Waiting for the wine story, my wine story, to again amplify.
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.
Three days left in year. Today counted. Coffee in nook at work. Break before work, or work before work depending on how it’s looked at. As I noted yesterday, again I caved, having lunch at a nice spot actually on I believe 4th and Balboa— sorry, 5th and Balboa. Don’t regret the chicken sandwich and fries I had with co-workers, friends. But I should have gone to café. Of course today I set out for same, but I dismiss the dilemma and set self in now where I’m set in this nook, at this new table and chair, writing spot for a writer going into a new year, on his second cup, made in the back office where you proceed down a somewhat sizable hall with glass offices on either side, then that one magical room with the coffee.
Phone, journal on desk, or table, right now it’s my desk or that’s what I have self convinced of. Writing meditation, the morning, Saturday, next three days off with the new year cartwheeling toward my pages. Not only learning, I always say that— but instructed by the intersection of one year, then another. Me growing in story and character… we all grow, or don’t. That’s a decision. Yesterday at California and 7th, “Not everyday’s a treasure chest but work feverishly to get what you get.” Jotted before crossing street to next block where reps were speaking to people at their doors, remembering Plath’s words in Bell Jar chanting ‘I am I am I am’ in every street pavement square and at every stoplight.
Music in everything. If we don’t see IT that way, then we’re only living, going to work then coming home and sleeping. The worker shouldn’t see work as work— they shouldn’t work, they should be passion explorers, and if they don’t like their job, their “work”, make it something’s that not only liked but layered in love, loved.
Semester ending this week. English 100 tomorrow. End of weekend, and so what it doesn’t matter I’ve been working at, away at, some project Friday and yesterday anyway. Now, before bed, I’m seeing my office as more than mandated and decreed now, since today on an errand with little Kerouac telling him that one day I’ll have—one day soon—my own office and he can come play video games and help daddy tell stories. This is all a story, I’ve always known but today spending as much time with little Kerouac and Ms. Austen as I did I see my narrative in more fixed amenity. Being taught by them and by the day.
On new couch, writing for first time, jazz, one more beer…. 4am again targeted. If I do rise and fly when alarm cries, go straight to the coffee I made… that’ll help the writer be brighter.
Home from Katie’s, only having a sip of a wine I’ve never had… not telling me much but the thoughts go everywhere with its everything. Notes and random chord changes, like this track, “Big Paul” by Burrell and Coltrane. Everything explained…
Laptop not cooperating. Keyboard not responding. Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit. So I’m typing directly to blog. Which I never do. But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here. I know where to find these words. And frankly, I like this bigger screen. Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer. I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.
Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work. This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write. I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.
Kids upstairs, playing. They don’t have these worries, or any. Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here. Think he’s up to something. I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do. Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects. Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?
Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me. I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use. Day off but me self work. There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers. I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.
If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now. Kids play quietly upstairs. The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise. Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering. But I hear no vocal reaction. This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me. Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story. This writing pops.
Voices outside. Neighbors starting their day. “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat. “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.
“What is she reading?”
“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.
What are you reading, buddy?” I say.
“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”
“Good! Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.
Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note. “Dear dad […] w e love yo u”. I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving. I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding. “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”
Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way. Neighbors wheeling stuff around. Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on. Something like that. What are they reading? I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate. Thinking I should go up there and read with them.
But, they come downstairs. Slowly. Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same. She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to. She says she needs to do something. “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to. And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.
Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form. Inquiries that will not halt. I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.
Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes. Which I do and don’t. I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play. We wish for a lot, we Humans. We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present. This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving. The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything. Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify. Think it’s a Christmas song, I don’t know.
Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree. Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy. “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more. Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots. That amazes me, their language. Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time. They never obsess over what’s not, only what is. That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me. I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.
Wonder how I’m doing in class. My grade. Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?
He calls again, little Kerouac. This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse. Up…..
Late, and wine and music, thinking about the day and week ahead. Day off tomorrow from office new but class later. Going to put thinking in mode of close, already for semester. The writing daddy thinking, thinks now, bigger than in past sittings. Tonight, Pinot Noir. Went to winery he just in the last month left, yesterday. He misses it, wine, the industry. Would he ever go back? Fuck no, he says to himself. He says it loud so he can hear himself think it and say it, and feel it more before the next sip. He’ll have his own winery one day, something small. That small little tasting studio and room where people, anyone, can just taste wine and talk.
