26 May 2007

tomorrow morning

The clock will say 6 - something and I'll be awake. The sky will be dank and grey - a sort of daylight. Pillows askew, duvet kicked to the end of the bed, for a moment I'll wonder where I am. Mystery solved I'll scratch my stubble and run my hand through hair that isn't there. Math begins. Hours until my flight, time to stretch and run, time to pack, to eat breakfast, to get to the airport, to do it all and not feel rushed.

I'll get up and scratch my head again. It doesn't itch, but it wakes me up.

I'll smile and think of everything to come.

I'll be 31 tomorrow.

25 May 2007

comfort glove (too hot for security blankets)

The London Belfry is clutter-filled and only some of it is mine. Though mine is the most cluttered.

From my seat I see a turntable, a disused laser printer, a pile of clean laundry, countless blank cds, odd shoes, a belt, drawerless files, a pair of binoculars, several pairs of headphones, an empty beer bottle (guilty), a bag of paper for recycling and a baseball glove.

The glove is new, and it's mine. A birthday gift requested on a whim and given early. The leather's still stiff and I don't have a ball down here to break it in. I've been wearing it quite a bit. Rubbing oil into it. Squeezing it, squishing it. Smacking my fist into it and pretending to wind into a pitch. Wanting it to be broken in already, for the stiffness in my left pinky to disappear. Wondering if I have any friends in Scotland with gloves so that I can actually play catch. I don't think I do. It doesn't matter. Not really.

I can't type with it on. Not with the left hand anyway. So now it's laying amidst the rest of the clutter. When I get up from the keyboard and pace I'll slip it on and and start smacking, bending and twisting again, not thinking of baseball. Thinking of the next word, sentence, paragraph, chapter, book.

22 May 2007

short note

There are some new pics up on my picasa page.

I'm off to London tomorrow morning to see the folks and others. Beers on the Thames, good food and chat should ensue. I'm writing quite a bit at the moment, so there will be some bits and pieces popping up here and there.

Veronica's posting some old stuff on the roads and paths - check it out. She's ridiculously talented.

The Sox lost last night. They'll win tonight.

I'm crossing my fingers anyway.

21 May 2007

rips and tears

My favourite Red Sox hat frays at the brim. Sometimes I burn the errant threads, out of boredom more than anything else. My jeans tear at the cuffs. There are holes over the front pockets. Most of my t-shirts faded a long time ago and I can't think of a jumper I own that's in one piece. Ten years ago there may have been cigarette burns. Nowadays it's wear and (mostly) tear. Jumpers work hard in Scotland.

Sometimes people ask me if I buy my clothes that way, or single them out for abuse to attain a 'look'. I smile and shake my head. There's little point in indignation.

I look scruffy, but I'm comfortable. I'm sure I'd still be comfortable without the holes.

This morning I taped the torn pages of my battered manuscript back together. There isn't an undogged corner. Illegible red scribbles cover the pages. The odd red wine, coffee, beer or tea stain pops up here and there. Now several leaves glisten with tape. It fits in my laptop bag. Every time I pull it out and start going through it some of the pages are out of order, upside down and often both. No matter how many times I fix it, there's always something new to sort out. That's just in the physical sense, not the literary.

I love it, and am proud of it. There is great comfort in its weight, the threadbare pages covered in my words, typed, scrawled and spilled. There will be another, maybe two more 'scripts like this. Before the really heavy one, before the one with a hardcover and a picture of me on the back.

I don't think that will be as comforting. It will be a relief, a vindication, a blessing, a triumph. But not comforting. For me, the comfort is the dogged paperback, squishing into a pocket in my rucksack, read and re-read. Loved. That someone might someday do the same with what I've written, that glimmer of hope that someday this torn and taped 'script will boast a creased spine, page corners folded in lieu of a bookmark, the odd dirty fingerprint and be shoved into the last available space in someone's bag, that's a comforting idea.

I wear my clothes out, I wear my 'script out. It takes time. It takes living. It takes patience.

In the meantime, there's comfort; beers in the sun in tired flip-flops, red ink stains on the top knuckle of my middle finger.

Then an agent, a publisher, somehow and somewhen.

And, perhaps, a new pair of jeans.