Been writing in more than one place for the ’19 story. Oh well I say to myself with another glass of sparkling, Jackie over there playing on the tablet my mom and dad bought him this past xmas. Nothing I’m writing lately I’m liking. Certainly not loving. So what’s the bandage for that? One part of me says just write free, with less shackle and inner-hassle. What’s that mean I don’t know so I re-focus on Jack. The day he and I have had, his sister too. She now off with wife and wife’s friend and wife’s friend’s daughter to Target to get who knows what. Kerouac has some inner dialogue with himself regarding the game, if it’s a game or some scholastic, learning program…. “Jack, what are you doing? What are you playing with?” He gives a bit of a mumble but I’m not convinced that was directed at me. He goes back to doing that, whatever that is. He rests the right side of his face in his right palm, right elbow on right inner-thigh as he sits on floor, legs crossed and lightly locked. We just spent the past couple hours watching football. Playoffs. Or postseason. Chicago versus Eagles, in Chicago. Eagles pulled it by a point. Just one. I of course was on CHI’s side for various reasons—none of which I’ve told you so I guess I shouldn’t write “of course”—and so was Jack. Both us disappointed in the result. But we move on. He with his game, or learning program, me with words and this morning before our together time, and time with his sister, a 7-mile run which I now feel.
Hoping to get some reading in, tonight. Hemingway, Coelho, Plath, Hughes…. Not sure I’ll touch all four books, but one of them I’m rather confident. Need to write more poetry, read Hughes more, and other poets like Cummings, Plath of course, Yeats, and from that collection of several poets I was gifted years ago. Today teaches me to not work against existing momentum, ever. What you want to do with the day is one matter, what you’re able to do and what you can do with what is present is quite another write.
Writing everything down…. Jack, quite poised and careful how he touches that screen. Face Ibn right palm, again. He says nothing to me on his own, and I don’t want to break his connection to his current action so I just push these buttons while I look at him. My little boy who daily loses his littleness to time— Time, that fucking animal, devouring all of us as a matter of duty and functionality, normalcy. Why I deplore normalcy, the patterns. The expected. The unavoidable tumult of the clock. I look at reflection, mine, and can see changes in my face, around the mouth and eyes. Forty this year— fuck. Have I lost some of my awareness and writing ability? Am I starting to fade? Looking over at little Kerouac, my little beat. He’ll keep me young. His sister, too.
4:12. Called, no answer for phone screening. Now I close day, prep for tomorrow which I actually already did so now it’s just a countdown to my running life. Wondering about ten miles. If that’s even smart to do on a treadmill. Maybe just do an hour, then an hour tomorrow, then longer one Sunday, then back to a shorter run on Monday. Again, more thought than needed. Just write, just run, do both, live madly… bottom from the bottomless, or bottomless from the bottom. Can’t remember what Jack said. I’m beatifically introspective at this desk, hearing everything, everyone celebrating their weekend, what they’re going to do, what wine they’re going to drink.
Me, to run.
Left breakroom. Too many voices, noises. Common on Friday, pizza day. No one’s fault but own if I was seeking to be in any kind of quiet. Now at desk. Finishing last piece. Some combination or blend type but mostly veggie. All I’ll eat till tonight’s run, then after may eat something light at home. Marathon coming closer as a co-worker reminds me. Just a sliver over 23 minutes left in lunch. Sparking water, now. Thoughts on what I’ll do for the rest of the day. Thinking of working on language at the door, for the Reps. How this company and what it does is spoken. How YOU, are spoken. Selling self, and far beyond simple and over-repeated concepts and ideals of “personal branding”. Personal Legend, the legend you set before, for yourself.
Writing at the desk, my desk, is a more luminary trek that I estimated it’d be. Leads messaging me from the field, me jealous a bit as they’re in San Francisco, so close to the ocean able to walk to it as I did yesterday on my 30-minute break. In office today. Accepted. I deal with it. More than “deal” with it but use everything in here for my paragraph roll. Journal and phone, sparkling water bottle, other journal on computer terminal (one that can elevate, creating a standing working beat), books and magazines under my iPad which I need to put back in safe. Voices out here as well, me feeling full.
