16 February 2012

by jkatejohnston

(Recycled from 2012 Diary.)

Dear Max,

I’m at work but I’ve decided to go on strike and just read and write and eat. Maybe go for a bike ride.  Maybe go to the movies. I feel inspired. [Dear California tax payers, this was when I was self-employed.]

I got jolted out of my routine a little bit because I left my bike at work last night so I had to take the light rail to work today. I was sitting at the light rail station feeling the warmth from the rising sun on my eyelids and thinking about how I used to write in the morning and that maybe we should go camping in Death Valley and wake up and feel the sun on our faces in the cold morning and hear the silence, and then I thought maybe I should get a tent for the back yard and it would be my writing tent—my own little office—and I would furnish it with rugs and a fabulous recliner and of course a desk and bookshelves. And then I would be a writer again.

I used to go around with this marvelous inner alertness. Anything that happened might be something to write about. Fuck-ups and misfortunes were especially rich sources of material. I felt like an outsider, off balance and a little scared and a little bold.   

Now I sort of know what I’m supposed to be doing, and a lot of the time I feel like I can do it. I have a place in the world. I think about work and money and food and how fat I’m getting. And I think about Enzo and Teresa. They’re still interesting, thank goodness, and, like the best people in books, always themselves and always surprising.

I’m reading The Life of Johnson again, and this time I keep getting this wonderful feeling of warmth and affection between these unbelievably lovable men. Even the ands and buts are full of love.