my partner narrator.
For class, reading. Writing. The journal. Open mic, but for something else. I want tonight to be reflective of my mood toward the academic institution, but with kindness. A dose of defiance. I have no class for Fall and I don’t know if I would take one were I offered one. After today’s talk on Kerouac, I feel more self-sufficient, -reliant. I don’t want to need them. Then don’t, I tell self. My thoughts on it all are non-thoughts. But one. It’s time to move on. It’s time to test self, teach independently, be free of the composition confines of a campus classroom.
Morning following morning of marathon that was only a half for my, my thoughts are on and in literature, writing, teaching self and being taught from experience. I don’t see yesterday as a victory or a defeat, but a prime lesson. Instruction on everything.
Morning with family. Kids on couch with their mama, my over here at kitchen island, writing, in Kerouac’s novel, wanting more of what Sal did, what Dean did and thought he did. In travel, in wine, in music. The wine I had last night, bought with son at store. Jack telling me we need to buy some wine so can “do some business” as he put it. Everything I need for my Road, for my travels, here.
Mike thinks about his day off, what he wants from it, how to approach it. Thoughts, everything in thought, what’s in his thinking and the ideas that pass that he won’t remember, that he won’t write down. Mike Madigan, analyzing himself and what he does. Wanting to feel what Sal and Dean did in the car, at the jazz clubs, at all the unexpected locations with new people they’ve only known for so long. The reason and reasoning, thought and philosophy to everything from people at a house to beer and tacos, to the sound of cars being parked in a lot, crazily.
Mike forgot about Sausalito, about the marathon, about running altogether. He thought about wine, again about self-publishing and wine, what to do from there. New ways of approaching wine and teaching, books… Sedaris’ essays, Plath’s poems, Kerouac’s novel, Hughes and all his pieces. Mike would re-read Road, note every sentence, including the first where the narrator lets readers know this is about him, Dean, how he felt right when he met Dean then onward into his life. Mike has a son, daughter, since knowing them he sees the world with more reverence and hesitation—How does he live every moment as deeply as he can? Why does he spend so much time thinking and overthinking rather than writing, living? He didn’t have an answer. Not this morning. He wouldn’t. He didn’t need one. All he needs is them. Those two. Their mother. The house. Writing father seeking more reason and reasoning in everything, all that he does and what’s around him in his current scene and current.
Thought—everything in the appreciation of Now.
Living is literature, he finds. He’s always know this and Mike has always seen wine as more a literary presence than some chemical or agro result. Mike returns to wine, for this thought. Sitting at the kitchen counter and looking over at the bottle of Grgich Merlot, ’14, that last night he explored and let speak to him. He refused to let wine leave him, or him leave wine. He’d write each sip, even if twelve essays or pieces or sketches came from the same bottle. Wasn’t that the point? Each sip, different. Each second there is more in the jazz of what you poured. Maybe this is the business little Kerouac was talking about, yesterday in the Oliver’s wine isle.
Wine speaks to Mike in a way it hasn’t, ever. She tells him to move, move quicker. Edit nothing. Just express. Self and the Now, thought and reasoning in what you sip, the appreciation of the Now… no going back, now. The story is set. Now he writes.. Several books. With wine. A marathon of book output, then another, then a marathon of written treks in the vineyard rows. He sees it. All. All sips and steps.
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…
to be in the Road.
No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.
Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.
Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.
I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.
Not the kind of run I wanted. Don’t see morning as loss, though. In any respect or touch. I did sleep through the 04:00 bell but woke by the 04:10. Tally win. Went to gym. 5 miles and some-hundred calories which I don’t emphasize but always interesting to see what kind of number I can put to board. But why didn’t I get to 9 or 10 as I yesterday dreamt? Water…. should have had more water yesterday and last night. Then, stretching. Pain in right leg, up by hip is easy warning that stretching be more emphasized in my running life. Here I now sit, though, post run, writing about running and what I want next. Pushups throughout day. And, more or less fast till 4 when guests start showing for Thanksgiving. Hard to not be hard on self for the run, but I can’t do that. As a runner, or the type of runner I want to be going into the two marathons first half of next year, I have to analyze. Deconstruct. 1, more water. 2, more stretching. 3, more core work in abdomen, pectoral, general center and sternum. Then, don’t start so fast. I know that had something to do with my 5-mile stoppage. I need to juggle the splits and intervals, speed stretches of the run.
Waking early is the answer to so much in anyone’s story. Even if it’s to wake early and be solitude-sown with your own thoughts. Waking early, earlier, is a demand that should never be ignored. More than a mere requirement.
