3 a.m. San Francisco:
Insomnia up to its old tricks—the soles of my feet on the cold floor mean I’ve reached the bottom.
Stomach seems slightly at odds with the rest of my body; breathing too a little out of sorts.
Wanting to sleep, laying in bed long enough to know I won’t sleep.
Thoughts like “Waiting for Godot” being a gift to S. Beckett for all the hardship endured, the neuroses, the Resistance during The War, the poverty: the gift of a celebrated, rewarded, new hardship, that of fame, notoriety, intrusions, the hardship all writers secretly crave.
Sherman marches to the sea.
Spencer (37), my youngest son, and his comments about playing a game with his older brother (40) the other day: “My hands got sweaty, my brain reeled, all that tension, all that stuff between us came back to me…”
We are our own ghosts.
I have no vodka, vodka helps me sleep.
How lucky I’ve been in my life! Insomniacs are the luckiest people on earth, the ones who could have died many times, who put themselves in dangerous situations over and over, situations that may not have thought dangerous had they been thinking, and lived through them, only to realize later the danger. Insomnia is the punishment for having lived this way.
Memories and dreams; wasn’t that the title of Jung’s autobiography? Anyway, memories are dreams and dreams are memories and maybe that was what Jung was trying to say. In any case, memories and dreams are what make me.
Waiting for the water to boil for tea=an eternity. No, correction, three minutes. Waiting for the test to steep is eternity. As it steeps I think of William Blake seeing the universe in a single grain of sand and how this image might have come to Blake as he was waiting for his tea to steep.
I will drink a mean steeped tea the way E Dickinson drank a liquor never brewed.
I think of those writer interviews The New York Times and other publications conduct with popular and famous writers and artists: one of the questions is always, what books do you have on your nightstand? and one is always, if you are having a dinner party who would you invite? Well, I need to get a copy of E Dickinson’s collected poetry for my nightstand and then invite her over for a drink, a vodka martini or, if she preferred, a shot of ice cold vodka straight from the freezer.
Emily will be wearing a red dress.
The tea is now steeped, there’s no more steepness needed. Soon I will fall asleep in a cup of warm steeped tea.