b r e a t h i n g r o o m
5 Nov 97
So much business to take care of. Before I could leave for work this morning I had to call in and confirm our flight reservations for the Christmas to New Years stretch in New York, which I've taken to thinking of lately as Newyork. My brother Peter will be home from the Philippines, the youngest but the first engaged, and my sister Jennifer will be up from D.C. My brother Arthur, who lives in Newyork (or, rather, Williamsburgbrooklyn), will be gallivanting about New Orleans with the family of his longtime companion, Sara. Meanwhile, B and I will be staying at a pension in the Village, as I can't sleepover at my folks' apartment in the east 90s now that they have two cats (to which my mother is herself allergic).
And that's not even the type of business I was really thinking of. I meant real bidness business, such as it is in the life of a free-lance writer. In my case, it's a dreadfully overdue chapter on my BeOS book and a revision proposal for the third edition of my thus-far bestselling Internet how-to book. Maintaining this new journal as well as the ongoing Daily Barbie may have injected a huge dose of discipline into my workday, into the rhythm of my work, but it has not exactly freed up any time for my bread-and-butter work. And still those personal responsibilities seem always to pile up. I'm supposed to be buying a new car (but first securing insurance and a loan), since B's old '82 Datsun finally blew its last gasket. We ate it last night. An intimate dinner at my favorite restaurant, BayWolf, just B and our friends Dick and Nick. B paid her share out of the cash settlement for towing away the car. This same car, I am relieved in an odd sense, was partly immortalized in a painting of mine (a diptych) hanging over our stereo near the front door, End Construction.
Nick is not only friend, confidant, and fellow-music-seeker. He has also volunteered for the possibly thankless job or role of my "amanuensis" for the midwifery of this novel. He feels that I have helped encourage and develop his writing and he wants to reciprocate. I spew words out left and right, mostly in e-mail, sometimes in notebooks, occasionally with a clear connection to the fiction project, sometimes not. What I seem to need is someone to gather the strewn writings, square away the piles, tidy up the order a little bit, and then show it back to me: "See, see what you've been up to?"
I don't always see. It seems I can only grasp a tiny corner of the saga at a time. I've started over so many times and developed so many variations on a story line that I'm not really sure how or whether or if the parts relate to each other. Then again, the previous sentence was written by that ultra-rational doubting part of my self that always has endless good reasons why I should hesitate before proceeding. The truth is, I have so much to tell, so many tight little sentences to flesh out into paragraphs, paragraphs into sections, sections into chapters, chapter into whole. I know what I have to do. It's the same answer every time: write.
Copyright © 1997