4:16pm: Emma playing upstairs, with dolls, having full and rich conversations. DIALOGUE.

4:17pm:  Wine time, soon.  The day slowed then it picked up again.  Need one more sale before month ends.  How do I get it….

4:18pm:  I ask Jackie if he spilled his Ginger Ale, he says “No I didn’t so shahdaaaaaahp…” In a New York or Chicago accent.  I know as his father I should be like, “Don’t you talk to me that way, young man!” Or something like that.  But I can’t stop fucking laughing.

4:19pm: Writing like this is something I don’t often do, as I hate colons.  But I remember that one student who did in my 1A class a few semesters ago and it stuck. Each minute its own narrative.

4:20:  Emma’s dialogue lines come down here and echo from the kitchen to my quarantine corner.  I smile, love seeing her happy and so in love with everything that she is.  I joke and say I’m useless to her, that I’m just an obsessed fan… a joke, but I see it as mobile truth.  I follow her, do what she says, and just admire like a fervent fan on a tour bus.

4:21:  Zin.  All I have.  No Chardonnay, no SB.  Should always have white wine in the house.  Why don’t I.

4:05. Back from drive.

Couldn’t walk on beach, with all the orders in place.  More than just a couple Sonoma County Sheriff vans, cars, and even on helicopter Jackie spotted.  Me, only getting a couple mental touches of the waves and sands having to drive.

Now, no idea what I want to do.  Zoom call with Jesse, my closest ami in the wine industry and pretty much anywhere.  Oh, at 5.  So 53 minutes give or take.  Sparkling wine tonight, nothing red in house.  Need a beer after drive, and after kids complaining about drive length back…  Jack in trouble for behavior, which lately show those quarantine angles, sounds and motions and colors…everything associated with this thing’s everything.

Kids outside playing, different family.  Are they supposed to do that I don’t care I’m just trying to focus on myself and this, this Sunday, a holiday weekend which is irrelevant and barely a felt reality.

Need a place to write, outside this house.  Mom offered their home here, with them in the Sunriver home, but I need something.

Want to do the drive again, BY MYSELF… no kids.  But why.  Even if I could there’s no where to park along Highway 1’s side.  I mean, there is, but the SCS will tell you to move. I can’t park and write like I did that one time in Monterey or Pacific Grove.  I left the house but feel like I didn’t at all.  The kids with me… not blaming them, but that was the house in the car with me.  The short beach sight I had told me I need to get something by the water, somehow, soon.

Jack still in his mood.  Afraid he gets that from me… rejecting everything, sharing and audibly expressing his indignation.  Melissa tries to appease him, offering to make something with him from a kid’s cookbook.  It’s more or less working, much I can tell from the office corner.

Writing during the day, on “weekends”, is near just not something that can physically and barely mentally done.  Am I turning into a “daddy blogger” in this quarantine?  Maybe a little… everything directed by and from their moods, health, requests, sayings, interactions (if you have more than one), proximity to you.  Shocked, to be honest, that I have this time.. this sitting, this time in the corner before my call with Jesse.  Sparkling wine sounds magical… needed.  Need to pretend I’m celebrating something.. speaking some other language, from and in some other room.  Need to feel un-whelked.  Don’t want to sound in any way like that blogger I saw yesterday, just grieving about her kids and being in the house… SO, I need to more follow my own counsel.  This quarantine is for composition, incubation… growth.

Bottledaux now takes more the shape and place of a publisher…  Think to more altitude, I tell myself… scribble in the notebook.  (AND STOP USING FUCKING ELIPSES.)

11:28am

Jack sets up a studio at the kitchen island—

Interrupted by Costco deliver.  Put everything away.  Both babies demand mangos, I honor.  Jackie wants to show me the Spider-Man character he’s drawing.  I position self to take a picture with my phone but he sharply orders me to do anything but.  So note his concentration on the screen, resting the eraser of his pencil under the right corner of his lower lip.

Back at desk, sipping form my first pint of ice-water for the day.  Aiming for eight.

House quiet.  Jackie at his studio counter, with papers and recent drawings on all sides and in front of the laptop he’s using, and Emmie with her learning program, on the floor with her bowl of mangos.

No idea what to write, so I note that… that feeling, here in a lockdown, shelter in place… and what a shock, Emmie asks for more mangos, ‘PLEASE’, she’s certain she includes.  Sure I say, “Thank you” she adds.