He closes all the other docs on his laptop. Focuses on his memoir or note or memoir-ish novel piece, he throws more Pinot into his circuitry. And I’m tired already, even though I did manage a nap earlier, and after having some coffee. Guess the writer needed it. Mike looks at the wine, remembers his last days at that Chalk Hill spot, going into the vineyard his last day with the TR manager to do his exit and she saying this is how it should be done as he’d always talk about the vineyard and everything in it, how he’d walk it everyday.
He’d write it. That tell-all. Or something like a tell-all. He wasn’t trying to expose anyone or call anyone out, or do any tabloid shit on his blog, he just wanted to write the wine industry, the bar the glass the towels the inventory. Each turn, jot on a paper clipped by a spreadsheet metal clip-y thing. He looks again at the glass and writes more notes about it, what he thinks someone from, maybe somewhere like, Indiana would say. Some small town Indiana person, now a rich oil or farm behemoth. “That’s nice, that’s like one of those Pinots that tells you what Pinot is, what it’s all about… I’ve had Pinots like this before, I’ve had a lot of them…” He’d heard lines like this, so many times before, someone trying to sound like something, some wine something, an expert or “connoisseur” or “aficionado”, or just a fucking EXPERT. But it’s in his head. He knows he has to write this down. All of it. He sipped the Pinot faster, pour another glass or sip right from neck. It’d changed,
Wine speaking to him in octaves applauded, in his thoughts. Empty glass, full head of wine visions, walking a vineyard again like he did at every wine he’d ever worked at. He doesn’t know where he is in this session, and he doesn’t care. The mocha, maple, cherry and milk chocolate from the wine speaking even several minutes after sipped. He sees himself light up after writing about glass’ occupant, even after gone, even before letting it sing through a bottle’s neck like he were Kerouac. Much to tell, more now later. As a writing daddy ought do. Much anew do.
Coffee. Didn’t think I would have any but a nice bloke named Art helped fix the machine. Something with the paper inside he said. Not sure what that meant and I had trouble finding his repairing ability and magic powers but am cosmically grateful for the cup I now enjoy. He had his dog with him, Murphy, a mix of pit and rot and German Shepherd or something. Cute little guy that I though a puppy but really 8 years old. Want a bigger property to have a dog for kids. Working on it.
Out in field today, again. Meant to wake early as I always do but needed more sleep, waking at 630-something then ironing some pants, into shower, getting coffee and wee treat for wife as she has day off, recovering. Me in break room. Saw co-worker who also enjoys Kerouac’s work, walking her dog as I approached front door. Asking her how her morning was and she told me great, woke at 4:45 to go to gym, workout, and here she is. The mornings, I need something from them. More hours, more time, and I have only self to cite for not waking when I want. Prophesying the next 8+ hours. Selling with team, walking around the East Bay today, I believe. Want today to be wild, more wild than any day this week. Written, written madly. Bag on table, person behind me getting napkin from some odd and stray little stack. Writer at a tech company. Love it. Love this place. What it does and what it stands for but I try to find more. Not letting self get breakfast as I did the other day, and yesterday. Yesterday having some croissant sandwich with egg, cheese, meat… felt disgusting afterward. So none of that. And none of the doughnut array a guy who next to me sits brought in this morning. Was tempted. Told him, “Maybe later.” But no. Going for a bit of a literary fasting, ration, penury for sakes of prose today.
An office, versus a tasting room. Then thinking of every job I’ve had, reflecting only now at 39, and where I’m going as I seem to in every entry… Do I want a snack? NO. Fast.. deprivation, a sort of literary and page torture training. What will it do to the psychology of this writer, how he touches the keys, how he writes… what will it do to the book, book? 08:30. 20 minutes about, to collect. People come in here for morning fixes, one man just now grabbing some dry cereal and some cold caffeine or coffee drink to pair. This place fascinates me. The video games, stacked chairs, a jungle of deliberation and fascination, like Duke and Gonzo in the casino, at the bar surrounded by lizard monsters. I look around and see business, me building my story and “brand” if that’s what you want to call it. I just want more, like everyone else. The coffee to me speaks in radiant and radically riled voice and unspoken syllable sets. Going to write everything down today. From today’s poem, poems, to notes on team, the field, sakes ideas, me-ideas, everything around me secures the affirmation of dream-actuality transformation and actualization.
