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Monday, February 22, 2010


Heather's at work and the apartment becomes an anonymous collection of square feet. One benefit of her new job is that I get to come home and find her in bed, relaxed and vulnerable; she sleeps with her head bowed forward like a religious supplicant. I love to kiss her forehead when she sleeps.

But I'm off today, and I continue to plod through the Updike. A mere twenty pages stretch before me like twenty miles. Lots of distance allusions today.

The sky looks like it's been filled with cement. Outside, a firetruck has been waiting for twenty minutes. Maybe somebody's expired, maybe a stroke struck someone. Apartments are strange. Compartmentalized lives stacked one on top of the next, and lined up in rows. To think that above me, someone's hopes and dreams are filling the space, someone's live is moving as surely as mine is. It seems strange to think that anything so momentous is happening amid the bovine thundering I hear up there. How could this couple be doing anything but pretending their couch is a vehicle?

It looks like grad school may be on the horizon for me. I'm excited though I know it won't hold all of the splendor I've assigned it in my mind. It's the next step to furthering my career which is at a stand-still. My mind recoils at the thought of arguing ad nauseum over the intricacies of our pricing system, or the fine print on our coupons; I work in the grocery business. An academic hermitage may be the only place for me, somewhere I can take my passion for footnotes and put it to good use.

Since the window's open, the apartment is roughly the color of dishwater, a far-from-inspiring template for anything really, but I think that's the best place for work sometimes. Rigid discipline becomes the sole pilot of our endeavors, and we are free to brush the opiate of artistic ecstasy away. I read that J.M. Coetzee never smiles, works non-stop. I'll wager he never waits for inspiration.

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