Laptop not cooperating. Keyboard not responding. Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit. So I’m typing directly to blog. Which I never do. But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here. I know where to find these words. And frankly, I like this bigger screen. Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer. I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.
Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work. This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write. I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.
Kids upstairs, playing. They don’t have these worries, or any. Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here. Think he’s up to something. I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do. Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects. Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?
Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me. I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use. Day off but me self work. There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers. I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.
If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now. Kids play quietly upstairs. The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise. Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering. But I hear no vocal reaction. This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me. Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story. This writing pops.
Voices outside. Neighbors starting their day. “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat. “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.
“What is she reading?”
“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.
What are you reading, buddy?” I say.
“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”
“Good! Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.
Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note. “Dear dad […] w e love yo u”. I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving. I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding. “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”
Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way. Neighbors wheeling stuff around. Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on. Something like that. What are they reading? I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate. Thinking I should go up there and read with them.
But, they come downstairs. Slowly. Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same. She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to. She says she needs to do something. “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to. And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.
Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form. Inquiries that will not halt. I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.
Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes. Which I do and don’t. I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play. We wish for a lot, we Humans. We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present. This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving. The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything. Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify. Think it’s a Christmas song, I don’t know.
Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree. Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy. “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more. Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots. That amazes me, their language. Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time. They never obsess over what’s not, only what is. That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me. I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.
Wonder how I’m doing in class. My grade. Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?
He calls again, little Kerouac. This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse. Up…..