Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm an Artist

I have been sublimating my anxiety and grief and fear of vertigo at the prospect of finishing Les Misérables at work next door to Ground Zero, into writing a tennis novel. Sunday night, I sat there staring at my notebook where I'd just added "sadly" until a voice inside my head said, "Hmmm." I took a break then; came back, completed and almost posted the entry; took another break; came back and posted the entry "as is" and then started writing this tennis novel. Somewhere in there I also cooked excellent Indian mustard greens for dinner and watched Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, also excellent and highly recommended.

The next day being Labor Day, I'm off work, I'm sleeping late, drinking coffee, farting around on the internet. Tennis comes on TV; I head for the Mah Jong Tiles, level 4, and I beat it in three tries, less than fifteen minutes later. Six hours to fill before I ride up to eat with my sister. I opened the notbook with the tennis novel--not quite a new notebook; there was already a half-page of notes for another novel that I guess remains not quite a ready one to write. The night before I'd made a list of names and I don't know how many paragraphs I'd written. In any case I sat down and picked up where I'd left off and I've kept going and now I've got pages and pages that take place at the US Open plus the opening lines of two sequels in this other black Moleskine notebook that's lying on the other side of me from where my cat Tippi's sleeping--no, bathing. And this other work has been so fascinating to me that I couldn't picture how I'd ever return to writing about reading Les Misérables at work until the conclusion of this year's women's tournament (at least) because how much spare time do I have, really. I have to go with the flow, where the words flow. I'm writing this tennis novel for pure pleasure--pure--pleasure--and I've got to follow that. It's kind of my law. But that doesn't mean I can just stop reading Les Misérables at work when I'm back at the grindstone peering at the grindstone's screen through the almost invisible haze of hazardous building and building and building and building and building and building and building materials being so boldly utilized by all those boys next door. Of course I'm not going to stop reading, for one thing I've made this commitment but you must know, I have no idea how Les Misérables ends and I'm dying to find out.

Dying--like everyone else, actually dying, eventually, maybe soon; this horrible thought again. I did, somewhere, read a spoiler and I know that Jean Valjean will die. I will be reading his death scene while sitting in the building with the best view of a monument to human carnage (no matter what it eventually looks like). And I, too, myself, will someday die. I don't, I really don't want Jean Valjean to die. And so, I have been sublimating my anxiety etcetera and etcetera.

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