The day isn’t after you.
You are after it.
Like a wolf, salivating and enveloped in starvation.
The day isn’t after you.
You are after it.
Like a wolf, salivating and enveloped in starvation.
Lunch at desk. Writing everything down as I always do but with more craze, more wild and rich, loving recklessness to my steps. Pizza here in office. Pizza Fridays. Everyone looks forward to this. The company, so generous it’s nearly overwhelming. Love it. Learn from it, I do. My company will be in this exact track and train of thought, tradition.
May start another blog—no I won’t. Promised self I wouldn’t do that. The idea would be something involving client and customer communications. Not so much “customer service”, but how the work is relayed and worded. So much in business is done not so much wrong but with unnecessary obstacles.
Brought 2 pieces of vegetarian pizza back to desk. Saw others doing the same, eating at desk and watching a show, or playing a video game of some type. I need this time to write. I don’t need to think, I don’t any longer and I promise my self loudly this, time to think. Just move.. all around blogging, and I will trap everything here.
I must wake early, tomorrow morning. And run. Ten miles, minimum. Walking hills in Sebastopol earlier with Field Sales team, taking the hills like I were racing. I walked them, yes, but with the same attitude as one running, like “I am doing this, I am taking this hill, now, NOW.”
Field Sales, an interesting voice and beat, beast. One of constant motion and depend upon, demanding a tireless momentum in re-writing your presentation, your words and how you deliver the words. Audience awareness, not so much brevity of speech but containment.
Where you are, what you’re doing. More value in that than you estimate. If you take a second, and inventory what’s around you, all the topics and ideas form their own idea den and paragraph lab. You feel inspired and moved, exhausted and creatively ablaze in a way you’ve never known. The holy contour of life wraps itself around you, begins instruction.
Need another piece, and maybe another. Hungry earlier while walking the hills, Mike was. Now, still hungry. Mike, eager to go to this event, which is celebratory of past year’s successes and advances. Like a rally, or gathering at a spot on Rohnert Park. Not that far away but just far enough where I can enjoy a Coltrane track or five, maybe more.
Two friends from another department but that sit in the same isle as me here in office leave. Taj and Leah. Both kind, very inviting and helpful when I need some inquiry quelled, and they both like wine. Asked both of them if they’d want to have a glass with me at the Rohnert Park spot they both said yes, told them I was thinking about getting more pizza then they tell me, or reminded me, that there’s food there.
“What the fuck was I thinking?” I say to them.
They both laugh. Taj tells me my stomach’s telling me to eat. I agree. But will wait till RP.
End of a day long, or just a day I perceive as long, on a repeat cycle unintentional but amusing, at least to me. Up at 5-something writing on phone, get kids ready or help then get them in car which my son little Kerouac was more than intent on doing so that helped, then the drive. Drop off little Kerouac at his morning daycare then take Ms. Austen, little Emma my love loving loves, to her schoolery. Then to work… meeting, then another meeting after prepping all morning for both meetings and day in field then drive to Berkeley. Walking streets with Sales Reps, then lunch, then a little more walking then drive back to Santa Rosa office. Need to write about my drives, the Road, the commute, more. I know. Tonight, I have less than what I had when walking through door back home. In just that small give of time, I lost a tremendous amount of beat. Why. Who knows. I don’t. Now with a glass of the red blend I bought the other day from Sanglier, during my short walk and saunter if you could call it that around the square. Already 9:57. I’m not giving in to my exhaustion, or this tired. I won’t. I can’t. I’m closer to 40 now than I was this morning, goddamnit.
Done with dinner, at kitchen island counter, in my studio home. No way I’m running tomorrow morning. Will tomorrow night, seen in head right now looking at clock and wondering if I should just surrender and give in to this tired, what I now feel. What if I didn’t. What if I embraced it. Write exhausted and a little sculpted from the wine. I come home to sleeping babies. Haven’t checked on them, but they’re up there, in their respective dreams and visions.
With family since wake. Just back from walk to Starbucks where little Kerouac bought us all breakfast. After the walk through Coffey Park, seeing workers rebuild and resurrect the neighborhood’s various little corners and micro-neighborhoods, enclaves and hamlets, many of them waving and saying hi and me thanking them for helping rebuild—Lost in those thoughts and conversations sitting here on couch in home office of home that wasn’t evaporated, that doesn’t have to be rebuilt.