Cut up mangos for both.  Reading Samantha Irby’s book makes me wonder why I think at all, why do I have trouble writing certain moments, or any time at any point in my life.. just relay what is.  Try to do it cleverly or with some angular sharpness or flavor… but relax, enjoy the writing, and the seeming plainness of what you perceive as plain or bland.

Emma announces she has to go potty, I reply “Okay baby…”

I’m making Hulk-Smash! Jack informs.

I want draw Hulk-Smash! Emma echoes.

You can draw with me, Emma… Jack says.

Unexpected harmony in the house.

Emma did you wash your hands? I investigate.

No I don’t need to. She states.

Emma, wash your hands.

She doesn’t say a thing, just washes them.  Jack again invites her to draw but I guess she declined without declining as I didn’t hear a response and I ask her if she’s drawing with brother and she just says NO.

She requests more mangos and I tell her no.  Then she asks for strawberries and I tell her no just from not wanting to have to wash them and cut them up. Then she asks for an apple.. whole one I ask.  NO.  Okay… luckily I have that apple cutting ring-thing and can section it easily.

Done cutting apples.  Ask her if she can say thank you.  And she nods.  I laugh a little and come back to the office.  Was just thinking how every semester I offer the advice or suggestion to students that there’s no such thing as writer’s block, and how the answer, or at least AN answer is where they are and what they’re doing.  And then I think how I seldom stick to my own counsel. I can only find that funny, as I’m a shitty student in my own class.

Thinking less, meddling more in the meta, the immediate images and things, people and voices around you, I say to myself.  My kids provide almost too much material, so for me to ever thing I can’t write in a given sitting or I don’t know what direction to take a paragraph… just an excuse.  Or maybe not an excuse but I’m not doing my job, as a writer or thinker or human.

Will say I’ll miss this corner when SIP is lifted.  Oh my god, I just thought of the reality of not finding a place to sit in that 4th Street sbux in San Rafael, or if there’s that guy who talks at just the right volume to be over my music in ears at coLAB.  This desk, my confession booth–  No, I don’t like that directive and for obvious optics…. It’s my view, my ROOM. My office, my heart, my bones and where I process the plain… the stage and synchrony of SELF.

No more requests from my customers in the room other.  Jack telling me moments ago that he’s much too full to do an apple as Emma does, is…..  Me, with two books.  If I were to write a book on each… hmmmm… Jack starting when I met him, after nearly passing out in the ER about to cut the umbilical, then officially meeting him when he was under that heating lamp which in the moment reminded me, and still does as I recall it and the heat it spoke, of where one find rotisserie chick in a store like Safeway, or Oliver’s…  When he first came home, he slept quite a bit, of course, but as he woke to the world he would just stare at me, I remember, as if to read my lips or study the chromatic architecture of my eye.  Never thought about this till now, here quarantined, a turn I didn’t expect, the same way I didn’t expect dad life could mask and ax any sad sight.

And Emma…. Who just informs us she has to go poop, and then again tells Jack…..  I’m helpless against any demand she makes, any looks she gives me.  When I first met my little poetess, she was asleep, swaddled, and it was like she was drawn, or sculpted.  I couldn’t understand her, how perfect she was and how she was ours, she was here, actually here….  Later, when she started to develop personality and expression ability, I just gave up.  I’d do whatever she said, example with the mangos and apples, and this morning wanting to only by me be held.

Another sip of the water.  Not even 1pm.  Am I going to run, or do I wait for the morning, and actually make myself fucking do it.  Woke this morning after 8, which is radically rare for this writer…. Someone mowing a lawn.  Think our neighbor mowed ours.  Again.  What a…. no, it was nice, but should I buy a mower?  Do I even know how to mow a lawn?  You just go back and forth, right?  Don’t want the babies to see my unhandiness in cutting fucking grass.

I’M STILL POOPING, Emma curtly notes for us all to note.

K.  I’m done…. She adds.

12:13pm

5/9/20, Saturday. Coffey Park, Santa Rosa, CA.

Not sure why I feel the need to put the location.  You know where I am.  But I need to do it more. Need to note the place, the Room… the everything in my now.

My thoughts this morning revolve around running, a video I watched last night of a young girl, on YourTube, documenting her intentions and actual motion to wake up at 5 I believe and go run.  The first morning, no run.  But the second, she launched, recording everything on her phone from actually rising from bed, look at self in the morning mirror, to waiting for a semi to pass on the road.  It was about accountability, she noted.  That’s why she was doing it.  Today, I the same do.

Latte for me, blueberry scone for Melissa.  Jackie sings some song about the letter S in the kitchen.  A bit annoying, but I let it ride.. study his passion and fondness for music.

Then quiet.