Grabbed a couple pieces of gum from JP’s desk on the other side of my left wall. Chewing, now feeling more heavy and slow from lunch. How many pieces did I have? 4? Fast the rest of the day. Have ice cubes after run, or some fruit. Eat light. Want to be a marathoner as no one else is, and write every day of it. I’ll admit, much of today I’ve had the “What do you write about?” voice in my goddamn head and I’ve gone back and forth in the singularity, exactly what I say. Running… RUNNING. What I’m now hearing, and then saying back for confirmation’s coherence.
11 minutes. Day more than half over. Not much time. Not as much as I’d like but what can I do. May go outside for a walk but then realize I don’t have time, so I stay put here in chair. Have to walk iPad back to back room where safe’s located. No more of that expanded core feeling. Recovered. Coffee next. Then back here, write ideas, more idea. No more new word documents on this laptop. I often talk consolidation but never act in exemplary acts to embody such. In these last minutes, I forget about it, all. The time and the worry, the excessive deconstruction and thinking, the back and forth in my head. Thinking, current foe. Too much thinking just sets me in toxic roundabout. Mom messaged me the other day and said all I need for writing material and stories is right in front of me. In the everyday day-to-day-ness of my day. I’ve noted the same thought and perspective before. This is something I’m already sharply aware of. So why don’t I reflect that awareness. Hearing Mom’s order and kind but candid instruction turns me in favor, my favor.
Didn’t want to write. Still bitter about the session I typed on my phone, on the WordPress app, and it just fucking disappeared. I know better. That’s not writing. Why did I do that. But I did it. Got laptop out and am typing here in living room. No more wine. Sipping sparkling lemon water. Told self I’d run in morning but I think I’d much prefer write. In office tomorrow. No field— Goddamn my phone, me writing on the those non-buttons, those virtual touch squares when I should have been scribbling. And I had TWO journals right there on the passenger seat, pen in pocket. That would have been more writer of me, assured more romantic, more Kerouac, more beat. But no. I had to be one of those, people with a phone— those poor people I captured, not captured appropriately. The runners, the cyclists and walkers, people with kids, people who brought their dogs and frisbees, balls to throw dogs. Young couples. Kids. Teenagers with their phones taking selfies and pictures of each other in I’m not sure if it’s silly or just stupid poses. All on a phone. Avowed, last time I do that.
Now here in house, laundry going, me supposed to run. No TV on, no wine, no music. I need music. Jazz. That café or coffee house jazz station on Spotify. Driving to SF today, and back, all I thought of was jazz and jazz musicians, the ones I admire, how they just compose and don’t think and if they do think it’s not to detriment. No distractions, just all in the music, the notes of the moment and the measures they don’t measure to compose but just compose and offer to the world, the room they’re in.
Letting go of what I typed on phone. I’m typing now. On laptop which is on the table we bought at Ashely in Rohnert Park with my Aunt Denise accompanying wife to shop and later calling me down for an opinion. The couch I sit on, bought on that visit additionally. Nearly didn’t write this evening, was going to watch some foolish ass’ show and just stare, maybe check that goddamn phone here and there for messages or photos or something. Need to make coffee for morning if I’m to write. I will. I’ll make coffee. Put in fridge. It’ll be cold. That’ll wake me up quicker.
2019, year I turn 40. Trying to ignore it but still pay more attention to it than anything else. Acknowledge time. End my war with it. Work with it. Study it. And if not understand it then sing with it, celebrate the time I have, right now on this couch writing when the house is alas of more melodic volume.
Still not in much place to write, in head, thoughts, what I see and feel in this room. But I make self do what it needs. End day with some production, page, me here, with water, music, momentary animation.
