January 21st, 2002


morning work

I got dressed in a way that I thought might be casual but attractive, went to the velvet foam coffee place, and sat there with my latte, listening in to nearby conversations. Music, as usual, made it hard to hear. I suppose most people prefer that. I usually do prefer that others not be able to hear all that I say. But nevertheless, I strained to hear what I could.

I got this gem:

"It gets a little confrontational when I want to watch tv or stuff. She always wants to go somewhere. She was all drunk last night and tried to explain it."

"You might as well talk to your car."

"Your car doesn't smell like alchol, either."

"Or make stupid remarks".

I felt I had gathered a little treasure there. I hunger for good conversation. As I listened in on another couple, heard the intensity, the passion, in their voices, I wanted to be a part of it, wanted to join them. How strange would that be, to say, "Hi. I overheard some of what you said, and..." no, not a good introduction.

I took the first line of that short exchange above and wrote about a page and a half of a scene. Realizing that real writing means making it come alive, be complete, mean something. I don't know. I think it's a start, just to write what feels right at the time.

out again

This afternoon I went out again. I wanted to pay some bills, and needed some stamps, so I brought the bills with me, wadded up in my notebook, and went to Denny's. I don't know the last time I have been in there. I thought it might be good because I might be able to overhear conversations in the booth behind me.

As I drove into the parking lot I thought of other Denny's (what would be the plural of that? Denny'ss? Denny'ses? Better to restructure the sentence, I think, and avoid the word.), other times. I now associate the place with some near-exhibitionist behavior on my part, precipitated by Dwain (now that word, precipitate, may not be quite right). The first time was when he ordered fruit and fed it to me. Led to whipped cream, french fries dipped in honey, his moving to my side of the booth and invading me above and below the table. Because of where we were in the restaurant, in an end booth, nobody was forced to watch but it wasn't long before I saw that the cooks were getting a good eyeful and enjoying it. And I enjoyed that! It was one of those times I realized how much I like just this kind of venture into exhibitionism. For me, it is defined as exposing myself to persons I don't know in such a way that they may not know for sure what is going on. And watching, on their part, is consensual. They aren't forced to watch.

But lord do I digress.

There was a couple in the booth behind me when I was seated but they moved out soon after. I heard nothing. I took a look into my idea book and went for one of the prompts, started writing. I think I have enough of a germ there, in what I wrote, in what feelings it evoked, to take it a bit further, which I hope to do today.

I think of Denny's as a haven for senior citizens who like standard American fare, but today I saw many different people. THere was a young woman in the waiting area whose pose interested me. She was seated in the middle of the turn of the L created by two long padded couches, her legs were in loose-fitting jeans, pulled up onto the bench. She wore glasses, was thin and was staring at some spot continuously, as if hypnotised. I wondered if she were waiting for someone to arrive, but she did not look toward the door. Finally a young man came from inside the restaurant, one of the far tables, and joined her and the two left together. For some reason I had not seen her as being with a man, she seemed more introspective and alone.

I need to do a workout soon, then call Mary later. But I want to transcribe my Denny's scribblings first, maybe expand, make changes.

working out

I went for the Tortoise workout today. I may never have done this one before, all the way through. As it is, I had to modify because I don't catch on to the steps quickly and because I don't have the right equipment. Still, sixty minutes that I can work up to. I mean, I can get better at it, get to where I actually do everything they do.


I have been so cold this winter. Sometimes it seems like it will never get warm. I come home from work cold and head for the refrigerator, somehow sensing that food will warm my body. Tonight I took a bath, breathed in earthy bath salts, heater blasting. I get the house toasty and before long it is suffocating, and then I have to turn it down again. I go to bed with the heater turned down, sometimes wearing my bathrobe so I can be warm going to the bathroom.