Then ‘T’….  Water after the latte.  Not sparkling, just still water and ice.  May fit in a run today, at some point since it’s not a workday, technically.  Can hear Jack’s music from his headphones, and me now blanking, not able to see a single sentence in my witchy mind.

Some notes this morning on the kids, how needy and wanting of her daddy Emma was, and how Jack was just in a humorous mode of invincibility… no matter how much I mentioned consequences he seemed impervious to my implications and insistence of behavior.

Added some words to the note I started yesterday, about being in the same room day to day and how perspective doesn’t have to be any one thing.  That we allow our attitude.

Jack now on the letter Y, the tune like some jazz hands and hips track.  Jack sings along to what he can remember.

Me, sip latte, review notes from this morning, all focused on kids.  Noted a sweetness to their neediness and crazed ways.

The quarantine with the kids erodes in comedic account.

Now Jack and Emma at each other more like Israel and Palestine than portions of the Yugoslav Republic.  Not sure if that applies but that’s how I’m feeling today, with just about 20 or so minutes ago Jack getting in trouble with me for essentially slapping Emma after she confiscated some remaining Easter candy of his in some coffee-like flagon.

At desk, thinking of the WASH story.  Gotta stop thinking about it and just write it.. okay, singularity.  Will do tonight.  And AM going to open another Arista Pinot, to be in Tasting Room mode.  Said no wine tonight but I’ll have a glass or two then switch to the Black Cherry sparkling water I just bought from Oliver’s.

Confused about social distancing.  I look right, out the quarantine view of the office, and the neighbors, block’s Stepford Wives sect, talks easily less than six feet away from each other.  So I laugh, and wonder, what the fuck but even more than that, I know I want more for the kids.  I want a farm, or an estate… somewhere where we don’t have neighbors.  Autumn Walk, our street, this house, I’ve always regarded as a studio and this quarantine has me seeing truth and absurdity, more comedy in what’s around me.

Want my own home in the mountains, in Oregon, as well.  Somewhere I escape and finish a book in a weekend.  I’m quitting poetry, more or less, and music, and just writing essays.  So then what is the WASH story?  Something I went through, so NOT fiction.  A couple things changed around, but not made up at all.  I’m sure it’s happened to most of the tasting room folk I know, actually.  Miss the Room.  Especially on Sundays during this quarantine…. One of my friends showing me some recent meme she came across while my other friend tells me about what she did last night, how she’s a little hungover but still able and dedicated to day, and how she brought a wine for us to taste from a wedding she worked at the Mayacama Golf Club.  Sipping this Little Sumpin’, I’m in the written mode, with nearly three full pages for the day.  Looking right and yeah there’s no way that’s six feet.  I don’t blame them, I envy them.. I would love to get together with my friends and have wine and talk about work, and wine if it’s a wine industry friend, but no one dares.  Everyone’s scared, not wanting to go against the media and government’s gavel.

What’s for dinner?  Got a Caesar Salad at Oliver’s, for me… guess I could have that.  Wish I could cook.  I can barely cook eggs.  In fact I don’t.  I crack the eggs with is laborious and annoying for me.  Put in a bowl, stir, put in microwave for a minute 15 seconds, stir a little more, maybe add some cheese shredded, then do again.  And those are eggs, in Mike Madigan’s edition.  Meals stress me, so why don’t I learn to cook.  Mom will sometimes give me these easy recipes but they’re easy for her ‘cause she can COOK.

Think…..  Dinner……  It’s worth whatever you have to spend, it is… keep telling yourself that Mike…

500 words on wine,

kids downstairs, latte almost dead.  Kids scuffle over how the other is not the boss.  Already, already….

Let’s get involved, I guess….

Emma wants Jackie’s Mets hat from little league, Jack won’t give it to her and I side with Jack telling Emmie that it is his, then ask if she wants the dinosaur cap in my car, she looks up with curled lower lip, the sad ebb I call it, and I retrieve after she nods with that look.  She follows me to the door, I skip to the rear passenger side door, get it, run back to house, and again momentary civility.

2:59pm

It’s the fluctuation of mood and climate in the house that’s difficult to manager and translate, or quite frankly deal with.

There’s conflict, then peace, laughing, then lecherous steps in voice.

Emma in the office more joke-thrown and known than she has been all day.  She bounces a marble on the wood floor and I tell her to stop and she just laughs at me and does it again and what can I do but give in and laugh with her, at her, through her.

The as soon as there’s calm, there’s conflict.. Emma protesting the mandate of room-cleaning to acquire popsicle.