Outside the Bag

Nearing lunch.  Not sure if I’m in a writing mood, from how busy it’s been.  But I was able to capture some valuable stills on the crush pad, with tons of grapes landing today.  Hot outside, possibly too hot for walking so I may just come back to this desk, share my boredom with you.  Lucky you!  But I’m not bored, not at all, not with all that’s around me unfolding and developing.  Through head, a ceaseless to-do list.  Not even a list anymore, more like a stomping dinosauric docket for me to catch, catch up on.  How will I do that?  Simplify, everything made more simple.

Words for lunch.  I’ve decreed.  If I’m at the desk it could be perceived I’m available.  Maybe I should just wait till day’s end, no writing now, just let it all compile and collect.  How I get to evenness.  Back from a bathroom walk and I was tempted to go out onto the crush pad and photograph fruit in the bins, cold soaking in the sun, maybe take some video of the guys raking fruit into the crusher/de-stemmer, but I walked away.  Out of character for me.  This writing and tireless father need act more outside pattern, if I sense I’m about to do something I always do then don’t do it.

Clocked out for lunch, but the writing father’s staying put.  Right here at desk.  Not speaking to anyone, and not to be rude!  But rather to immerse the writing father in his words, in his work.  Not budging from my thesis of working harder than I think I can, get more done than I did the day prior.  How I spend the lunch, soused in my sentences.  Too hot outside for a vineyard walk.  One after work, though.  Have to do one a day, at least.  Ultimate and encompassing freedom demands I seek nothing new.  I have all I need for my idyllic, right here, in my story.

Okay…  So the idea yesterday, that I mentioned here on bottledaux, was selling real estate.  I know, I’m laughing too.  Why that picture and possibility if you could call it that leapt into my perception is far beyond my current reasoning, at this desk.  “So what…” you say.  What do you mean ‘so what’…  It’s gone, now.  Selling real estate?  No.  I’m holding with my goals.  Staring out the window in front of my as I so many times do throughout the day, only antagonizes my dreaming, day or night dreaming really doesn’t matter—  Could use a glass of Chardonnay or anything right now.  Lunch, huh.  Not for this writing father.  Tomorrow on campus, then day next back here at the desk.

Say you’re more cursed than lucky if you’re still reading.  But, the working father, or mother, any parent knows what this is, only wanting to do to provide all and more for your children and your family’s entirety but you can’t think nor act fast enough.  You’d do anything, you’d work any amount of hours.  You refuse to slow, and your certainly won’t stop.  So what else to do but keep moving, keep processing the ideas like grapes on a crush pad.  Who knows what results.  Maybe something blissful, something unusually piquant.  Maybe the next time you sit at your desk you’ll be a different You.

(9/27/16)

À la fin… 

I feel better, more ME.  Not sure what it was about today, but it pummeled me up and down its block.  Maybe I deserved it for a lack of connection to self.  Spoken word in the vineyard today, as I’ve been meaning to do.  One victory midday.  But after that, I was surrounded.  By challenges and demands, hands stretched toward me for another pour, and me only wanting my own glass.  My own pours.  My wine.  My quiet.  Finally had all a couple minutes ago, just watching sprinklers throw water wherever they wanted.  Seated, safe, and finally composed, only at day’s end.

More coffee please. 

Need more.  I could never go without coffee.  Ever.  Some people abstain for a week, or a couple weeks or month, for some stupid cleansing effort, then go right back to it.  I’ve never understood that, ever.  I mean, why.  If you want to change, as I do with certain motions and scenes, wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, it be a complete and cemented lifestyle alteration?  If you think coffee’s bad for you, why not altogether quit or have a lower daily consumption?  Just a thought… thought broken and distracted by my daughter playing with the idea of standing above the book, making self-confident squeaks and grunts, looking over to me I make eye-contact for a moment then go back to writing.  Why don’t I stop?  I need to be a dad right now, not a fucking writer.  I’ll never get this moment back, EVER.  Of course we’ll interact and love and further know each other, but THIS moment is only this moment, in this moment, then it’s gone.  So I’m ending the session.  I woke at 4, I have three pages.  I’m done.  I have coffee, I’m awake, I need to be daddy right now.  This is something that probably every writing parent deals with— not having enough time to write so they write whenever they can and if they do wake early like I did this morning, they enjoy the wild peace and the silence, the moment all to themselves, but one of the babies, or all, wake and your moment is cut.  You write while the babies are up but you feel guilty.  You should.  Be with your children.  I know when Emmie’s older, I’ll think about times like this when I wrote instead of just loved, been daddy.  I know I’ll have those regrets.  But I want to minimize them as much I can, if I can.