…each measure and note, chord and riff. I become disconnected from my typing, writing, what I am and who I’m saying, what I’m saying. Not that I don’t like it, but I don’t feel it as I think I should. Is it the words I’m putting to page, where I am? The air-conditioning in this store coming on and apparently blowing right on me. Struggling to struggle, bumbling in my own thoughts and wishing I wouldn’t’ve come here, stayed home and wrote there. Hemingway looking right at me from the cover of his book and ordering more fortitude, for me to toughen to not have any kind of mood, t hat I can’t afford it— and I know I can’t afford it. New beat and new beat from me on this page, this day before a new year of self-study and sensibility.
New Year, new book, new me…. Go for a drive. Leave this Starbucks. Take your mocha — or latte, sorry— with you and be in the day, enjoy freedom, look left and right and see your new office. Weather outside, encouraging, bright and sagacious, suggestive and antagonistic. Suddenly feeling awkward sitting here, writing here, having brought self here. The air now is aggressively and metallically frigid. Can’t write like this. But Hemingway did, in that Café and elsewhere, where the odors were consuming and the weather was “bad”…
Made note in last doc, “From here, go to 2019…” Starting new year now. Not waiting for tomorrow. And not going to list everything I want to do but rather just actuate. In a far back corner of this remodeled coffee shop. Sentence for day, in that Happiness Project journal Natalie gave me years ago, “Nay-say to be embraced and studied in order to preserve and protect my joy.” Didn’t write last night after coming home from La Rosa dinner with wife. Planned on inventorying the day. Everything from morning with kids to going to Healdsburg with Jack hoping to get a haircut but the line was far too long so he and I went to Healdsburg where I bought him an ice-cream and went to toy store that I’d never been to and was actually a bit curious to see what was inside, how it was arranged. All this after my 9-point-something speed work run at 24. Took both beats to wife’s parents’ house, then back home for a much-called class of Chalk Hill Sauvignon Blanc. Why couldn’t I bring self to write, last night. Even now, I feel off. But I write through it, or try. Just as I advise students. Writing and into the year, this new year where I feel travel. I see it. Sense the sense of getting on an airplane to somewhere I’d never been after not flying for some time. The engine sounds of the plane utterly canorous for some reason. They’ve never sounded like this to me, before.
While stepping toward the new year in this Starbucks on Hopper & Cleveland, Santa Rosa, I go over my life, over the last 39+ years as far as I can remember and vividly and believably recall. Santa Cruz, walks with Dad in Big Basin, my first day at Arundel in San Carlos, Kindergarten, looking back and Dad not coming with me and me feeling confused— “Why is he just standing there? Isn’t he coming?” Obviously not, now understood after Jack’s first day. My Road, still a Road… every job I’ve had, everywhere I’ve lived, studying my now for sakes of Freedom and being free, yes, but more. More to my character, more to what I read and this, this seat, this 4-shot latte, this journal, my phone… more to everything.
Understanding Now entails a distancing from the Now, both in backward pace and forward flight. How defies common association and what you’d call logic, I guess. All notes going forward, through, are for purposes of getting me somewhere. I step on New York streets, in Manhattan and other parts of which I’ve never heard— certain micro-villages and enclaves, neighborhood or boroughs as they call them. Writing further toward new year, wondering where I’ll be sitting on my 40th birthday. This year I turn 40. FORTY. Why. How. It’s just what happens. It’s what always happens. Time passes and doesn’t mind what’s in my mind or what I feel for the day, that sitting. I look up and see a young family with their daughter, certainly younger than Emma and the parents younger than wife and I. I’m older than some parents, my babies age past others. So then, more…. More progression and trek into life. It keeps going. What do I do for day’s remainder? Charting and timetabling isn’t going to get me There, I know.
