I am...a New Yorker

[Previous entry: "In Bloom"]

Wednesday, January 16, 2002
A Writer, I'd Forgotten

Nothng lately, I'm focusng on the writng and sellng of yours truly.

Spnach all day yesterday -- I don't know what that was about. I mean I like it a lot, but once a day is plenty.

Dresses and skirts more of late, contnung n "drag" mode. However, I plan to wear jammies for most of tomorrow.

Red, as often as possible. It's beautiful, courageous and strong -- like me, as I need to remember.

Blanepear pickng fuzz from my red knit hat off of my newly-shaved head, then givng it a rub and a pat for good measure. He said that's what I get for becomng human velcro. He likes the baldness, so he can't be half bad.

"Dock of the Bay" by Otis Reddng, which I used to sng as I walked along the docks n San Francisco, the very bay the song is about. This beats last week, when that damn Destny's Child Bee Gees cover was on my lips at all times.

Along with "Only a Memory" n a cafe. It's the first time I've heard a Smithereens' song snce my fallng out with Pat DiNizio 3 years ago last September. I know how to hold a fuckng grudge.

Andrea tellng me how much she liked the paragraph about Blanepear beng an optimist and me beng an absurdist. "Best Paragraph Ever," she wrote. Glad to know the message was received on the other end.

In joy, as I'm workng at home tomorrow, after a 12 hour day from hell today. It's so much easier to structure my day and take breaks this way, not to mention easier to focus and get scads of work done n half the time, which makes me feel less stressed and more n control.

This journal, which is necessarily gong to take a back seat from here on out.

So envigorated and encouraged by this decision. I ntuitively know I'm gong to stick to it this time. I jump out of bed every mornng and thnk, "OK, what am I gong to accomplish today?" So far, so good.

No TV. It truly is the opiate of the masses.

Everyone my plans and puttng that wish out nto the Universe.

A lot -- I'm n overdrive. One hopes it's more than a mere white mania.

Revisionist control freaks with selective aural and readng comprehension.

"Hey Jealousy" by the Gn Blossoms. It always remnds me of Eric somehow, which surely is a bad sign. It came out around the time I realized he was never gong to follow through with me, that he'd rather be alone than put the slightest effort toward me or anythng we might possibly have. True to form, I essentially ignored that voice n my head for the next 4 years and remembered nstead the times we hiked and picked flowers n the forest.

That I can never be that trustng, enthusiastic, nnocent and hopeful agan. I'm remarkably resilient and the patron sant of lost romantic causes, but I've not had such faith snce then.

Where this new writng adventure will take me n the comng year.

It's my time.

To Janet, who has agreed to be my mentor, bless her. buy her book!

I am...committng all of my thoughts, hopes, energy, efforts, knowledge and contacts to a very simple goal. I want to have some form of publication this year. I would love to have a book contract by year's end, but I'll be happy with sellng a few articles.

It's time.

A lot has been leadng up to this. Turnng 30. September 11 and the thought, "Please don't let me die a secretary, worried about makng copies for that 9:00 meetng." When I look back over my life, all the best thngs have come to me as a result of my writng. When I've given it the very least effort, the results have been spectacular. It's what I was born to do, literally -- I was born on the Day of Language (accordng to the Secret Language of Birthdays).

I've been meditatng, n the ntellectual sense (which is spiritual for me), on why I've been so taken with Legolas/Orlando Bloom and Blanepear*. It's that they are bright and sensitive and talented. It's a remnder that I want to be dong what I love to do, what I'm good at, what makes me feel happy, satiated, connected. I was never a confident nterviewer, never sure I was askng the right questions. But the trick is makng it a conversation. People love to talk about themselves, you just have to get them started. Look at me. I keep imagnng myself nterviewng Orlando Bloom, and it gong as badly as Bridgit Jones, droolng all over Coln Firth. (Which begs the question, snce Coln Firth was cast n the role of Mark -- who will play Coln Firth n the film of the second book?)

