1

A stop light is thought.

Someone’s. I don’t agree. So

What now. Action, thought …

6/8/19

*Written over a series of red lights on Park Presidio/19th Avenue, San Francisco.

6:04.  Back from Field

and ready for home.  Rain in Berkeley, my sweater still a bit damp.  Office thinned, with people working.  Quiet, but not.  The Inside Sales team of course animated as always.  This place with it being a work spot of energy and technology, creative, never truly stops, or sleeps.  With me writing about it, I notice the difference between morning mood and atmosphere to now, 6pm and later.  There’s a contrast, but not.  Maybe it’s just a different collective character in the office.  I study the texture and language of this office, even when I should be clocking out, going home, getting running components ready for coming day.

Now, walk across floor, all the way to the other side of building to room where Field Sales is based.  Put tablet in safe, make sure closed, then more steps back to here.

At 3:35pm I’m in a mood to write everything, try everything

with my writing as I urged when I started working at the tech company.  “TRY EVERYTHING” I boasted, and still do.  So what do I do with my day.  Have a sweater on, and feel a bit warm and uncomfortable.  There’s another instructor in the room with me now, obviously an adjunct as she uses one of the incredibly outdated computers in here and snacks on crackers she brought.  I feel hunger again, and not sure I can resist the hunger.  Would love a burrito or something from the cafeteria.  Have to save money.  Don’t do it, Mike.  If you get something, I say to self, use the change in the backpack.  There’s too much in that small outer pocket and it would make the bag lighter, so use that.  Maybe I will.  No more caffeine, after this cup which is almost done.  Want tonight’s lecture to be different.  For me, more than them.  I talk transformation but what I really mean is relocation.  Quite truthfully, I’m tired of this campus and the feel of the building the smell and sounds of the rooms, not having an office.  I really am resigned, not eager to offer effort to anything here.  So I move on, more than fine with the actuality of not having a class here in Fall.  So what, I say to myself.  I’ll teach independently, somehow.  Or, just put lessons out there, no charge, see who follows or signs up, responds.  I am hungry, and feeling venomous.  I do what Hemingway suggests and use it for my work, for this, my Now, right here in this larger cell of a conference room, opposed to the smaller cell that’s the shared adjunct office which anymore I refuse to set even a single foot in.

I look left and see what’s she’s doing on that computer.  Looks like grading something submitted to her from a student, either a paper or some online midterm or something.  My skin retracts and I feel anxious.  I have that stack I need to grade, in my bag, but refuse to touch it till after 5.  Right now is MY hour, time for me and my thought, my Now, my life.  We let so much be dictated for us.  Ever notice that?  Or that’s what I’m thinking now, looking at the wall of instructors, their older self and a shot from their youth.  And now, aged at least ten years from the submitted latter portrait.  Time is not our ally, or rival, just a force that pushes past the present.  Admirable and deplorable in the job it does, as I see it.  Can still hear her typing, and it sounds like the keyboard is one of those older PC plug-in’s, which it is.  I need a walk.  I need a new scene, new campus, new beat, new habits new music new story new project new everything.  So I try everything, again.

The cold brew, one more sip in it.  Starting to taste skunky, like the last half-sip of a beer in a pint glass.  Beer sounds incredible right now.  A full-timer walks in, looking much older than his later-in-life shot on the wall, with a long gray beard and slightly hunched, slow walk.  He exhales in the whistle fashion, not hitting any note but just blowing air.  He leaves this area then goes back into his office allowing the door to slam behind him.  I don’t want to be that, when I’m that.  Older.  I’m going to get older, I know, but what if I mock the aging.  What if I only vow to move quicker as the world around me expects slower beat?

 

At a certain point in Feast Hemingway says that he knows he MUST write a novel.  I’ve always wanted to, myself, but always either give up and lean on journaling and something resembling memoir or essay, or submerge in poetry.  I run the other way.  What if…. What if I took one of the dozen or so legal pads from the mail room right in front of me, in a drawer labeled “Yellow Notepads” or something, and wrote one.  Right now.  Okay, so that’s decided.  Or about to be tried.  Tried again.  Try everything, I sing in head looking at the last half-sip, I look at Feast, the current page, where he remembers a novel he wrote that was lost.  He writes about letting pressure build.  Is that what I’ve been doing all these years, up to now on 40’s lawn about to walk up three or so steps to knock?

4:03.  Writing a bit in journal, detailing expenses over past couple days.  Candy for babies, espresso drink bought at Los Altos gas station on drive back.  I put the journal back in bag and feel like I need to get out of this room, this conference room.   The only other place an adjunct can work.  Not much difference from the small shared office, just a bit bigger.  Still shared.  Will have to give into hunger here, in a minute.  Not able to write other than there’s not one idea in my head other than the one to get a yellow tablet, start writing.  You know, I bet if I just start writing I might finish.  Only other time I’ve attempted a novel was in a word processing document on one of my goddamn laptops.  This lady to my left and her chewing and typing and angry under-the-breath exhale-groans test my nerves and composition.  Going to walk around campus, however I can.  Maybe go eat then go to library and write or—shit, the stack of papers.  Won’t be saddened when this semester dies, I can tell you that.  Transformation, grateful I can.  I will.  Changing Roads and changing ME.