Em’s content now, playing with the cars and putting them in one of the plastic containers.  Taking them out, putting them back in.  All at 9 months.

Downstairs again by self after playing upstairs in her room for a bit.  Started crying, wanted mama for feed.  Now, again, it’s just me.  6:08, still dark.  No light indication, yet.  Still sipping.  But I’ve slowed.  BUT, 4AM lost this morning.  I drove avec startling speed.  New me.  I am surprised, I’ll have you know.  What else can I do with the day?  Well… what do I want?

Two sips form tumbler.  And I’m off. 

Like the races.  Working at this hour like a former student who transports beer in those huge 18-wheeler trucks, all over the state.  ‘Mr. A’ I’ve dubbed him in a past entry or two, around the time Spring ’15 ended.  Yes, I decided looking at the time, and what wondrous victory for me in this day, and in this point in my life where I’m putting all existential eggs into the basket of writing, teaching, sharing ideas through writing and my push toward Total Wellness—  I’m up, I’ll stay up.  I have work to do.  I would invite any of my students to try this, wake at some painfully ungodly hour and write.  Just see what surfaces.  Again, for me it’s especially valuable as a writing father, having this time is better than money.. this time is a special tier of health.  But anyway, just try it, see what happens.

Can’t believe I brought myself to finally sip the coffee.  I had the usual stare-down with the mouthpiece of the tumbler, thinking “Shit do I really want to do this?  Once I sip, I’m up the rest of the day.” In the few past mornings when up at this hour, I backed down to that sight of the tumbler’s lip.  But not today.  Today I’m one of those Indy cars.  Testing my speed, testing myself, seeing what I can do, if I can surprise myself.  Even though this is time to Self, I’m still in daddy mode.  I’m always in daddy mode, with heightened hearing and sensitivity to the environment.  So realized, I think I heard Jackie upstairs.  Is he awake?  Not after the busy fun day he had at the track with us, right?  I have to leave the sitting, go inspect.  One more sip of coffee first.  Maybe 2…

Made it to the top of the stairs, heard nothing.  Maybe the early hour’s giving me too much sensory sensitivity.  After those two sips, I’m most amazingly like those cars yesterday.  Upshifting and downshifting, taking tight turns, dodging other cars.  Metaphor obvious, me here on this uncomfortable couch, seeing more about myself than I did yesterday, or the days and years before.  I’m sure some editor at some piggy publishing house, if they even read this and not tossed to trash, would dismiss my moments here in the dark, at the 4AM intersection.  Probably write it off as ‘unmarketable’, or something.  Ugh, “How would we market it, Jim?” I can hear some exec as his fellow exec.  They think about it for a second if at all then pour themselves some Scotch at 1PM, talk about their stock portfolios or where they’re taking their mistresses next weekend on the “business trip”.  Sickens me that this mold of character and attitude-fold could run the publishing world.  But you know what, I don’t care what kind of dragons keep it, the business.  They can bloody keep it.  I’m starting my own.  Two more sips.  Toast.  To day.  To me.  To the quiet.  To other writing parents.  To all whirls and riles positive.

After two more sips, I start to regret taking the others.  Why?  What would sleep do?  What would it accomplish?  What would it get done?  Can you write in your sleep?  Can you plan in your bloody dreams (Well, maybe I can…)?  I did the right thing.  5:02 now, and I’m more awake than when the alarm sounded, that’s certain.  No light outside, at all.  Not even a hint that it’s the 17th of September.  The day’s born but not, not as I see it.  I’m in a limbo now, both physical with the light and sensory deprivation but with ideas, with action—  “Drink more fucking coffee,” I tell myself.  Okay, I reason, “I will.” There, easy fix.  And now what.  Be like those speeding cars, with that high piercing, chilling hum as they by you dart.  I’m trying, trying.

Had the idea yesterday, surrounded by all those photographers and photojournalists, and just guys hired by whatever organization to walk around with huge expensive cameras and take shots of wheels and pit crews, obviously the cars and parts, the track— that I should put more creative voltage into my photog.  Not sure how or precisely for what end, but to take pictures more seriously.  Make a business out of it.—  Hear Emma upstairs.. daddy mode.