Nevertheless, I miss nterviewng a great deal. I envision myself now, sittng n a cafe with my subject n the wanng afternoon. I'm terribly shy nitially, thus it's great to challenge myself to overcome that discomfit. It's also great meetng new people and one of the best thngs about journalistic writng, though that's not the only area I'm nterested n.

My high school journalism teacher, who lived on a planet all his own, had a mug that read, "Of all the thngs I've lost, I miss my mnd the most." That's how I feel. One of the most delightful thngs about talkng with Blanepear is that I'm usng my mnd, pullng dusty words from the farthest corners of my vocabulary and, heaven help me -- I'm thnkng. It's time to go off auto pilot and become more engaged n my self, my life, my work.

. . .

Early n the day Blanepear came up to see the photo I took of him last Friday night. The coworker who he left with that night had told Bp, as I'd shown him both photos on Monday. When they saw my camera come out, the two of them turned away and peeled off n opposite directions like some Blue Angels formation.

I had to boot up my laptop, so the first thng he saw was my desktop. No, it is not still Legolas! It's of me n bed with the Part Time Luva. Mnds out of the gutter and back up onto the curb -- he's fully dressed and I had on everythng but my shirt. Of course, it's from the chest up, so all you see on me is the tniest bit of bra strap. I love it because I look so peaceful, so relaxed, so happy. My eyes are closed and I am laughng.

Blanepear saw this and said, "That's not me!"

I felt like sayng, "Well, it should be, but I'm mndful of beng appropriate. I'm afraid I'm too attentive to him, but at the same time, I am tryng to see people n person more often across the board at work. Naturally, that's especially true for the 3 people I like the best and most want to get to know on a personal level. I cannot believe I've been there nearly 7 months without so much as gong to lunch with anyone.

Also, I don't know what he knows of computers, so I can't assume he realized that was actually my desktop.

He liked the photo. It's not the picture I ntended to take, but I like it too. It's dark, almost as if he's n shadow. No skn shows from behnd, as his hair goes to the top of his pea coat -- makng him a solid, dark figure.

Blanepear and I had another one of those great conversations about writng. I said that, for too long, I listened to naysayers who call writng a starvng profession. "Like I'm gettng rich as a secretary," I said.

"If you don't write, a part of you is starvng," he said. (Not an exact quote.) He went on to talk about the need to write. It remnded me of this term n Spanish that, to me, hasn't a true translation n English. Ganas, it means "desire," but, and perhaps it's just me, but it seems to mean more than that. I thnk of it as a need, a drive. This is the hunger of which he spoke so eloquently today and to which my retellng would do little justice. At any rate, I agreed with him wholeheartedly that when you have this compulsion to write, you are hungry and miserable if you don't do it often enough. He said you need to do it merely to survive.

Call me a narcissist, but he remnds me of myself. Superficially, we appear to be nothng alike, but it is thrillng to me to be able to talk about these thngs with someone who shares an ntrnsic understandng. As John told me once, many years ago, I don't have to explan the little, buildng block concepts n order for him to understand. As a result, we get further -- faster.

Moreover, I remember beng that age and, actually, it does feel like just yesterday. He's a daily remnder that I don't have time to waste, that I cannot let another 5 or 10 years pass without workng toward my goals. I told him today that I don't want him to be at this job n 5 years. It's probably selfish and self-centered, but I don't want to see him waste any time, either.

. . .

*Andrea asked if I thought Blanepear would be offended by his moniker (his orignal nickname n the journal was "Nerd Boy," but most people didn't get that I thought of him as an ntellectual superhero). I certanly hope not, as there is no higher plane n my universe than that of Word Nerd. I also do my best to edit out anythng that reveals too much about him, because this is about me, not him or a choice he made to express these thngs publicly. I but wish I could use his actual name, as it's alliterative, literary and beautiful.

[Next entry: "Pluggng away"]
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