The novels starts with, her.  She goes to a café, starts sketching something, then is interrupted by a friend of hers from work. The friend wants to talk about work and everything happening there that has nothing to do with there.  Gossip.  She’s too nice to say anything.

2/23/19

Santa Rosa, Ca.

Sonic.net.

 

Wrote another thousand for book idea, or effort, or whatever it is.  In dark here in office, writing and collecting listening to Coltrane of course and easing into day.

This morning, much more eased and agreeable than yester’s.  Onward, with coffee, music, poetry, THOUGHT, reasoning what I want and how to get there, to my There.

About 20 minutes left to self.  Then into role, mode, actuation and actuality of one working on a Saturday.  Will be in city tomorrow with family for little Kerouac’s birthday.  Excited to not have to drive, walk around the streets with no other intention but to do just that.  Think we’re hitting the Exploratorium and I don’t know what else.  Either way, the writer needs just such a day.

Lady over by far window, in front of me and a bit to left, plays the guitar,

or at least tries to work on her finger placement and tablature, I think.  Music in everything, I always say and have said.  Me knowing it mandatory to write to Mr. Coltrane, in my ears now with a soft, slower track—poetic and containing, atmosphere-apt and just kind.  Coltrane’s work has consistency and beauty, then there’s no consistency or predictability in some track but the beauty is augmented.  Plan on incorporating him in my talk on the 9th, about Freedom, and Madness, the Beauty of being Mad, Free, of being your SELF.

“Everytime We Say Goodbye”, the current play.  Piano keys with brushes on snare, nonintrusive bass, John greets us again with notes that don’t overwhelm the other contributions.  His music is jazz but more, it’s life and love, freedom and this madness with which I am more or less obsessed with.

“Moment’s Notice”, next.  Now more wild characteristics and motions, more intensity and urgency, electricity and collection.  Sped and eager as the session is, there’s no loss of comfort or chord coherence.  I listen and type faster, feel more of my morning and any evidence of the run slowing me or having my being’s function turn to debility, vanishes.  Composed and in head skipping with each letter button pushed.

Lady works on her music and I mine, with my pieces and sheets, tracks and tells, a one-character jam session, here in this café I’ve never utilized for such.  Water nearly done, I pretend I’m on stage reciting in the moment with John and his partners, letting words fly and out and multiple become their own principles and exponents as they may and stray, deciding their own and my day.  Syncopating play, clef-sleigh, in any wild and wandering way.

9:47, should think about leaving soon.  I’ll continue this momentum and creative flight through day by using what’s right in front of me, the magic of the meta, where I am and what I’m doing, even if it’s swiping my badge to get into the building or notes for the day of canvassing ahead of us, the drive down, the music I plan on playing for self (good idea… will plan music), or whatever.  Today decides a direction new and revived, more liberated and sans-chains in Mike’s story, narrative and prose plain.

2/21/19

Santa Rosa, Ca.  East Wind Bakery.

Feeling the ten miles.  Already finished a 4-shot latte so no caffeine ordered here.  Surprised I made myself actually do it, order a bottle of water.  Going into work later, close to 11.  Brentwood again, and again tomorrow, day next, and next week.  Which I don’t mind, at all really.  Love the quiet, and frankly it’s a transition welcoming and welcomed, easing and eased after so much time in the city.

Not my first time writing here, but my first morning typed sitting like this, first time when I’ve had to go in late and decided to locate here.  Can smell the pastries, croissants, muffins and cakes, espresso and coffee, and I’m tempted but won’t answer.

Last night’s talk with 100 class throwing new momentum at me and me the same with and at it.  Talked about narrative, closed my section on Sedaris and began speaking on Hemingway, how he narrates.  Shit, looked in bag for my copy of Feast but not there.  Think I took it out last night or this morning, put on desk in home “office”.

Studying how I made this morning happen, how I woke at four and drove to gym incredibly and surprisingly awake and ready to run.  Bed early, last night.  Ate lite dinner on campus—ham sandwich on whole wheat, no cheese, bottled water and plain Sun Chips.  And at work, light snacks throughout day and leftover quesadilla pieces.  Planning on waking tomorrow to write, 4am… want to write the book on waking early, at my time at 4am but I understand and wholly, perceptively appreciate that not everyone has such as their time.  Be it 5 or 6, or even 7, it’s attainable, more than attainable, with the proper preceding practice and habit. Then, maintain the habit and practice.  What writing is, or what Hem’ has me seeing I need do, with discipline and general written way, principles.