time. No time to waste and no time to wait. All minutes are instructional, all times in your story narrate something to you, teach, they demand your direction and response. Gems compile right in front of you. Eyes should be ever present nets. Catch everything.
my partner narrator.
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.
And more LOVE.
They assign new songs and sense of everything in my story.
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…
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…
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…..