Tiny White Flowers

Tiny White Flowers

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Centrum Journal, Part Two

15 March

I ended up sleeping in the Dark Room – the one with the wooden bed and dark floral bed spread. It rained pretty well last night, which suits me. The mattress is firm, and I feel pretty good. It just took me awhile to get to sleep, my heart was pounding. Mostly when I would lie on my left side. Switching to my right side I could barely hear it. My legs were aching, perhaps from Saturday’s walk to and from the Convention Center for Comic Con. And of course I was keyed up, first night here, after a few weeks’ anticipation.

When I woke up more seriously (I never sleep soundly the first few nights anywhere), it was just light. I got up for a few minutes, then decided as it was just before 7 am. I’d go back to sleep. That lasted five minutes. A look out the window at the growing light planted the desire to go for a short walk with the camera. I got dressed, and ate a banana.

My short walk lasted over two hours, and took me from the little brick rental house (Alexander's Castle), down the road to the beach, around the light house, along North Beach to a little community park, up a walking trail through the Madronas, and eventually back here by way of the Copper Canyon Press side of Fort Worden.

Best thing I could have done. I got hungry half way through, but decided to go “just a little further,” before heading back. I was thirsty, too.

The weird thing is accepting the fact that I’m on my own schedule. That’ll take some getting used to.

When I got back, about 9:30, the cleaning ladies had arrived, and are now downstairs. They vacuumed a little while ago, and are now doing other things. Occasionally I hear them talking. I might head over to the Commons as I have two manuscripts to send out, and I need the addresses for the envelopes. That’s the only real thing I need to do today, as both places – one is the Prairie Schooner Book Prize – have deadlines of 15 March. Today.

Then I may look into getting a little frying pan. I used the one large one for my scrambled eggs when I got back from my walk. I could also use a spatula. The large metal spoon doesn’t work so well. I should make a list.

Tentative List for When I Go Into Town:

1. Small frying pan

2. Spatula

3. Butter

4. Fruit

5. Something bread-like; crackers, maybe

6. Veggies

7. Three-prong adapter

These cleaning ladies are really noisy. I think they’re next door, now, in apt. C. Might be a good time to check out the Commons.

Same day, 5:46 pm

Tea water’s coming to a boil.

Back to Swain’s for a spatula, a larger water glass and a fifty cent coaster. Henery’s supplied me with a small frying pan, my “tea pot” (a Pyrex 4-cup measure), a packet of small dish clothes, another (better) spatula, and the three-prong adapter.

I mailed my two manuscripts: one to Prairie Schooner, and the other to Bellday Books. I like the Pt. Townsend Post Office – wonderful old woodwork and old metal mail slots. Even the post office boxes are interesting. And there was a line, probably a 15 minute wait.

My last stop was Aldrich’s, and I stocked up on bean soup mix (without the seasonings and high sodium content), organic chips and dip, just-made sushi, salad, and some fruit.

I’m now drinking tea made in my make-shift tea pot, and trying to get into a groove. This writing thing isn’t happening yet. I’ve been reading a little the book I received from Perugia Press by Jennifer Sweeney, How to Live on Bread and Music. It’s very good, and I find myself once again wondering why I can’t seem to write like that. Randomly I open the book and find the poem “How to Make a Game of Waiting.”

How to Make a Game of Waiting

This is a capsized game

and there is no display of aces at the end.

Buy a rare and expensive plant that never blooms.

Rearrange your books by the colors of their spines.

Bury all your keys that don’t unlock anything.

These are not rules but merely suggestions

of what has worked for others.

For instance, the man who painted landscapes

on his daughter’s sheet music.

Put a big rock on your desk.

Do not name the rock.

Take the numbers off the clock and mail them

to your creditors.

Stitch the hours onto a kite.

Every night, ask until you can hear what replies.

* * *

I need a good office chair. I need to settle down, sleep well. It’s still Monday. I know I’ve got time.

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