Friday, November 27, 2009

Northwest air

I guess the good thing about forgetting to open the bathroom window before going to sleep is that now I know that it really helps. I mean I never suspected that it didn’t help, but now I really know. Because I wake up with so much congestion in my nose, just from the lack of air circulating -- the other windows were open, but it’s the bathroom window that brings in the breeze, gusts of wind really, and the air from that side is always cooler, I’m not sure how really but that’s one of the things I still like about San Francisco.

Today is a strange day to say that my trip was worth it, before I was thinking about that balance between complete exhaustion and inspiration, how it’s always hard to figure that out when I travel because travel wears me out so much but then it also gives me energy to interact with people in these different places, to interact with people interacting with my work it makes me feel useful. What’s going on in these places: I get a little glimpse -- here is what queers are doing at Oregon State University; they have a drag room in the basement of the Pride Center but the erotica books are in a separate room from the rest of the books; there’s a flyer about internet dating among all the safer sex info, plain STD flyers but also more elaborate and updated ones coming from all over the place. Here’s what the co-op is like in Corvallis, I love the co-op in Corvallis; here is the parking lot in front of the hotel, the back of a movie theater and stripmall sadness but oh that enormous spruce tree, the mountains in the background, the way Oregon towns can be sprawl and conservation at the same time I mean of course that’s not really conservation. But the mountains, look!

At my event, someone asked if I’d ever thought of writing for children and I hadn’t, but it was interesting to think about anyway, especially in the context of reading from So Many Ways to Sleep Badly, telling my story through my books and other work and what would that mean to tell that story in some other way that I can’t imagine. I mean almost all the writing for children I’ve ever seen is so polluted, hideous and simplistic, empty and filled with false hope and imaginings leading nowhere. So it was a good question.

I spend a lot of time in the hotel, staring out the window at that spruce tree. Really, I’m so exhausted that I can’t do much else -- groceries, dinner, chatting with my host and breathing that Northwest air I love so much, oh it’s my favorite. There’s a hot tub in the room, I mean a big bathtub with jets, huge and I soak in it a lot, it really helps with my pain and I sleep better there than at home, 12 hours every night and I wonder if it’s something about being in a smaller town, without so many types of electrical current and a cell phone tower right across the street from me, and of course it’s way quieter and darker to in the hotel room I need better blinds at home. Or maybe I sleep better in Corvallis just because I’m so exhausted that I can’t do anything else and then when I get back, the train arrives at 8 am, the worst time in the entire world, and I’m ruined, but only for a day or two until now, when I’m ruined again but from something else or maybe not something else probably still the train that’s why my sinuses are a disaster but anyway somehow I decide that it was worth it. I mean I hate it when someone asks me how I’m doing and I say I’m exhausted, sometimes they say but you’re always exhausted, right?

But wait -- I was trying to tell you that I’m exhausted. I mean maybe they’re trying to be understanding but they end up silencing me. But that’s not what I’m feeling now, even though right now I feel terrible I feel like maybe I’ll be okay.


kayti said...

books for children without a santa or a fairy godmother what a great idea or maybe we keep the fairy godmother and the santa but give them a realness.

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Yes yes let's create something else!

Love --

Jory M. Mickelson said...

Invest in family--adopt a kitten!

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

I do like kittens :)

Love --