whatever Alice has. 8:47 and I’m already thinking of bed. Babies with one of their grandmas, and we here in that odd tranquility. I’m set on getting up early, writing papa making promises that he always makes. This whole day I’ve been frustrated in that vein, that I am where I am, not fully where I want to be in the ‘am’ sense. Heater on, not sure how cold it is outside– wallet and keys, phone, earphones, pen and business card from someone in the wine industry at left. Should ready for bed now, make coffee and set alarm. Not tempted to have a glass of wine or beer even the least. Just want sleep so tomorrow morning I can wake early and write– three pages. Laptop not cooperating again so I’ll work on this computer, the one Alice’s grandmother left to her, or that was given to her, Alice, by her mother. Even if I do have this cold or bug or whatever it wants to be, I won’t slow. I’m the tireless writing father that I have to be to do what I need to do for my family. “Ugh,” I think, “why now?” Why do I have to catch something now, right before the semester starts? Who knows. Time for bed. But what if I forced myself to stay up, write through this runny nose and sniffles and the sneezes when they creep up on me? My mood falls like an unprepared rock climber that found his way further up the side than he thought he’d high. Only want bed, and to wake in the morning more motivated to write than I’ve ever been, to be in some cognitive position to write something that will send me to the Road. IT, has to happen. Will, tomorrow. Yawn coming on… yes, bed.
Next morning, still with symptoms but I accrued quiet a rally of rest. I’ll be fine for the day. “Push yourself,” I keep inwardly chanting. Alice on the mend, but now little Kerouac falls to a bug.
Back home, keeping self moving. Mom messaged and advised I stay home but for some reason, even though I robustly agree with her, my thoughts won’t allow me. They refuse to let me give in to anything. Alice on the couch with her mocha and breakfast bread. Me in office, finally emptying out that goddamn side pocket of the backpack where I idiotically shoved receipts, cough drops, paper and coined currency. The couple sips of coffee I had this morning and the 4-shot mocha I now know have me fearlessly and tirelessly into the day’s story. And, going to bed as early as the writer did anoche certainly helps. Being here in the office certainly tempts me though, I’ll disclose, but the tireless writer has to be tireless and immune to the same bugs that overtake these non-writing characters. When we’re sick, we’re tested. We’re made to see how tough we really are, especially as writers. So here I am, exam time. Not thinking about bed, rest, a break, or trying to get well. I’m well enough. This bug or whatever it is provides little match for a writer like Mike Madigan.