to be in the Road.
Home from class. Dinner had. Now wine having. My thoughts are still, and mobile and motile when they wish be. Xmas tree, lit to right. 2 days and 6 months till I’m 40. Today busy, back and forth from city. Not sure exactly what neighborhood or district I was in. Doesn’t matter as SF always does something to me. Makes me think of owning a house there, driving kids to new house and showing them what all the work I do did. Whenever I come home late, it’s for this. But, a wish. At this point. Paired a Syrah, St. Francis of course, with a microwave burrito. Funny but perfect in framing and station.
On the drive back from the city I thought about driving, speaking, how I began the day with my notes and speaking to a co-worker about what I want from the day, the first day out in “the field” in over two weeks. Driving, travel, seeing all the houses and the remodels, that one porta-potty by that remodeled house that I thought of using after all that coffee and not using the bathroom in Marin, Novato, at the gas station. So much movement, so much said, activity and effort, again not to forget the 90-minute lecture I just gave. And now, still. Stop. Pause. Wine and its composition laws.
Honestly, the wine isn’t saying much to me. Again. Again this happens. Want to be back in class. And I could. Tonight we discussed narrative and the practice of narrative. What is would entail, the perception of narrative… each of our narratives. Telling a story from our own life. Of course, some close to me want me to talk about something when I’d rather write about something else. Right now. This tree my son helped decorate, Syrah at day’s close.
My concentration wains and feigns, is strained by hours behind me. Coughing a bit. Do I have something? A cold? Shit. Hoping the Syrah helps when I know it won’t. I sit on the couch and look at the tree longer. Lights. Hanging pictures. Decorations kids made at school, with pictures, glitter, meant to catch eye, eyes, and my eyes are certainly caught by anything these Madigan babies do. Again the image of them reading this class, like a class I had in Stevenson Hall, 1999, with Bob Coleman. Their professor trying not to call them out but he may let a remark slip. “Mike Madigan was always knowing of his kids and what they would think… what does this suggest about his identity and consciousness and the conscious reality of his character, his identity, at the time?”
How did that, that time, me at SSU, pass so passively and swiftly as it did? I become annoyed with time. With me. With me being here. With the Syrah for not teaching me more. This wine isn’t saying a thing. I dump it out. Into sink, down the drain. Just kidding, she’s still here. Sip… and still not much said. That’s what she wants. That’s what the story wants. Have to deconstruct and decode, work harder, find something in the mindful myriad of the wine. So, again I go…
Getting a bit tired. Sore from yesterday’s run, but I’d better get over it if I plan on that marathon in February. “Plan”? No planning. No more. Already registered so it’s going down, do note. Cold in house, and I write on. What else can I do to get closer to my office? Again my head goes into drive mode, go photograph vineyard but then I ask for what, what project will it contribute to?
Breakfast? Maybe some eggs, hash browns or something from Piner? Have to keep moving… no deliberation, no more meditation, no thinking. Just movement. Razor thin budget for week. Living from the change I have gathered. Less coffee buys from JC cafeteria. So, gas then… sorry for the money mumbles, but I’m going a mile or more a minute.
Timelines in place. Feeling ahead of schedule. Or at very least a bit accomplished. Take a breath. As Mom sometimes advises, “Put the pen down.” What if I can’t, I wonder. What if I need to keep working? What if you’re addicted to words, Mike? Stirring upheaval in my senses and character, but I can use this. I know I can. How. Just keep producing, moving, actuating.
10:39 and I’m still on couch, using this new table that we just bought at Ashely’s, and writing. Words. The proliferation of my Personhood, my story. I do need a drive. I need coffee or a, better, bottled water some some random spot. Everything’s writable, everything contributes to story.
I’m going to amplify my ideas and offering of ideas that I know are healthy and of some avail and advantage. That will be ME, for the rest of my working life. Going into 40. Fuck… oh well. No stopping it. I have to fight by not fighting and embracing, the simplicity in the richness of simplicity. Don’t overcomplicated, as then you only oscillate.
Check out my episode “Strong.” from #amtheyaysay on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/mike-madigan/episodes/Strong-e2igt6
Done with essay. Short. Just over a thousand words. May add on something, but can’t now as I’m in need of rest. Bed. Have to be in gym at, well, just after 4. Having last glass, now. Some weird import something or another a friend gave me. Friend. Well, I guess. Anymore, wine is losing its hold on me. That’s my fault. Not wine’s. Wine has done nothing wrong. I’m not tending to all my projects. I’m an entrepreneur, much I hate that over-fucking-used word. I’m a diversified creative. There. I’m that.
Right now I’m in the kitchen with fridge humming, kids asleep, wife upstairs watching a show and resting, much deserved. And me still going. Waking AT 4. Will not sip a drop of this average brett-emboldened fold after 9. May just dump it out. What a day, I to self say. Meetings and meeting with reps and leads and talking more about products the company offers. Learning more about business than I ever thought I would. I don’t want to continue on that. Just note and know I’m a different business bloke and dote. New stokes and onus in my own code, sown.
an increase in overthought. Way to combat, work. Write. Just the act of action, actuation. That simple, really. Just made salad to go, now the pizza wait. 1 beer. Use time. Writing all time. Despicable, the waste of any time.
Coffey Park, Santa Rosa
Day’s end. Wine of course. A Cab I bought the other day at Bottle Barn, and feeling scattered, like not like a writer at all. This feeling more loathed by me than I think anything. Called in English 1A tonight, stuck in traffic on way back from city. Traffic of course in Novato, the “narrows”, and then on Stony Point in Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa, which was a bit of a shock. I cam home feeling deflated and defeated.
