A Writer’s Daily Routines

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Wake up 7:30am
Ten minute walking meditation
Make coffee
Write for several hours
Go for walk (if time permits)
Get dressed
Go to work
Think about drinking gin
Come home from work
Drink gin (or not)
Eat dinner
Do dishes
Go on-line
Watch film or read
Fall asleep reading and listening to music

(Or)

Wake up 8:00am
Walk for one hour
Eat/coffee
Write
Get dressed
Meditate
Go to work
Meditate
Come home from work
Read or go on-line
Go to bed

(Or)

Wake up 8:30am
Ten minute meditation
Walk for hour
Coffee/food
Sit in garden
Read
Avoid writing
Clean house
Avoid writing some more
Get dressed
Go to work
Come home
Drink Gin
Eat dinner
Watch movie or read
Get in bed and watch late night with David Letterman

(Or)

Wake up 8:00am
Walk and listen to a podcast
Drink coffee/eat
Read
Water the garden
Clean house
Sit and stare out window
Get dressed
Go to bookstore
Go to work
Come home from work
Drink gin (or not)
Eat dinner
Do dishes
Listen to music
Watch television

(Or)

Wake up 7:30am
Meditate
Drink coffee
Read
Avoid writing (because I dislike writing so much on these days)
Go to work
Go out for dinner
Drink gin
Come home
Watch television or listen to records
Fall asleep watching David Letterman

(Or)

Wake up 9:00am
Drink coffee
Read
Hang out
Listen to music
Read various things on-line
Get dressed
Go to work
Come home from work
Drink gin
Surf around on-line again
Listen to music
Get in bed and read
Fun sex with wife
Fall asleep

(Or)

Wake up at 8:00am
Drink coffee
Write for several hours
Walk for an hour
Get dressed
Meditate
Go to work
Come home
Drink gin (or not)
Read
Go to bed
Hopefully sex with wife
Fall asleep watching David Letterman

(Or)

Wake up whenever
Drink coffee
Vaporize cannabis
Do whatever I want for the entire day and night (zero obligations)
Get in bed
Fall asleep, holding my wife, with television on (or off)

The Tramp (or Watching TV In Bed)

A middle aged, clean shaven, blonde haired man with weather lines indented on his face, came to my door this morning. Knock, knock. I was still supine in bed, watching television like I do on most Sunday mornings. Before I heard the knock I was thinking about all the evils of television. I was wondering if the people who were always trying to sell the viewer something felt shame in their private lives. I was also thinking how everyone on television, with slight variations, looks the same. Television truly is a Pavlovian box. Knock, knock. I looked at my wife and asked her who the hell that could be. Knocking on our door this early on Sunday morning? Really?

My wife and I argued for a moment about who was getting up and since I was the one with clothes on, that person was me. My body is tight and old in the mornings, so I walked to the front door without the same urgency I felt. I had trouble adjusting my eyes and my hips were sore from a week spent sitting at work. Thousands of thoughts pushed each other around in my head. I was angry that I was being put through this.

He was wearing a gray suit (with a tie) and had a backpack on. His suit looked as if it had been rolled through dirt before he put it on. There were what looked like cigarette marks on the sleeves. He had a hardback book under his arm. The opposite of perfection is eccentricity and this character standing on my front doorstep seemed to be the personification of what it looks like to be an eccentric. When he reached out to shake my hand, I was hesitant. His hands were dirty and I was afraid of catching something and getting sick.

