Sunday, November 23, 2008

Where to Begin?

Where to begin? Or end for that matter.

I appeared on Friday to agonize over home. I've had a lot of thoughts since early Friday. And a couple of nights of dreams.

The dreams, then. My dreams night before last took the form of writing collaborations. Amid the usual (for me) dream scape of lost luggage and weird logistics of going places I'm not sure I need to be, there I was with sheaves of yellow legal paper with lots of handwritten notes for a novel of some sort. I seemed to be collaborating on the work with someone else (who remained quite vague) and then with a different person. I was untroubled by this apparent lack of loyalty and, with this second assistant, agreed to make the two principal characters, apparently based on us, dead in the book. Not dead as in dead and gone and not influencing the action in the present, but dead as in ghosts who could only see each other.

Last night my dreams were more usual. We were walking a long way, but I'd lost my shoes. FFP was helping me along. My stocking feet felt good. We were on a moving sidewalk for a very long time and then a set of colorful triangular steps that seemed perilous and to not be where we were supposed to be walking. In my dreams I'm often walking or driving when the walkway or roadway becomes something else again.

Why am I talking about dreams? I don't know. My little piece of the world has seemed dreamlike for a few days. I'm not sure why. Perhaps I have settle into the condo enough to internalize some of the facts of living here. Like you can't hear it rain. Not that it has rained much since we have lived here. We've had a drought. But at the old house you'd wake up and hear the pitter-patter on the roof and windows and that was cool. I'm sure it could rain hard enough that we'd hear it in here, but it would have to be quite a storm. It's nice to wake up on Sunday and see that it's been raining, though, and not worry about the paper being wet. The newspaper guy delivers the papers to the concierge who runs them up to the hallway in front of our door. Nice.

We are also noting how our place is so small that it's hard to lose track of each other or our stuff. That's good. Of course, we can be 'home' and be in the mail room, storage area, gym, parking garage, lobby, etc. That's weird.

It feels more monumental to get the car out now. Friday night we went to a opening of a big wine and gourment shop in Hancock Center. Too far to walk. Since we were already in the car we battled the IH35 service road to go to an Italian place on E. 11th. When we lived in the 'burbs (close-in burbs, though) we'd jump in the car at the drop of a hat. We'd jump in the car (sometimes both in separate cards) and go to the club to use the gym. We'd sometimes drive to a restaurant that was an easy walk away. Certainly going downtown or driving to a restaurant far afield was no big deal. I'd walk out to the garage seven minutes before my tennis game at the club (or any other event there) and figure I wouldn't be too late. Now I need to add seven minutes to get to my car and get it out of the building. And, for meetings at the club at night, there is a lot of pesky traffic in the way. I think this is basically a good thing. We went to luncheons on Friday and Saturday that were downtown and all we had to do was walk over. No driving downtown and no finding parking or using a valet and waiting with everyone else after for the car. Last night we went to a dinner party at some friends' apartment in the Monarch. We just hoofed over on our feet with five bottles of wine.

I've been thinking more about the novel. You know, the one I've posted two paragraphs of here in the harsh light of blogland. (Here and here if you are following along.) I was going to get the guy to meet up with the person picking him up at the airport, have him learn who the woman sitting next to him was, etc. Move him along. This would require, however, deciding on the weather. Will it be hot when he steps out of the terminal? Will he remove his blazer against the heat of an August or will it be pleasantly cool and sunny. Of course, if it is May-September it's probably hot, but if it's October-April it could be anything. So I have to decide what time of year it is and then, if it isn't in the prolonged Austin summer, I have to decide whether, you know, it is a twenty degree day in January or a sixty degree one. Of course, maybe I could just take this guy outside without comment on the weather, his clothes, etc. But it doesn't seem right. Even if you don't write these things you should have established them in your head. And, to be honest, if it's August, he felt the heat in the jet way between the plane and the air-conditioned terminal.

The real actual weather in Austin today is dreary and around sixty. We have tickets to see Chekhov's "Three Sisters" in the afternoon. I can't concentrate long enough to read the synopsis on Wikipedia. I think I have a little hangover. Nothing too serious. I'm just a little dreary myself. Wine flowed last night and some guy whipped up a cocktail that I believe involved gin that I may have (OK, I did) had one of. I have lots of things I need to do like wrap a present for my father-in-law, print mailing labels for holiday cards, clean the condo. We were thinking of visiting a few galleries in the East Austin Studio Tour before going to the play.

But. Where to begin?

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