Thursday, September 30, 2010

i could write a novel, based on the time i spend here, just telling you the mundane facts of my everyday life. but if my life is mundane, my imagination would similarly get bogged down in whatever territory my novel would shoot me off into; that is my pattern. you set up this imaginary world, and then the choices are very much like the real ones, only they have no consequences. you can literally invent any character and let him walk in, walk out, walk all over your story and the enormity of your choice, and the total lack of control, is overwhelming word after word. i can't do it, unless i have a plan. and i've yet to come up with a decent plan.

but it will still happen, i promise, and that's why i keep writing here: to stay in training. my life is full of the everyday, usual kind of stuff: in one class, it's yard art and car decoration; in the other, it's the suddenly homeless, and a trippy movie about detroit's ghetto. i sometimes use this stuff for ideas for my haiku, but in general, i just grade huge stacks of papers, and try to keep up with other miscellaneous duties at work. for example, a round of grammar tests comes & goes: i try to make students in our program know some grammar. easier said than done.

the back tire on my bicycle is just slightly flat, which makes all my uphill pedaling just a bit more strenuous in the morning; it's the kind of situation where i should just go to a gas station, pay seventy five cents for a blast of air, and use it the absolute minimum; the pump, here at the house, is so totally lame that you lose air when you try to use it. at the gas station it's a dare & a risk; you could blow the whole thing, if you leave that pump on even a hair more than a split second. but it's also ironic, to pay seventy five cents for an infinitesimal moment of pump. maybe the secret is to slip in behind someone and grab an infinitesimal piece of their seventy five cents.

in the mornings, the sun comes up over the neighborhood houses; i make a strong cup of bitter seattle's best, and i sometimes sit, here at the computer, reading the news, which is comforting in a way. the indians are not in last place, and the teams that are still in the race are interesting and slightly different. minnesota, texas, san francisco - an interesting mix. that, and the hurricanes, battering the east coast, that's my breakfast fare. i could read about lindsey lohan or the china-japan tensions, but, it's good to keep it light. slowly i try to focus on another busy day.

tomorrow, a day-long retreat at work. i've lost my voice, so i'll be of little use to them. also i have a stack of papers so thick, it would take all day to grade, even if they gave me all day to grade. with every hour they steal from my grading, my resentment at lost weekend will build up. finally when we are released, late in the afternoon, i'll bring most of my stack home with me. a grim weekend. meanwhile, the weather is stunning. with the turn of october, a color change in the leaves; the sky is deep blue and clear, dry, sunny; the nights a little cool. as i pedal to work kids run for their school buses, and the dry grass cracks under their feet. some wait sullenly at the corner. the bus drivers are sometimes cavalier on the small town streets as if they own the place, but the cab drivers are the same way and one way or another, the squirrels have to look out for them all. me and my flat tire aren't going to run over any of them, though, especially not tomorrow, as tomorrow, i head out to the country, take a deep breath, and rest my voice.

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