I’m a tramp, he said.
Ok, I was perplexed.
Do you know what a tramp is?
Not really.
Do you know what a wayfarer is?
Not this early in the morning, I replied while holding on to my door incase he tried to push his way in.
Well, I’m a wanderer. My home is what you see and I walk, with little concern for where I end up. I started out in Norway and am now here. I will end up back in Norway at some point.
Ok, I thought and curiously nodded my head.
Anyways, I was walking around your neighborhood and was struck by your beautiful house.
Thank you, I said.
Yes, sure, it is beautiful, such a nice garden in the front. I also love the colors of your house. Looks like you spend a lot of time caring for your home.
Thank you, I replied. Where the hell was he going with all of this? When was he going to ask for money? Does he realize there is a no solicitation law here? Should I tell him you can’t just go up to people’s houses and knock on their doors?
Your neighborhoods are so much different than the ones we have in Norway. Here it is like a ghost town, like no one lives in these homes. That is why I noticed your home. Seems like there is still some life here. I notice that American suburbs are a very frozen kind of thing. At least that is what I feel like when looking at most of the homes. But I did not feel frozen when I looked at your house. It was unexpected.
I was not sure how to respond. I didn’t want to engage. I just wanted for my bed, my naked wife and my tv. And then I was caught off guard.
Do you feel free?
Excuse me?
Free, just curious if you feel free?
Why?
Well, you have a nice home and America is the land of the free (he chuckled), so do you feel free?
Do I feel free?
Yes!
Look man, I appreciate your compliments about my home but I’m tired and I don’t feel like really getting into this. I work a lot all week and Sunday is my morning to just chill out so if you don’t mind I need to end this conversation right now.
Oh, well I’m sorry young man, I did not mean to be a bother. I was just walking past and as I was looking at your home I wanted to ask you this question. In Norway we are raised to think that Americans are free but I don’t see freedom in the faces of your people. No one will even really talk to me about it. But that is a good enough answer I suppose. I apologize for bothering you young man. Back to bed you go!

And just like that, the self-described tramp walked away. I watched as his large backpack swung up and down on his back. It was almost as if he was skipping. He looked back over his shoulder at me and smiled. I shut and locked the front door and slowly made my way back into bed.

Someone trying to sell you something? My wife was looking at her iPhone as she asked me this.
Yeah, just someone trying to sell something. I didn’t want to get into it.
I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and pulled her naked body in close to me.

On television some balding white man, in a nicely pressed blue suit was talking to a panel of other white men and one black man all wearing wrinkle free suits with ties. They were talking about the latest military campaign in the Middle East and how important it is to do whatever is necessary to protect American’s freedom at home.

Never That Cool Again

In high school I was as cool as it gets. Sun glasses, stylish haircut, hip attitude, cigarettes, a full flask in the backseat of my GTI and a continually erect penis. I owed the space that I inhabited. I was the one who knew everything about the most alternative music to listen to. The cool kids consulted with me. I ran with the top shelf crew. I was so cool that I was almost famous. Teachers were more interested In me than I was in them. Girls and a few guys heads always followed me as I walked passed. I was healthy, angry, nice and untamable. I smiled at the less cool and isolated no one. My coolness gave me a kind of diplomatic immunity that I used to help liberate the less fortunate. I had my whole life in front of me. Nothing came between me and the pursuit of my dreams (except my fathers pessimism).

Twenty five years later and I would like to think that I’m still cool for a 43 year old guy. I’m no where near as cool a I once was though. A belly, a mortgage, a professional career, a meditation practice and the aging process all make coolness a state of being that is not so easy to attain. I don’t know if it is responsibility that gets in the way of coolness or a gradual loss of interest in one’s reflection in the mirror. When a young person has dreams of rock and roll accomplishments, coolness is often a preliminary stage. Coolness is letting others know about the inner creative genius they are yet to see. It’s an outer display of an inner belief in one’s self. Once the dreams have lost their grip- so does coolness.

Most people will never be as cool, as famous, as obsessed over and as filled with unattainable aspirations as they are in high school. For this reason- a lot of people see high school as the greatest time in their lives. Especially if they were one of the cool kids. And
after all, such a small percentage of those cool kids gets to grow up and be Keith Richards, Tom Waits or Kanye West. Most cool adults get told that they are refusing to grow up. Cool adults often hang on to coolness in exchange for chronic feelings of failure. And the rest decide to grow up, embrace responsibility and the daily grind and save whatever is left of their coolness for the weekends.

The adult who is able to preserve their coolness and still earn a decent income is the true hero in a world that demands that we leave our coolness at almost every front door before we enter (that’s why I always take the back door if possible).