In ten years, I’ll be…. Don’t want to say. By the end of the semester, well, I do want to say. Teaching on writing. Teaching independently. Independent and NEVER dependent on the JC for classes and teaching opportunities. This break room teaches me to write faster, write more, about the coffee and the coffee machine, Art and his dog Murphy, the people getting their breakfast bites, and me here writing like a beatnik having finally found his his IT, moving with supersonic insistence toward a storm of ideological adorned page-forms. Seeing something, then writing it. Living it. Odd embodiment of passion and presence, passion for what’s in front of me and present.
Feeling a but of a famine rumble. Ignoring it. Writing rethought it. If I had something to eat what would I have. Certainly nothing in the fridge. Then what. What do I want. What will I do if this ravenous inner-stomp heightens in any way. Not sure. Just keep with the words, the— TODAY. Today is the IT, the IT of it all. The coup de foudre, for me and this book. Not failed, in any pour, in any sound, in any movement or issue. Today is all any writer should be focused on. I’m here, at work, about to share ideas, about to speak to people, about to learn, about to be more me than the bloody wine industry could ever echo or hasten or hurry. I’m finding not only work here, and nuggets of knowledge, but visuals that confirm the reasoning for why I’m here now.. to work over or about an hour early and diving into pages, a book project.
So many of us fear work. I see that as a decision. I see that as a surrender. What do you want to do for the rest of your life? The answer should always be “Everything.” Try everything, experience everything, WRITE everything. That’s what succeeds in solution, answers, happiness with I think everyone quests. Everything…. “Try EVERYTHING” I started the semester with. And now I the like enact.
More coming in for snack, something to eat. The writer tempted, but I find gems in this starvation and deprivation, a re-allocation of self and functionality.
08:47. Want to be back at desk, soon. Start day. Initial tasks. Notes for field, for me in field, observations from yesterday. Coffee already going cold. I think of last night’s wine. Which one. The Rosé, of which I only had one glass, and the Barbera of which I think I had maybe 1.5. OR two. I deserved it, I reasoned, keeping the 1A class over 90 minutes which made for a 12-hour day, give or take.
Again quiet. Sip again.
world, language, behavior pattern and way. I’m one with a little reluctance, but I’m using what I know how to do well, and from there amplify. Guess that’s my new tone and talk, ‘amplify’, and amplification. Think it’s safe to say I won’t learn how to code any time soon, nor design sights, install internet. I speak, I write, I guess I sometimes entertain, I speak (already said that, sorry), and story-tell. That’s what I do, what I know how to do. 13 minutes left in break and my eyes are still on that coffee drink. But I’d have to use my debit card. Don’t want to do that. Just make yourself another cup of coffee and let it cool off, I say to self. People play video games off to right, and again I take the energy here much more with a welcome write than how I felt at the winery in final days at Roth. And I hate to say that and keep mentioning that in these entries because I love wine, I love even the industry, or at least what I knew the industry to be before I was devoured by it. I swear, if I would’ve stayed…. I don’t want to think about it. Wouldn’t have been healthy, or beneficial to me, and certainly not the writing.
I’m eager to speak to this new hire, and see what the girl I’m working very closely with to a blessing’s believability, T, says. Questions, educating, me being educated while I’m more or less educating from the less than 12 full days of life here. I’m going to teach from what I know.. sales, speaking, not just relating to customers but listening, seeing what they need and providing a certain narrative and depiction of what Sonic is. Not sure why I call it “office new”, still. Habit, or just being a funny, quirky, language tussling and fiddling pen bloke. I don’t know.
Less than five minutes and I just made my coffee so I’m prep’d for the remaining hours in my day, here in tech’s step. I shouldn’t say that, I think. This office is much more than just a tech spot, place of business. I see Sonic as a consumer advocacy group as I said to T a few days ago and earlier today, I think. I’m learning how to do not just better business but more coherent business. More creative, more life, more education… I don’t know where to start sometimes when it comes to this new office. Sonic.. and me, the Lit and writing prof’, put into a new book and new storytelling assemble and vocal. Doing wha tI can in the breaths last, make them last, looking around the break room and feeding from everything from the video game sounds to the conversations right I listen to but don’t at all. New job, new words and walls, chairs and tables, coffee and doors. Everything a propellent, ascending action and atmosphere from one character to ‘nother. The observations and written reactions and reflections, MY business.
English 100— Week 2, Meeting 3.