Feeling tired from walk and what I thought about, again with my overthought but then I stopped at the Hopper-Coffey intersection—just write. That’s it. Moving past that quite quick, I think of wine and what I sipped last night, what I didn’t buy yesterday with a little time to self going to Bottle Barn. I didn’t buy a thing. Not one bottle. Not even that red blend for less than $20 which I did actually have in my hand but just didn’t pull the trigger. Didn’t walk it to the reg’. Why not. Why didn’t I get anything. IS wine being diminished as an interest? I think so. In fact I’m certain it is. But why. Am I getting bored with it? I’m letting that happen. I have to make my wine story remodel itself. Need a different approach to wine…. Play like I noted yesterday. All my babies want to do is enjoy themselves, play, make everything around them entertaining and interesting for them. So I do, with my writing, with everything.
After our long walk, the kids watch some Troll cartoon in the other room. I move to office where I think the sounds and volume will diminish a bit in my favor but it doesn’t too much. Wife naps on couch next to them, and I write away. Could use more coffee but I want to cut back and down on that, everything from the lattes to coffee, to anything with any caffeine in its body.
External hard drive I bought the other week not cooperating, I’m still on this wife/elementary school teacher laptop, and I frustrate. Didn’t wake when I wanted which seems to be my story of stories week to week. Harsh, harshness, making the story leave the ground and climb at rates seemingly too rapid. Nice being on this couch, imagining it’s my true office, door over there leads to hallway right next to stairwell taking me downstairs to a door that throws me into the sensory stretch of Healdsburg’s Square. Decide that’s where Mike’s to write. And write about Sonoma County from there, from where he feels is the aorta. Mike walks down Matheson to HBG, where he orders a salad and ice water with lemon. He takes notes of everything around him, everything, from the waitress to the bartender, to the tourists on their who-knows-how-many-th bloody mary. Mike only lets himself write. One hour into his sitting there in the far right corner as soon as you walk in, he’s not even half through his salad. He thinks about taking the rest to go but he wants to remain. He’s not in the mood for the couch anymore, not now. He wants that bench on the actual square, the one next to that one tree, where he can clearly see the art gallery.
Kids still watching their cartoon. Me on couch, thinking of that office, the walks around the square, tasting in other parts of Sonoma County. Why didn’t I take sister-in-law’s counsel in ’09 and just write about wine. Why am I thinking about this, overthinking it, thinking at all…. Last night’s red, a Cab which I did open the night before but only had singular pour, giving me more a rough delineation of Cabernet. Not so much a brett brushing but something of the tune and tone of brett. No declination of communication, from what the Cab wanted to say and what I was in the mood for last night, something not passive nor aggressive nor in between, it offered harmonious step and say. With it wine made a return to my story and general composition and code as a character. I’ll taste something new, at some point, today. Little Kerouac may have a play date or something, at some point, wife and her friend acting as present proprietors of that present when it materializes. May head to Dry Creek, taste some old visits and muse haunts for self.
Mike tells Self that wine is still very much an interest. He tells Self that he asks why he ever fades from it as a topic, as a story. Mike tells Self he doesn’t know and self tells Mike he doesn’t need to “know”, but merely make it his own. Wine and its voices and scenes, hills and Roads still very much precipitate and actuate for Mike’s writing, Self notes. Today, Mike re-opens certain wine notebooks, looks through old photos—Dry Creek and AV, Sonoma Valley, that one visit to Napa with friend Chris. Not so much the wine that Mike wants for his work as much it is the work itself, the singularity and consistency of wine and the wineries, the people visiting, Sonoma County where he lives, the wineries down the road on Olivet, his sister and her stories from harvest, the old videos that pop up as memories in social media feeds. Wine has formed Mike’s story, he sees. Wine is his story, it is his BEAT, and beauty. Composition of character and sense, meditation, thematic anchor and climate.
