Rain in SF.
Rain in SF.
5:35. Not 4 but still early. Last 4 days off. Will have to adjust or at the least, very least, pace self and connect to day. Meeting 2 with class, finally. Not sure how I’m going to get in 3000 words today but I’ll fit what I can into the day’s composition. Tempted to close eyes for a bit but won’t. Daddy mode nears… the struggle with both wee beats to be dressed and with teeth brushed. Nothing extraordinary. Same thing every parents goes through in the A.M. to some degree. Can hear them moving in their beds. Not moving, me. Need the meditation, the quiet. Sitting in dark and putting letters in some kind of order for day’s order has sight and thought everywhere. What to do with the day and where I’ll be in 12 hours. In classroom readying for class. Then after class. Go to bed early and hopefully wake to run or workout.
Mike sits in the room, the home office. No lights. Dark. Thinking. The day, what he has to do, first thing to do when in office’s do. How does time see him, how is he using the time he has right now, now…. what is he choosing to do and why that. This tells him something, again, again. He needs to do more. But what— Never mind that. Today everything would be for the classroom. What he’d teach. He’d be a teacher that’d be more than a simple community college teacher. He’d be something else. Him, but just in a classroom. He’d be in sync with the course outline or whatever, but only so much as he wanted. He wanted more, needed more, wanted and wanted more from his days. Anything that resembled a pattern or some repeated motion or obligation, some to-do he saw as poison. A toxin that would eat him whole and not even spit him out or digest him.
Pinot is there to ease me, sing and educate, provoke meditation and new sight, exploration of prior hours. She instructs the writer to not work as hard, not feel so obligated to fill a page. See the room you’re in, she says. Walls sing alongside her and the floral scape of her animated way.
They assign new songs and sense of everything in my story.
I write about work. Waiting for sales team to get here. Latte done, parked on some Berkeley street. Today I make work more the work. Make it work for me, and more than it already does. Sitting in car with music still present in cabin I think of this morning waking up at 4 and how now it speaks to me. Really speaks to me. Not sure the espresso shots in this cup’ll help that much. I’ll see. I’ll learn.
No lunching out today, I write. And if I do (so much for fortitude, there), drive self and be by self. Work. Write. Like other day in Aroma Roasters in Railroad Square. Wind helping with how stuffy it is in this car.
See self at home, writing for blog and book. How did I get here, right here in this company vehicle. No grievance, just deeper and furthered consideration of what’s Me, now, in this Now. Cars pass by on Euclid… Regal Road. That’s where I am, Regal and Euclid. Thought I parked in the shade, but not so… Took off jacket and put over bag. Took laptop with me. Will find café, somewhere, and work, rather than just eat either in partial silence or over a conversation that’s plainly a plain conversation. I need to work. On this new book idea and whatever else I can to get me traveling. Of course, head went to wine. Why wouldn’t it. That’s what started me blogging. Then teaching. Literature. Writing, the act and habit and practice of pages, words, emotions and Nows. What I have is this– me in a car in Berkeley, waiting to streets with a sales team, narrate from the company’s voice and beat. This company, more than just teaching me about tech and internet, business and what be– but about me. Writing. Teaching self, meditation.
They should be here any moment. Should have used restroom. Latte talking to me, reminding me to mind time, always. Want the book done in 20 days. Who knows if they’ll happen. Wait… why say that. I doubt Sonic’s founder, Dane, thought “Who knows if this is going to work…” Maybe he did, but I’m sure with more confidence and octave than what I just wrote. I will finish that goddamn book, and do something with it. Car passes me. I feel tired. Should find a restroom really quick. No… stay put. Stay writing. Stay learning.
The clock doesn’t mean anything at the moment. I’m working. Working from work to other countries and learning about me and this spot, where I am in this car and how I got here. The philosophy of it all, and the questions embedded.
Downstairs after dinner and everyone in bed but me. Long day, whole day in field and all I wanted was this. Some Jazz, low-lit room, xmas tree providing most of my sight. Walking up and down hills in SF makes me want there, the houses, I want just one of them… some impressive grander in my head bouncing forth and back and back to my senses which even I now question. Outside, sky and air remind me of what time of year envelops my Now.
Music on me unexpectedly quits. No mood to fight, quibble, scuffle. So I leave it off. Could turn it back on, with phone, but I’m composed in the composition of this room. Could use another beer for session. But I’ll wait a minute. And the music comes back. What is this devilish device doing to me? To my writing. Ignore it, I tell myself. At lunch, which I told myself I wouldn’t do, dine out, I was in Harvey’s (think it was called) writing in the corner, before the omelet arrived and walked around Castro taking in everything— lights and cars, shops and the bars with their engaging names, street lights and the evidence of history. Going back tomorrow, and making it more a point to write in “real time” as some say. But I hate that utterance and word sequence. “Real” “time”. If you have to note that it’s “real”, or remind yourself or a reader or observer that it’s “real”, there’s an obvious incongruence. To me, anyway. So.. point, write in immediacy spree. While people walk by, walking their dogs, as they answer the door to us knocking to tell them about what we’re doing for the community, put all to page.
Down here, in this room, family room while family upstairs swirls and swivels and swims in dream, I’m doing something, I think. Missed class tonight, and I feel awful, but no choice was mine. One of the sales leads out so I was the transporter man or whatever, taking team to and from between Noe Valley and Castro. San Francisco, begging me for conversation the same way that Paris would let go of Hem. I’m out there as a Field Sale Supervising, most presently and poignantly doing my job, but as well not letting the writing Me away gaze.