What I assign students to do, I should do. Hemingway with his Feast intro paragraphs putting me somewhere. Taking me back to Paris and showing me what I couldn’t see even if I were to now return. It’s him, then. More than time, though. It’s his voice, his sight, his observational patterns as they situate in Paris, in that Café des Amateurs. Before I go too far into the Café with Papa, I’m hearing this jazz in ears and seeing where I am, considering my person and Personhood as a teacher of Literature, and how now, in this day, in America yes but elsewhere as well, no one read. NO. ONE. Or that’s how it feels. All these social media “stars” or champions, personalities and whatever they’re to be deemed, do nothing of Thought. And, before I go too far down that sewer vein, let me go back to Hem’s thought stems. He immediately goes for senses, smell and other, like a sixth sense you could even say. In my beginning reading bing and lecturing for ’19, I get away from me and become he, Hemingway in his seat. Smoke and the misted windows from the heat and all the people in the Café with him. He makes me wonder what didn’t make it to page, what he observed but didn’t write. Him sitting there noting as he did isn’t just a writer thing, but a Human act and practice. Like magnified people watching for purposes of preserving the person watching.
When he comments on the people being drunk as often as they could, or even all the time, he touches on sense again. Being stripped of senses as a result of intoxication, hence his rule of little or no alcohol while writing. It makes a mammoth statement about them and their day, what they do with their day. Now, here, 2018 on Hopper & Cleveland, I look around at everyone in their day as Hem does. Couple taking two chairs and small rectangular table to my left. I know nothing about them, can’t see their faces as I look down at these keys and I don’t need to. There are similarities here as there are with Hemingway, where he sits. People, lives, observation, noting it. Where you are and what you’re doing in proximity to others and what they’re doing, where they are.
When you read Hemingway’s assessment of the city in this first chapter you have more than an assessment, but the start of a love letter. Even when it’s sad or cold, or of horrible odor, you still have shared observation. The inner-insistence to share observation is a consequence of consuming adoration for what’s observed.
Brought self here, music. Beats. Playing over and over and taking me with them. In directions I didn’t see, foresee, forecast. The pages filling in this journal and I credit this, here, where I am, at Sonic. Have to keep writing new ideas for me, my team, but just the ideas for the ideas themselves. This coming year I will take what I want wherever I want.
Choices, decisions, destiny blended. I don’t know what this is.. where I am, what I’m doing. Consequence of choices or destiny, happenstance, intersection of all. I do, though, acknowledge where I am and what I’m doing. And from that there is love. There is wander and wonder, aimless exploration, stories and new stories. Feel like I’m dry, drought-stricken, out of words to put to page, but then I see the words are the act, are the subject— we need to write our thoughts. Yes it takes work and time, but that’s what confirms life. What confirms where we are, who we are, and why this character we’re given does what he and she does.
Place— coffee, the table, the self. The music I listen to, with electronic components, atmospheric beats with light hip-hop influence, easing my disposition and pace at which keys are hit. Belle musique, I say to self knowing I need more of my study, more of my exploration of French. Coupled with music, more, wine and travel, running… everything I seek will be no longer sought before 19’s close. New year reminding me of life’s cruel curtness. What can I do, what can WE do, but write. Write it all.
Two sneezes. Not getting sick, I order self. I not only can’t afford it but it will disrupt my writing for the coming year… lectures and essays, no “I” in any of them. Just the ideas. Not much “you” or “we”, either. Just the ideas. Ideas are what propel life, intensify and color it, make it Art.
Small eatery in 5th and Balboa. With Annjane, Sasha, Rose (Rosa as I call her).
Love the view of intersection. Lady at reg recommended in order chicken. Requested fries. With coke. Stressing about no-Sales day so far. Aggression, I tell myself to tell the reps.
I step outside to look at intersection. I’m in San Francisco. A reminder and a meditation, love note… restaurants and visits, cars and benches. All of it.
My “every penny project” updated. Got to work early and came to this nook in new break room where I stationed the other day but laptop refused to cooperate. Today, it’s loving me. Jazz in left ear. Right ear free ‘case someone calls to me. Coffee in tumbler. Writing the Now with more ferocity after this morning’s 4am thousand. Five dollars of quarters in pocket, for literary lunch, coffee somewhere. Thought this morning while typing that frantic thousand, yes before going backing into a climate of odd dream portraits and dialogues, that if I want to get to my There I need fiercely adopt different practices.