9:27. Writing in quiet in kitchen, at counter island, or island counter. Glass of Brandy mother-in-law gave me recently. Unexpected gift. Never had Brandy while writing in fact I’ve never had it before period so I’m not sure what the print will be. Today tasting at two spots, Sanglier whom I’m more than familiar with and Lioco, a label I’ve been a fan of for years and have only been to the tasting room off the square twice. Today being the second visit. Wine communicating in different waves and movements the past 48 hours. Today was thinking that thought, you know, the one about me having my own tasting room or wine shop, wine business of some sort. But then I came across this Charles Dickens quote about concentrating on one subject at a time. Story of my life, or hasn’t been. What if now it is, with this book or blog on thought and knowing now, the Now as it presents itself to a writer. Publishing and independent efforts from this house, the office or kitchen or the couch in the office. This is something I’ll remember…. The Brandy night, with the laundry going upstairs, making that clunky clanky sound, hoping it doesn’t wake one of the babies, or both. Thoughts, here with me at this counter, with this wallet next to me, the Germany journal, me telling self not to think so much but then that’s all I do and I laugh and scorn self to high elevations then let self fall to ground… Took another sip of the Brandy. Not for me, I have to say. And why am I giving it any focus. Thoughts hide in essays, essays I’m about to write, ones I’ve written, one I’ll try and finish tomorrow. Thought, a sword with like eight edges, eight angry and pursuing points, after writers like me and anyone thinking.
The walk around the neighborhood this morning told me several things, made several declarative voices known to my character. The first, stop with thought, just write…. And stop writing about writing dilemmas. The second, Newness. Travel. Mike needs to get to the world, see as many corners of it as he can. And how does he accomplish such. How does he sit on some bench in Prague and write about the bread he eats and the people he sees, the hotel he’s in. Mike starts a new story. He ditches and sheds everything. Everything. He pours the Brandy into the sink. After one more sip. He pulls some sparkling water from the refrigerator and starts taking notes. Writing about writing and what the writing will do. He’ll do all of it, all of it, for them. Those two small, needing faces.
Laptop suddenly working. Don’t get it. Doesn’t matter. It’s getting replaced. First day of new semester. Class starts in 4 min, 1 hour. I’ll be in classroom earlier than that, obviously, if there’s not one of those mindless instructors that is in no way aware of the possibility that another teacher may need the room. Introducing narrative, tonight. The singular idea that will dominate the semester. Narrative…. telling stories. Telling your own story. Knowing your story. Just wrote that last sentence into journal. The Germany journal. What will the students this semester be like. I keep wondering but with so much need to know. It will take a while term to know.
No lunching out, today. Must say I’m pleased with my discipline and poise, for once. Need at least 2k for new laptop. Just updated the OS, here in office. See if this does anything. Doesn’t matter like I said. Quiet in the adjunct cell… good to be back on campus, in Professor Mikey mode. Sharing ideas, knowing students and the student experience better. Put quarters in pocket to go get coffee. Could use a coffee now. Beats always drink coffee, no matter time of day or how it may impact sleep. Who cares. Off to get a cup. Don’t worry, small.
6:15. Back in office. With decaf. Decaf. I ordered decaf. Mainly from being charged and directed in energy enough from today itself, training new hire and now in my element of elements sharing ideas in the classroom.
Everything out on this desk, in this shared office like every other semester on the first day. 17 minutes for computer, in whatever it’s doing. Who knows if it’ll work— WHY DO YOU KEEP THINKING THAT? You’re shedding it anyway, that devil thing you call a writing tool and think a necessity.
Another note in journal, for class— Your decisions in how you read and write, and immediately write from your experiences, or write your story, make loud your thoughts in the present.
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.
With grades handed in, the semester floats away from me like an abandoned buoy or side-boat, or decaying dinghy. In office, dark and quiet, safety from outside, from that wind and rain and airborne leaves that somehow find a way to follow you. Co-workers from other department file in, slowly. You can tell they’re in a mode of settlement. I’m in a position and tone of settler, settling into my Sonic role for day. We’ll be walking in this, this weather, the sharp talk of rain and the more elephantine curl of winter Bay Area wind. San Francisco. More than likely will be colder. 7:53…. Need to start on list, soon. Keep lights off for the time, for this time, making now and the entire day mine. Normal proclamation from Mike Madigan’s normality.
