 2:46… Could write for another two hours if I really wished, but I want to see the beats. Emma this morning crying for her mama, and little Kerouac asking if I could make him a lunch. Went downstairs to do just that but no bread, was still in freezer and needed thawing, so I packed him a couple snacks before I could finish readying for my Monday.
The writing papa, now just in a mood and mode to relax. Educating myself on myself… My SELF. Or, sense of. How much understanding do I have on this character I’ve been building for nearly 38 years? What happens at 39? 40? Ugh… hate both numbers. Have to just focus on the moment, the teaching, these lectures I’m writing if they’re even formal lectures— in fact I know they’re not ‘formal’, or even ‘lectures’, but just my free moments as a writing daddy. Should have brought one of the texts I’m using this semester, start on notes, or directions to take the catalyzing discussion on the first day. One course to teach, that’s it. This will be the course that does it. What ‘it’ is, IT… I know exactly. I’ll just let it happen rather than sculpting and illustrating some hypothetical or situational portrait here on page.
Now I notice myself spacing out, in this adjunct enclosed space. Bland colors, random papers everywhere, that sound of some vent pushing out I think cold air. Why is it cold? The school forget to pay its bill and/or repairman? Moved the papers to the top of the large long file cabinet behind me and left. Cleaned the desk a bit, not sure why. Why am I tidying up? I’m an adjunct, I’m treated horribly— Yeah, well, this is my space now and I want it clean. Can’t remember when I had this much freedom, this much time for a page and my words and merely taking in my surroundings and immediacy— Can’t believe I’m still sipping the coffee I got this morning, free I might add from the holiday Starbucks tumbler I got for xmas. I’m over the grading debacle now, and am enjoying my afternoon just stepping over the 3PM border. What else do you want from the day, Mike? Hear both a side of my Self and Monday caterwauling the question at me with sharp impatience. Don’t know. Grade me— C.