Now downstairs with my youngest.  I type on the floor with her as she plays with her brother’s cars.  She’s not hungry, just wants to play, have a little company in this early hour.  She keeps putting the cars in her mouth and I say in a Disney voice of some kind, high pitch and low volume, “No no noooo…” She smiles at me as if to say “Ha, papa, you can’t order me around!” She’s right, obviously.  She repeats and repeats, repeats the repeats, and now it’s not just repetition or some sort of redundant act.  This is purposeful and emphatic, a stark reiteration.

Still dark outside.  Emma lights up this room with her curiosity and laugh and funny sounds.  Glad now I had all those coffee sips and/or that I started sipping to begin with.  Now I have NO option but to awake stay, with little Emma Cat play, go further into the day.  Race car daddy, writer and thinker, planner.  And what an ample invite for some photography, little Emma as my impromptu model…  Just took one picture, but I want to let her play, just watch her enjoy this early quiet hour like her daddy.  Surprised to see her this active so early, honestly.  She’ll last for about an hour and a half, tops, then I’ll lay her back down in our room.  Now she reads one of Jackie’s books, a Star Wars type that make sounds from the movie and engages the “reader” in plot development and character presence.  But that’s probably how I’m seeing it, frankly, as a professor, or instructor, or teacher.

More Shows

First class done.  Student, who happens to be named Emma, said to me, “I feel like we should clap at the end of class or something…  It’s like theatre.” More confirmation that this semester will be THE semester for me, that does something, that sends me to the road, lecturing and speaking and… you know my vision.  I’m sure other teachers, and I do mean sure, have these days, days were they are more than confident that this is what they’re to be doing.  Convinced, convicted, lovingly condemned.  I love this feeling, sitting here in the shared adjunct office with another adjunct as she either grades or preps for a class or writes herself a note, something, me here with my thoughts and two hours to collect before my 1A at 5.  Need a snack, I think.  But what.  That means I’m to travel to the cafeteria, go back outside, think more of how to start the 1A.  Already know, but I’ll think more.  Can never be too prepared for any class, in my not at all humble thinking.

With my first class out of the way, I wonder… what do I do next with them.  With the 1A.  I should do something crazily different tonight, in my lesson plan.  Like what.  I could research discussion topics but I don’t need to research.  I’m a better teacher than that, I have myself convinced.  But am I?  Can’t I get better?  I ignore this inner-counsel and decide on ‘censorship’. We could take it apart a dozen or two dozen ways.  I don’t know, I just need to do something different.  I want to keep this reaction to my “teaching” consistent across sections…  You know what, I’m going to ask them about their day.  Ask them to describe it, assign a theme or “thesis” to the day, or a dominant idea.  Wrote that one down, too, in the Composition Book.

Going for a walk.

Back from walk.  Short trip to Santa Rosa High, next door to the JC.  went to introduce and get a contact.  All successful.  In the beginning stages of my trek to teach high school English.  Yes.  Decreed and decided.  I’m convicted and more than convinced that this is my next move as an educator.  In my career.  And not just from adjunct exhaustion.  I mean, I guess that’s part of it but I want a new adventure.  I want to aid in the change of written scenery for students, coming from high school English and now to college.  Be a bridge, provide methods and remedies.  I have to move quickly in this trek, this mission, now in its 3rd official day.  When I hear students make statements like Emma did this morning, I know I have to be more there for the students, at the JC, yes, but those just before the JC.  This is consistent with the dominant vision, and all visions.  And I sit here back in the adjunct office and electrically excited fault line of thought.  Quaking, quaking…  Watching my own performance, and I’ll never tire.

Novel Spacious

And the end of the day.  Opened what I believe to be the last of the 2012 wines I made.  This one, the ‘New Dad Cuvée’.  Can’t tell you how amazing it tastes, notably after today’s tempo and day-sort, all the prepping when I wasn’t that prepped which I should have been, after the run this morning, and now at the desk in my home office.  MY ebb’s a bit low, but now too trench-tuned.  Hear son coughing upstairs and I feel like I shouldn’t be writing, and if I am it should be something interplanetary, sending us all somewhere— overseas, to a new, bigger house on some enormous farm plot of our own.  But no I’m here conflicted about how I feel about this ’12 ‘NDC’.  And if I should have another glass.  Why not.  Of course I should.  But wait a second… why wine [Jackie coughs twice, and again…  Wife goes upstairs to him, insisting I stay down here], why do I need wine in my everyday’s day, progression, time and pulses all?