This room, now, just what I need. Tree luminous, piano notes and keys hit, and now me. Thinking of how I want to be seen, read, this job I have at a tech company that’s making me more a writer than I ever would have forecasted. Drive down with reps, talking about certain topics then re-focusing on what we were about to do with this new campaign, me the whole time thinking how with business if everything was this exciting, like in the wine world, businesses would more readily attain what they sought. The room says more to me, like just enjoy the room, go get a beer and be Hemingway for a night. Think about your city, SF, and how tomorrow will be definitively different than today. This room, now, not so much what I need but what’s ME. What I embody… composition, the page, me here on couch, in assembly. Time, rather “real”.
all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…
I leave the house. Come to downtown Santa Rosa, to Beer Baron. A place I’ve only been once. Ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, one I’ve never had before and don’t think beyond that. Just enjoying this whim, this sudden cruise downtown. Not sure where the direction of the writing’s going, and I don’t need know. To the characters I was thinking of in the tasting room. Yes…. The two that are behind the bar and want to get out of the industry, starting their own wine gallery. That’s what they call it at first…. I came here just for this, for new ideas and brainstorming, not be at the drawing board but to draw a board of ideas.
All this before class. All of it, of this, my new stories and wine thoughts, wines I’ve tasted recently, yesterday with the St. Francis Chardonnay then some Kobler Viognier when home. Everything in the pages, on them, constituting them.
This place, a serious bar more than a restaurant or any wine bar I could see myself opening. Earlier thinking of self as failed in some wine aims and dreams. As the waitress just now puts down the glass, I find I’m not in any way “failed”. Have I even really started? What if this could be my office, everyday, I think. Come here and work from noon to whenever. Why not.
I stare at the Sauvignon Blanc for a bit before smelling it, and much before tasting. I let it be a symbol, a reminder of wine’s life in my life, its presence and my past and present, all futures. I won’t let self take a sip just yet, but rather draw my characters at their winery, at day’s end, having a glass of Pinot on the patio. They talk about just going for it. Saving whatever they have saved and putting it into some wine business. A brokerage, they think.
But then I as the writer put the idea on hold and think of how I’ll approach them, this story. Their stories. The wine story coupled with their stories and mine. I stop everything and focus on them, Jane and Elly. Jane out from somewhere in the midwest, always wanting to work in the wine industry, years ago and now here and tired of being tasting room locked. Elly, from San Francisco leaving her corporate corner to be in wine’s everything. She’s worked two harvests, then to tasting room as production for some reason just wasn’t her thing. She knew why, and didn’t know why. She loves the winemaking process of course and everything that goes into harvesting and fermentation, barreling-down lots and pressing, even the shoveling of tanks. But the people in the tasting room and the words they’d say, the interactions with people, called to her and wouldn’t let her ignore.
I take my first sip of the SB and focus on me writing, what brought me here. Then the two characters. What we all have in common. They of course, or maybe not so obviously younger than me. I keep writing. Till this is the ONLY thing I do. Writing about writing and people and what they do for work. How work and our jobs, labor, determines so much of our character and how we estimate the world around us.
Think today is the day I finally killed overthought. I’m not editing, or measuring, forecasting or worrying about how anything I write, type, is perceived. I’m just moving and not allowing any stationary sets for this writer or any of his characters. The two girls start a website, for anyone coming to wine country. They see themselves as fashionable intel, something to make people more pleased with their choice to come to Sonoma County much the way I’m please with my election to come here and write. Relax before class. See me in business with son and daughter, eventually. I quit the wine industry but am very much back in it on my own accord and set of terms, rules, and I guess some regulatory rattle.
Second sip. Such real and truthful tropical body and bravado. Nothing invasive or excessively aggressive. This is a character that has me more into my characters and these new characters I’m writing. I return to them and what they want, what would make them happy, what in wine they want to grow toward. What do I want to be, grow toward. Wine, travel, speaking on wine both metaphorically and immediately. Tonight, open something new. Study it. Let wine dictate my own fate, give me direction and more introspection. Tempted to take the night off from class. No. Use it as speaking practice. Not practice at all, the second sip says, and I sipped minutes ago. Can still feel that tropical shock and rush, set of steps.
I pick up the glass and nose what remains, which is a good two sips I’m guessing. 40 next year. That’s where my head is. And then what. Maybe I’ve overthinking that as well. Sure I am. Look at the wine, focus on it… wine writer and journalist, one who actually writes and journals and doesn’t just take a blare of ridiculous shots of himself and other wine “experts” or “writers”. Glass up again, sip…. Follow the stories, MY story. Don’t think at all. Just write. What I tell the students, every semester.
Talking about writing, tonight. That’s it. Beyond simple argument, or any attempt to persuade which was the chapter they had to read in that “Prose Reader”. Or maybe that’s singularly what I should discuss. I think about taking notes, but the wine says no. Be in the moment. Or be above the moment, flying and hovering above simple time and whatever that clock reads, dictates.
Finding that when you write down ideas, they speak back. They instruct you on possibility and presence. They talk back, love back, write back. Thank fun to the Story, and everything, LIFE, for today. For the embrace and blind subscription to whim. To not sink into overthink. To blog and jot against any overthought.
With he glass done, I slow. Thank of the walk yesterday with my son in the vineyard and showing him the remaining clusters on the canes. I had him taste a couple…. I thought of us, in business, how our visions of our company will differ and will be surprisingly in some places identical. All this from wine. Thinking of wine, living wine, writing wine. Wine writing me, since my first day in the St. Francis tasting room, 2006.