Monday, October 17, 2005

night where you are

I mean to write about the party this weekend, at the fancy red restaurant, the bouncer on the stairs (I was the plus one), the balcony, looking over the balcony at the diners who were not writers, and wondering what would happen if the balcony fell.

The entire west coast literary scene would be wiped out! someone said.

I do not feel part of a scene, I thought. I do not want to be part of a scene, I thought. I know nobody at this party, I thought.

I mean to write about the readings at the bars with the red velvet curtain, and the disco ball, and the silver streamers streaming from the ceiling, and the m.c. who looked like Philip Seymour Hoffman looking like Truman Capote, and when my attention wandered, I just looked up.

I mean to write about the earthquake in LA, a small one. No one felt it, I think, and when I tell a friend this, he says: Oh, I bet there's been several since you've been there, small ones; you haven't felt them.

But oh, I felt every word.

I mean to write about the festival. I meant to write about the sea. I meant to write: I have not been writing.

But there are sirens and a baby crying, and I have a headache from too much sleep and not enough food, and it’s already evening—night where you are—and someone has died, but it’s no one I knew, and I am going home this weekend, and I am nervous, and need to do laundry, and today I met with a Professional Listener. Today is no different, but today I am different, and today I go for it. Today I decide. I’ll tell everything this time.

I check out Lolita from the library; I have to get on my knees to find it, down on the bottom dark shelf in the library, and there’s only one copy in English, a dusty black volume, and the librarian gives me a funny look, but he’s the same librarian I had last week, and I think he just wonders if I finished those books (I have but I’m not bringing them back yet).

Anyway, I decide. I decide. I decide. I decide to tell everything, and I do. And I don’t say um. And I don’t say think. And I don’t say don’t know. I say I remember.