What this moment to me instructs is to embrace who I am, and what I want.  I’m sure someone reading this is eager to bow-and-arrow at me the ‘selfish’ tag.  And they can do just that.  Everyone in wine’s world and whirl is.  Popping a small tall thin can of Perrier sparkling water.  Need some hydration, the writer feels.  Downstairs in dark while washer and dry upstair go and throw, to too much fro.  So I try to collect down here, and I’m taken and pushed, bullied by the thought of ‘Why didn’t I hit 13.1 this morning?’  Yeah, WHY didn’t I?  Honestly, I don’t think I stretched enough.  And right now, my body so much it feels, in the right hip, the right knee, still both fucking ankles (inside, which has never itself noted before).  The run was good, I guess, but I can’t help jot it as a failure, a matriculation only to be a dropout.  Why?  Ugh… a mood sinks, Me stops.  It’s end of day, and I’ve been up since.. huh, when…  6?  Before?  Shit, now I’m one of those dads, it’s all starting to blur.  I’m losing my fucking youth and I’m going madder than the rabbit and that giggling jerk at the tea table.  “Calme-toi, mon ami!” I self-order, only wanting the night to get better.  Don’t hear anything from Jack upstairs but I’m that kind of dad, the one who worries, the one who loves his babies more than anything and even when they’re not technically ‘babies’, he’ll them so still see.  And when they’re all grown, no longer kids, it won’t matter— they’ll be his always-kids.  I’m not a ‘New Dad’, and I’m not an expert dad.  Just a dad, a daddy, a papa.  Washing machine, dryer, upstairs with their roars and rotations, jumbles and jangles, distracting and centering me.  Pulled in directions all.  But, chapter closed.  That bottle that was opened, now corked, in hangared.  The once-New Dad centers in his type-stomps.

(8/29/16)

Loop Do a True 

Frustrated with myself as I wanted to post a piece I wrote about Emma, earlier, but this evening is about a vent, a shelling of sorts.  Nothing negative, just that needle-esque candor.  Right now on floor of bottom floor of Autumn Walk Studio sipping night’s cap and thinking about day, how crazy it was at the winery.  How I love and loathe such momentum in tandem, how people that ask the dumbest, most self-absorbing probes of wine perturb and infuriate me— one lady today feeling the need to ask a question then use the answer as the foundation of her grievance— example: “Did this see any oak?” she asked about the Chardonnay.  “No,” I riled, “we wanted this to be clean and bright, expressive and charming.”

“Well,” she said, spilling the remainder into the pour ceramic in front of her, between us, “I like the oaky Chards, this is too thin.  Why didn’t you use new oak?” I dodged the question and told her something that made her feel more empowered so she’d shut the fuck up.  ‘It’s wine for fuck’s sake’, I thought.  Why do people get like this over wine, and I have to be honest it’s less than a percent of people walking through that front door-set that have such demeanor and lean.  I always watch from behind that bar, writer I be, to see what I see.  You have these presuppositions at times, we all do, but you never know.

Already I can feel myself getting lazy on this Studio’s bottom floor, and I haven’t even lifted the night’s capping of captain cappings.  So now what do I do, with this time to myself, after getting up when I did with daughter, then soonafter son— the writer’s a pretzel, self-promulgated in prose promiscuity, yodeling from this idea to that, and I get more frustrated with self.  So how is this helping.  I think of the vineyard walk I took yesterday, how if I were the owner I’d be doing the same thing as the current owner.  True acuity and familiarity with the property, telling a story.  It’s all a story, a zooming and tangibly scenic story-set.  I’m relaxed but not, as I see again how life’s shortness motivates us.  I’m angry, but then I’m not.  I refuse to smoke from negativity’s cig.  I’m here, now, downstairs, the fridge going mute, and me finally having a whale upon which to write.  Yes, each moment I can write while having two babies is like joyriding a whale, in the middle of the Pacific.

I’m okay now, with not touching the Emma piece.  I’ll get to it tomorrow.  Typical writer procrast’—  So now harm in my creative skin or waves, telling tide.  What’s going to happen tomorrow at the winery, who will ask what?  WHAT?  Feel like I need to know now so I can have some witty fucking response.  The wine industry’s like a circus, then like a business, then like a riot, then like a war.  Which facet do I better like?  Not sure.  You know what, curtly, I’d rather write about my daughter.

(8/27/16)