Not sure how I’m going to make it through the semester, possibly my last. And I know so many people that, like the wine industry when I left, are saying, “But you’re so good at it… people love you when you…” Yeah, well, time to move on. Being an adjunct over the past 12 years has only obstructed and interfered with other efforts and endeavors. Tonight’s class went well, though. Essentially lecturing from the heart and nearly no notes. I didn’t wing it, I trusted my Self. My ability to lecture and share/generate ideas. I’m concerned, though, about when the semester really gets going, becomes a nonstop storm of papers. But maybe it doesn’t have to be, I think. Tomorrow will be easier, with me getting out of the office at 5, not having class till 7. Can get some grading done, and that’s the key, stay on top of that paper-stacking foulness. Have to stay in calm’s pose. This is just Day 1 of such a day. 30 minutes to get from Sebastopol Road and whatever-street to SRJC. I can do it. I will do it. Rewarding the writer with some Cabernet the sis gifted me the other day when I stopped by. Need it. And yes, NEED. Poured self a soothing pour, needed and deserved stemless goblet full of the Bordeaux bull.
The English 100 class has me humbled, frankly, after tonight. After the quickly compiled and accumulating prod of stress making it nearly difficult to focus on the drive from Roseland’s district to campus. But I did it. Today. Rest of the days? Well, I have to. That simple. I’ll wake early, hopefully, when wife does for her bootcamp whatever, make coffee tonight and start chugging right when I get up. Grade a couple pieces, if I can. And if not, then write— This semester. All projects not only on hold but pushed into a literary coma. Will only think of waking when the last grade is submitted. And that’s the key, to all of this. The grading. The thing that holds me up semester after semester and what always affects my mood in the most torrential and terrible way of ways. Just put a fucking grade on it, I tell myself. But do I? No. Procrastinate, instead. Fool.
This semester, my last or no, will be my best, the most enjoyable for me and anyone registered, and the most self-educating. The office new, today my first full day, will serve as my freeway for self-discovery and building not just a career but creative life and fold, dimension, self-sect. This will work, and it will be challenging, demanding, painful… but like I told the students tonight, as I do every semester, “the main character has to hurt. And guess who the main character is in your story…. YOU.” Beginning week two, I centralize in this project, logging the entire semester. I, not failed. Not in any aspect or tilt, pan, scene, theatre. Today affirmed my elation in December’s end.
The varietal that brought me into wine, that invited me into the collective compositions and narrative, luminous elucidation of it all. After tomorrow, I’ll only write about wine. Not be int he tasting room. Not have to look at schedules and calendars, first thing in morning when the coffee’s barely taken its place in my pulse. I’m sitting on the floor thinking about the past 12 years, in wine, the industry, the stories and people, everything. Merlot, from Dutcher Crossing, inarguably the winery that made me the sales and marketing and wine storytelling expanse I am. Or that I think I am. I’m nearly 40. It’s time to leave. And more demanded, time to enjoy wine as a true consumer, not one saying they’re the consummate consumer, which yes I have from time to time to generate sales, which makes me feel like a slimy industry gargoyle. But you do what you have to do.. to get that sale, oui? Integrity. I’m finding less and less of it, valley to valley, county to county. I’m a consumer, now. I write about wine. I’m finally a wine writer. Wow… I had to leave the business, or industry, the tasting room, whatever, to be what I’ve always wanted to… writer of wine.. translator of.
Haven’t taken my first sip yet. I’m just staring at that Dutcher puddle, fruit from Napa, Atals Peak somewhere. See it.. when I first arrived there, interviewing with two people now dearer than dear friends of mine. Time, whatever it wants it just takes, and that’s my time, my life, this Now, that Now, every breath and second in a tasting room. Now, I fight back. Tomorrow, my only plan is to thank everyone at Roth, at Foley, then start traveling. Now I enjoy wine as a writer, a traveling wine writer who looks for any vineyard and cottage, any hut or terrace he can. Why am I just being this, now? I’m a wine writer, ‘cause I left the industry. There’s more than forecasted knowledge in that. I’m learning of my control, the nature of my dominance in my story. Wine is part of it, but not everything. So now, I sip to sip. Imagine going to a tasting room and not identifying myself as ‘industry’. Look at stemless plastic glass, cup, again, and breath, lean my head and neck back into the couches cushion.
First sip of the entity, and I’m in a tasting room. I’m thinking of how I’d speak it, how I’d “describe it” if that’s what you want to say, to a guest. I can’t tell, anymore. I’m just into the wine. Staring at her shade and shape, sense and poetic form, radiant rile and speak from dimensions theorized. I’m lost, found, loving the delicious duality and dichotomy of not just this wine but my wine story, the past, since ’06…. No miss. Only a cherishing tryst. I think. Again, I’m lost in this, not sure if celebration’s the word, but something to the tune and tilt, tone of.