Grades due January 4th. Good. As I haven’t touched grading, really at all. Next semester on mind, for thought and shaping those thoughts and visions of me in class and what I want….. yesterday while on 2nd and 3rd the wine shop in my thinking, that I don’t think it’s for me. I just want to write about the wines I sip, not have to take inventory and have it all fall on me. Why would I do that to myself. The idea is fun, and it’s enjoyable to think about, but the reality isn’t paralleling the vision, I know. I’ve been at too many wineries and too many tasting rooms to know that.
Now, where I am. What brought me here. Enthusiasm in my key pushing, from this word to the next. Singularity. Not just the strength of it, but the sense and fluidity, the encouragement from singular ideas. Hence, every penny. Every penny contributes to a dollar and the dollars will fund what I need. Which isn’t much as a writer. Soon I’ll need a new laptop. That much I know and knowing my Now confirms that. Coffee right but I don’t want to stop in these thoughts…. This, me in this seat. A couple people walking in but not at any overwhelming or districting dividend.
Me. Here. At a tech company, I guess you could call it. What brought me here was the wine industry, I guess. The vineyards, the business models and all the mistakes I saw being made. And now, in this Now, I’m distant from it all. Not stopping. Letting nothing enervate me, today. Nothing. Even the fact I have to use the restroom but I’m not getting up. Today, just days before the new year. 1/1/19 just six days from this sitting and this coffee sip if you count today. What I want— A trip. More focus on Sal and Dean, on Hemingway in that café, on Didion and what she felt after he died. Sylvia…. Everything I’ve read and everything I’ve taught. Singular thoughts, singular words… shocking self from this breath to next. Benison in realization of what I have, where I am here at Sonic and being in the city, walking where Kerouac more than likely did. OR at least blocks away, merely.
Need more coffee. Need more to read. More jazz. I put the other phone in ear right. Now one of my five senses is completely kept in jazz, in music, in the randomness of the notes. 08:33. Plenty of time to write. Not getting up from this seat till 8:52, I self decreed and ordered. Order for the day is singularity, lone words and observations and notes, assuaging any self-doubt or stall. Everything a writer and thinker needs is where they are, what they’ve lived. Human Experience, experiences random and unexpected. From one frame to next, one street in the Richmond where I’ll be to the other, those streets that connect the Avenues, the music of the cars that pass and the Muni busses, the smells of the restaurants, the voices of people talking as they step out of their homes saying hi to neighbors asking how their Christmas was. Everything about it is like this Coltrane track.
A studio somewhere in the city, somewhere. Where I can write, record, invite over other writers and poets, thinkers, people of words and thought, were we can sip wine and talk, not think about money or work or any obligations or schedules. God’s hour still with me, like I’m on that couch laying down thumbing thoughts into my phone. Wish I would have stayed awake, but no sense in grieving senselessly over what a poet didn’t do. I’m in my nook, with if I wanted 15 minutes left to self. This morning, confirming. I’m confirmed in the singularity of vision, shedding complication like complications need be shed for preservation of health’s sake.
Just remembered, need new vehicle for drive to SF. Yesterday in Marin, Novato specifically, my van wouldn’t start. Had to be jumped. So I have new ship this day, hopefully. Today in SF needs to be more than fruitful, for what I do here for Sonic but as well for me as a person trying to touch their There. The travel, tasting wines in Austrian castles. The philosophy or thought shape of Now compiles while remember the van yesterday not starting, thinking of this morning at 4am how I actually composed myself enough to compose. I’m seeing the day in front of me but don’t want to look too long as I want to preserve the surprise of it all. The drive and the stop at the Novato gas station, the five dollars of quarters I have in pocket that I tell self need be spent on coffee, find a spot for composition, for writing San Francisco…. I’m there for work, but there for work. I’m in a postmodern and reconstructive and deconstructive dilemma. One I love. One I don’t want halted. One I wish forever and in every day wrapped around me.
Everything I need, already held. We wish for so much but don’t take the less than minute to inventory and celebrate what we already see daily. Fascinating and frustrating. The house I walked up in Berkeley to meet a Philosophy professor, how I never in several years would have seen that happening, especially years ago. Time nets itself around my cognitive code, garnishing morality and ethical etching.