Part of the business of running, waking at this hour. 05:38 and the running writer is WIDE awake. Typing on phone ad I don’t want laptop button pushes to wake the babies. Sipping cold coffee from the tumbler in car. Not much left. Sip slow, I tell myself. Don’t wake kids. My thoughts now go to vision, visions attainable then dreams that are still attainable but a bit distant.
Just caught self looking at word count. Why do I do that? Self-scolding after. Don’t do that, either. I fixate and form more focus in the Now. Where I am and what I’m doing. Cognition of character. What I want. How a writer approaching 40 will attain it. IT. Same thing they wanted before seeing Road. Narrative atop narrative encouraging more writing. I want coffee but coffee itself tells me to back off. Conversation last night with student, how my words reached her, showed her some benefits to trying new practices and approaches. Making me think…. what I have to do. Doing it today. Thankful for the Now, the craft, words collection, meditation. Here in the kitchen after a run with which I’m anything but thrilled.
I did it again. Looked at the goddamn word count. Same way I kept looking at how much time I had into my run, and how many miles. Qualitative and quantitative combatting for my attention and priority placement. Just write, I tell Self as I do students in the room with me. Measuring the day, not so much planning it while sitting here, drinking whatever’s left in this tumbler. Thought, stay thinking I tell myself. Keep your cogitation in a constant constant. It takes me to papers, papers I have to write. On literature, writing, thought itself. No more numbers, I order
05:47, 8. Now what. Sit on the couch. This tall boy chair is not so accommodating with this ache I hVe in right leg by hip. Now feeling tired. Don’t think I can fall asleep with the coffee I’ve allowed prance in circulation. And I don’t want to sleep, anyway. I will write this whole bloody day. Wine at table, family, appetizers, hopefully rain.
Just realized I left a book at work, on desk in my quasi-cube. Co-worker called it “my cube” the other day and I almost said something. Hate that word, cube. Reminds me of the Napa job, at “the box”. Forget it. Or not. Contributed to story…. The book I’m thinking of, want to read a bit of it. May be able to look it up somehow online but that’s not the same thing at all. That’s not reading. It scrolling, or skimming. Not even sure if it’s either one of those, honestly.
More than writing about running, I’m noting what I notice in health’s composition. Me– music, running, reading, writing, speaking and sharing ideas (not so much “teaching”). What I’m doing now I see as healthy. Not spending these early hours, this time here (now on couch), scrolling through some media feed social or other. But, with thoughts. My thoughts. This room, this day… now.
One of the guys with whom I work in field talked to me recently about taking more time to Self, establishing more rhythm in his daily motions and walk, speech, interactions with people inside and outside company. If you wake earlier, you will be allowed this. You can see more. You feel more and understand more of Self. You not only need to bring yourself to this place, but you have to desire it honestly. Not necessarily with purposes in mind, but just desire it for YOU.
Tired. Need to go to bed earlier. And again, drink more water. What if I were to close my eyes right now– Do I deserve that? I only ran five miles. STOP SAYING THAT. I switch my speaking pace and containment. On couch, looking around room…. hear nothing. No movement upstairs, no rain, utter sound void. Sniffle, hope no one heard that. Waking early, even this exhausted or tired rattle through my arms and face, eyes, has me pushed to more narrative, prose…. my running story. Anyone’s story.
Stomach. Telling me not to ignore it. Thoughts telling me to stop thinking. To lay down, rest eyes. Or, just sit quietly. After I…. no, no coffee. Sniffle again. Think I hear one of the kids. Writing over? I think.
Run eyes, core with storm, roaring and growling, a deep torque. I move.
So I open the bottle of Monterey Grenache I bought at Bottle Barn a bit ago. Not letting it sour or soil the soul of this sequence of time I have to Self. First sip, and I’m spoken to by subtlety’s illustrative principles.
It’s still not speaking to me, doing what it’s supposed to do. This it. An it. Not capitalizing, not surrounding in any quote marks, even the singular. It’s a thing. A monster. A devil. Guess I have to buy a new laptop.
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.
Wine never needs to frame complicated. Wine should never direct prolix. She’s inviting, approachable, narrative and affectionate. What’s surrounded by curved glass reads a presence, a prophetic face and storm of versifying lines.
After a day, working, wine waits, debates her approach to me, my life and day and immediate room. The room, now, connotative in resonance, assurance, a perceptive seat. I’m at a table with her, being instructed, listening,eating leftovers and coaching me on Now, this doesn’t have to be layered or codified, and sort of sophisticated set.
Haven’t touched this glass. But the visual and nearness has me. Inward recite, and known night, thrown toward a lone vinified light.