Coffee. Will walk across floor to get, from the office area on the east side of this structure. Lights above me still off, lights behind me in meeting room on. Another person walks in. I think of what to do next. Working and not, thinking about where I am in my story and how this fits in. I need to run more, not getting out last night has me regretful and on an evaluative sword’s mercy plate.
Quiet, and then the settling noises. Of any workplace I’ve been at this is by far the more interesting and enveloping in terms of characters and general theme, progression of story. Other offices, like the insurance office in the early 2000s, and the home warrantee operation of ’04 (which as it happens used to be in this very building and I used to sit not far from where I now this type). Then, of course the box of 2011 and into January of ’12. None of them had life, none of them had any promise. How do some employers expect the people working in their walls to be animated and progress to any profitability? I have to ask self this. What do some of these employers think when they design positions then offer people jobs? This is why I’m taken by Sonic as I am, as it’s nothing like them, nothing. It’s a loving and perplexing morass of more volume, more sound and music. You find YOU, here. A definition and intonation of self you don’t in other folds and office buildings, assuredly.
Submitting the semester past’s grades last night, I think of what Sonic’s taught me, what I’ve gathered and learned and upon reflected. Who I am and what I’m doing right now, in from rain and wind, safe and collected at a desk. Desks used to repulse me now I’m renewed, taken to a higher arrangement of character and story adjustment, the Now of it all here in this office. And, me here, what I do here, what I observe and what assembles into my assembly of perception.
This year’s one of study. I’m a student. I’m studying. I’ll receive a grade in the form of opportunity, opportunity I provide self. So I’m grading myself. I’m with the grade book and submitting for sakes of the grade in the book, with a book of my own. Being written here, at Sonic.
8:32. Got a couple cereal cups from market here in office, down this row of desks and then a left, ‘nother left, then a sharp left then sharp right. Back at desk with coffee and cereal, daily tasks I had set for self done, now I collect and ready for day. Ready self for readying and rallying team for a day in the field. Again I don’t know how inclement it is in SF, but I’m sure it could affect mood and morale, if allowed. How some go to jobs they hate, over and over, year after year, astonishes me. Fills me with sadness for them and a virulently loud intent to never let that be me. At none of my other “jobs” was my own pace endorsed, encouraged. Never was I encouraged to this degree to find more of ME.
The jazz of this office reminds me of the thesis to this office and my story here. Sip coffee after bite of cereal, and what precisely the next paragraph holds. This right here, the meta of this magic, magic in the plain, in the so often dismissed and ignored. The singularity of where you work, what you want from it. This building directly addresses and I would say challenges just that. IT tells you that this is more than a simple place to work. IT’s not a job. That’s profanity here. IT’s a missions and edifice of explorative hue. All for you, YOU, whatever you want to do. You heard what the owner said, “Use it as a platform to get where you want to be.” He said that, in a room full of new hires, those impressionable, those possibly still seeking conviction and assurance that this was the right move. You know it is. You have no doubt, question, demand for explanation. You’re hungry. Finally, you think, finally this happens. Finally this is what’s before the day, for me, for what I want and what I’ve always expected a place of employment to be. You know this is more than simple employment, that a simple clocking in and clocking out and getting a check and doing the same thing all over again next pay period.
Even teaching doesn’t do this for you. Teaching, you thought the only career path for you but you found so many caveats and conditions, so many variable and so much chasing. You’d grade that career choice, or more choice as it’s certainly no career, an F. F. F. It failed you in so many manners and immediacies that it’s hard to even entertain inventory. So you move on. You move past it. It’s only an it. One easily replaceable and you have replaced it with life, not a to-do list but LIFE. More invitation for Self and what you were before you even heard of this place. Your normality’s abnormally loving and supportive, enriching and enlivening.
On speaking, you should be to-the-point, but not depriving audience of anything. Tell them what they want to hear. Have the words be kind and heaping with life. So… don’t just say ‘I’m here and this is what I’m doing and this is what I have…’ Rather, speak more to the point of YOU, the person in the audience. Use ‘you’ in your language, loud amounts of it… This is for YOU… this is YOURS.. I’m here to tell you this, or invite you to this, and this is why it’s incredible… Sales entails sales techniques, but not sales voice, not repeated repeats of something not interesting. Entertain your audience… Don’t sell, ever. Sales is not selling, it’s speaking, it’s sincerity, earnest echoes sung in impassioned fastidiousness.