Waking tomorrow morning early. Not for gym, not to run like a weirdo on the treadmill for 9 miles or a bit more, less, or something around the 9 I always shoot for. But to write. And, honestly, not even to write. To be with ME. To have time for me, which IS what I hold and profess now on the floor of this Autumn Walk Studio, but perfecting my writing self. Tonight and tomorrow.
Anymore I’m finding these moods I get in quite funny. I’m laughing at myself. Like I said in class last night, that’s healthy. It’s certainly more healthy and elevating than the person unable to laugh at themselves from time to time. I refocus on the wine. AV Cab, one I’ve never had before. Honestly I’m not moved. I’m not taught. I’m not caught. I’m not anything after sipping it. Been a while since I’ve had a wine that’s contributed to my story, my character, my There, then.
Night ending, and I want blood… other writers to battle. Like Hemingway with gloves on, or off. It doesn’t matter. This sport, not a sport, but a profession, lifelong night-song lesson. Day teaching me about sentences, how they present on page, and the wine orders me to listen, with more careful cursor and fervor. Tomorrow morning, writing about 4am, what it does and how it feels, what I have to say in that hour— Have I made my coffee, yet?
On campus. Took nap before coming here, after getting some takeout brunch for self from Piner. Was in a bit of a mood knot so I said “NOT” to self and went to get an omelette. Regret a bit the nap, but I feel enlivened. More than that, I feel snappy, with an unusual bit of comedic pep. Am I prepped for class? Not really. And who cares. How I’m dealing with these mood knots, now, going forward, my truest of true business plans if you would, just laughing at them. Laughing at myself. What do I have to be in a mood over. Really. Nothing…. Here over 90 minutes before class and plan on using every ounce of it for writing. For words. Oh, ‘nother nice thing, little treat for self was gift to book store. Bought copy of Castle and the David Sedaris Diaries that came out fairly recently think.
Devoting life to essay, essay writing, essay philosophy and practice, the habit of that practice and how I, we, maintain such as essay writers. Who cares, my approach to essay. Which sounds dismissive and perfunctory, but not so. Anything but the case. In writing essays as I urge us all to, we write them not convinced with convention and structure, construction and orthodox diction and thought prism. We write freely. We write unconcerned. While waiting for my Denver at Piner Café, I thought of all the essays I’ve written as a student, and all the essays I’ve had students write. Have I done them a disservice by instilling and advocating the structure and formalistic tap-dance the course outline says? I think a bit, yes, if you must know. But now, who care. Who cares. Or, who else cares… Or, who cares who else besides ourselves cares is what I SHOULD say.
I’m laughing at myself, writing this essay. If it’s an essay. Maybe just a free write that I could submit as an essay. Submit to who, my own blog? Is that where? I’m in the conference room, not the shared office with adjuncts where they have us cooped like chickens or ducks or pigs about to be slaughtered. Could write an essay on that, the shared office for adjuncts, or just an essay on adjunct-ing, or on students of the adjunct. Essays should be rooted in singularity and extend from it. After my nap, I’m a growling lion, or bear, hungry for more pages and more climates to feed the career of essays I’m about to paginate. I feel exacerbated by the time I’m in, the time in my life where there’s a decision to be made yes but just where I am and not necessarily solely to do with age. What exactly then I don’t know, though note there’s more vision. Not doing this, following through with this recent singular call to build a career on and from, and explore essay would prove mordant. So I follow through, and just follow.
Being on campus does something to me. Always has. Though I deplore adjunct-ing, and being an adjunct, I love the proximity to students and the act of learning, self-study, and of course the English Department where essay is the interminable nexus. Or at least it is in my vision. My proclamation today is that I finally have a proclamation to make. Finally. At nearly age 40. Ugh, I sigh to myself and I’m pretty sure I did so aloud. Cant tell with the music in my ears, but I know I did. I know someone in the department heard me. Essay… essay… essay… on daddy-ing, wine, reading, journal keeping and habit practice and maintenance, on ME. I am an essay, and argument maybe. What’s my argument. Keep learning, about you. Learn the outside but the inward is the apexing aim. To understand self. How is that vain? How is that egocentric? I offer it’s healthy. And what more optimal approach and averment that with words.
Reading through my journals and diaries today I see these lulls or stalls, funks surface every-so-often. And now, I forecast less of them, less occurrence and their beat which I loudly detest. I’m here, gathering thoughts for class, and for me, thinking ‘Who cares.’ With a smile, with eagerness to see more in this day and learn from everything. If not learn then gather, collect scenes, write them all as there’s singularity in all. Just a moment ago having quick chat with a full-time professor about beer. She told me years ago she was a beer fan so every time our presence eclipse, we talk beer. One of the only full-timers here, if not the only, I enjoy talking to. That I even have any interest in exchanging words. Note of our talk in journal. So what. Little revision, little concern, free in my thoughts. Could use one of the beers she just mentioned to celebrate. Do I finally now have a job, a dream job, any job— writing composition. Who else cares? I don’t care. I’m preoccupied with the essay form, and how so many in this department think they know what an essay is. How to write one. Where have they been published? Forget that question… have they even self-published any of their work? And if so, where is it? Did they only offer it once? Maybe some of them can write, but how far away from the course outline have they composed?
Sinew in this renewed page stride. Edit minimally. Delete nothing. Free. Freedom. If you’re to write an essay, you’re to surrender to yourself, perforce and ambivalently. Remembering my master’s thesis, other essays written at SSU, Foothill, even in high school like the one I wrote about Bubba our pet rabbit and how he would always lead me to chase. Any mood knots remaining are now carrion. I’m understanding self more in the last hour, since getting to campus than I have in the past ten or so years. What did that nap do? Was it the omelet?