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The Embarcadero, San Francisco

May 12th, 2001

And Test It
OK, I've been out for coffee and a Cranberry squizzit, back home now thinking about moving the old bed out of the bedroom so the delivery people can bring in the new frame and mattress set. I am putting this off until the last minute. Wuss is sitting beside my monitor wondering where the baloney and cheese sandwich I had for breakfast went, and, did it have any friends? Baloney and processed cheese is so politically incorrect around here you need to buy it with your collar up at a store where nobody knows your name. I gave up cigarettes thirty years ago. That was enough. They say watch your cholesterol. I do. It's higher than it should be, but not over the top. So I watch it. And have the occasional baloney and cheese on a weekend when I want to throw caution to the wind.

I watched Wonder Boys on video last night. Eventually had to, I suppose, after hearing the story line: a writer with a critically acclaimed first book, seven years later, teaching at a college, wrestling the two foot thick single spaced typed manuscript from hell growing like some horrible fungal mass that "didn't make any choices". Another life crisis: trade-in the wife, lose the job, make a child, sit down and start again on a laptop, no more IBM Selectric. Nice little progressions. The movie starts in the snow, moves to rain as the characters loosen up, then into the summer sun. IBM Selectric to laptop. Whacko cuddly bunny characters of various sexual persuasions: Michael Douglas, Robert Downey, Jr. and Francis McDormand of Fargo and Almost Famous. Not overly complicated, but we know the story, now, don't we? It doesn't matter, ahead in this game or behind, everyone knows what he or she must do to make the next step.

This was later in the evening, my therapeutic Guinness long finished, pouring a shot of the Cinco de Mayo parade. Glenmorangie with water now to better appreciate the small black and white screen. I have had no urge to write a book in twenty five years, but lately I've been toying with the thought, well, maybe I could sit down and write something short and easy as a kind of experiment. Confirm for myself this journal is as far as it's ever going to go again. Because I'm old and I'm tired and I'm lazy. Take just this one additional step. Work on something more than three hours long. Even the journal pieces that have turned out reasonably well are nothing more than first thoughts, words against the wall. Maybe not even that. There are one or two with glaring flaws that I've thought to go back and rewrite, although I haven't. I could give reasons for this, but ultimately I haven't gone back because I haven't. Reasons are for politicians and people with masks.

The bed has arrived. It sits much higher than a platform bed. The bed cover fits like a glove. I think I'll make it up and test it.

A building on the waterfront in San Francisco. The quote is by Fran Lebowitz.