Just noting ideas passing through head, for sales team and next semester’s course.
Office a bit quieter. Think some took a late lunch.
In office, today. Getting things done and thinking of new ways to approach what I do. I’m overthinking. This is consequence of the inspiration I attain from just walking around this office as well as going from idea to idea. Today I focus on speaking Sonic. The language of this place. If this is a conduit or bridge for what I want in my story, then I need throw self into the singularity of this Sonic story. The office has you going over idea and another idea… speak what we do in as few words as possible, I say to myself. At my desk not bored in even a microscopic morsel but ever active, animated in the possible ways to adjust and shape this business and how I speak about it.
Encouraged, exhausted from my own passion in this office. This place that’s more than a place—like a parallel and utter juxtaposition to everything that we’re used to. I call it an antithetical workplace, but maybe that’s wrong. Maybe this is what the work place should be. It is. It is, that I know wholly and wildly, now. This is a place for creativity and whim, and lucrative lunacy and revolution, but… more. Something beyond denotation and connotation. Talk about deconstruction and examining dichotomies and dualities, this is its own plain. A text, a subject, a set of vocals that not only persuade but impassion beyond normal human norm.
This isn’t an office. It’s not a colony. It’s a language. Its own speak.
So then halfway through my Friday, in office, not with my sales team, I have time to collect for sakes of being with them tomorrow in San Francisco, to bring what’s here to the Sunset District’s upper-40 avenues tomorrow. I’m enriched, today, again. Supplemented, turned around made more a voice of this place and what it speaks.
Looking through to-do list. Everything done. I know so. I do. Been through list, each item, 3 times. So I give myself new items. Prep for tomorrow. Timeline for tomorrow. Keep busy. This new coffee cup has me especially energized and alive, written fire and fire to be written.
3:10. Feel self getting tired, even with the coffee. Yawn…. Phone interview/screening to prep for. At 4, and I’m more or less ready, so time for exploratory thinking, let mind wander to whatever and wherever what—
3:18. Coffee not working. All work done. Now what. Not panic I feel but something in the same flavor isle.
May need a break. Air that is fresh. Break from desk. Talking around me and my head’s in the car, on Road, in classroom, possibilities compounding in delirium-inducing shapes and plateaus. I don’t know what to do, now. I’m going mad, but a forming form of mad. Nothing hindering, nothing detrimental, not at all. This is a profuse health contract. I’m rebuilt in my readiness as a writer. This time in my story, where everything around me is me, for me, telling me to write something to myself that would benefit readers, somehow.
3:32. Student life. I’m a student here, as I am everywhere. There never a non-learning place. Every scene instructs. Not sure I’m providing or depriving audience, writing this. Work all around me, people working on what they work on, telling something to someone, educating and educating themselves whilst doing so, and me learning about what I do, here at this desk at which I everyday sit. Back from lunch two minutes early but now I reach a point in the day where time is a self-voiding send. So… look at clock, then at phone with its black screen, pen between forearms on desk. ‘Nother sip of coffee, or get more coffee? Don’t know. Don’t think, I tell myself. Just move. Thinking, becoming a bit of a foe, one formidable and crippling.
This office, Sonic, with all its sounds and quick movements and people writing notes to themselves and others and logging what someone says to reference in the future, notes on transactions and occurrences in their departments… Mom was right, everything I need is right here. As I’ve said in class but never myself appreciated adequately—Magic in the Meta. I won’t lie… this place fascinates me. On multiplying and befuddling levels. Transfixed in my fixations on and in everything from the voices I hear, to my own desk. From the conversations between people in the meeting room behind me when I can hear them, to the laughs that are distant, on the other side of the floor, in some distant department.
I pity my past self, honestly. Working in a tasting room, or going from campus to campus to campus—a freeway falcon—as an adjunct, or even further back working at the store, or before that in the insurance office. I’m not even “home” here I’m just me… how I wish be seen, a writer.
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 celebrate their weekend, what they’re going to do, what wine they’re going to drink.
Me, to run.