Saturday, December 9, 2017


December 9, 2017

Snow continues to fall, though what’s already fallen appears to be compacting, so it doesn’t get that much deeper.

Early afternoon: a gleam of sun from the south, too late to save Lessons & Carols at the Cathedral, which is cancelled, or my reading at the Black Mountain Museum, which is rescheduled to next Saturday, when it conflicts with the Cantaria Christmas Concert. The irony is that I don’t know whether I’m singing in the Cantaria Christmas Concert, which depends on the outcome of a meeting with B and S, which was also postponed because of the snow. More free time than I had intended. I was sitting on the toilet worried that, after a couple of brief power outages, the furnace breaker might have been thrown, when there was a great noise and cloud of snow, which was a limb of my pine crashing down upon and annihilating the wooden fence. At that second the furnace came on, so the relief of one thing counterbalanced the horror of the other. The limb fell completely out of the street, so my duty to the community upon this point is done. Did get out and drive a little. My own driveway was the worst of it. Want to work on my play, but can’t stay awake long enough.

Friday, December 8, 2017


December 8, 2017

Oddest dreams before waking. I was in a kind of hospital for those who were self-destructive, only I didn’t remember being self-destructive. Russell was there, too, and we owned a car in common, but for some reason we couldn’t get to it to make our getaway. They calmed us by giving us stories to read, but the stories kept folding back on themselves, as though to come to a crisis or to end would damage us in some way.  I was frustrated because I knew something was wrong but couldn’t find anyone to whom to put my case. Pretty much my actual life, now that I think of it.

Vast snow had been falling as I slept, and though we got to school for our exam, the city has closed down since. Meeting with B and S about the commission atrocity is postponed. First production meeting of Night Music is postponed.  Any attempt to get to the studio is thwarted.

One of the worst days ever for muscle cramps. My hands cramped as I was trying to grade exams. Whole body fell into an agonizing rictus on the toilet at school. That was an interesting moment. At one point my wrist flattened with a muscle doing what I couldn’t imagine. You drink and you drink, and you curse into the snowy air.

Washington Place is a semi-finalist at the O’Neill.

December 7, 2017

Never asked my parents how they felt about Pearl Harbor. My mother was seventeen.

Thursday, December 7, 2017


December 6, 2017

Voice lasted through rehearsal. Got to sit with Janis, which was lovely. Making headway on the sci-fi play. Night Music cast almost as I would have done it. Excellent, though quite brief, bout of painting. An ancient work is finally in its final form. Comparing Steve’s loss of his theater with my loss of the 20th anniversary gig: I feel terrible enough, whereas his loss was levels and levels of magnitude greater. That he was able to rise in the mornings was laudable.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


December 5, 2017

Thought for a moment I did nothing today but sleep, though in fact I began a new play (a sci fi play; I’m all the time nagging about there being so few sci fi plays). I had a final conference with M about his senior project, a very elaborate and warlike science fiction novel. He is student body president at Owen and has a full scholarship to Brown. Talking with him I couldn’t help smiling at his almost absurd excess of energy and presentness and promise. Then supper (under deep rain, beside a rising river) at the French Broad Supper Club, a lovely restaurant welded out of railroad cars, with the Ks, which I accepted in lieu of payment for my painting of the bladder campion. I think of them whenever someone brings up the subject of a solid, lasting, and workable marriage. Did some antiques shopping, but hated everything I saw. Email says K has been “dismissed” from Cantaria. Never heard of that before, though K is toxic, always has been, and I’m sure the reasons, whatever they be,  are sound. 

Monday, December 4, 2017


December 4, 2017

Feathers floating at the edge of my pond. I assume a hawk got a dove.

Went to my office to get some grading done on Saturday. There was an odd fluttering, a ghostly murmur in the room which I couldn’t figure out until I saw a wren perched on the edge of a bookshelf. I opened the window, left the room long enough for him to find the way out. I felt for the little soul. I thought he was me, in some way difficult now to expound.

Downtown yesterday to see Maria in Twelve Dates of Christmas. The play is nothing, but her performance was dynamic and flawless, her concentration superhuman. A merry company to the Capella rooftop afterwards. Girls in fringed flapper dresses were having their pictures taken. I could hardly walk from the theater to the hotel, and then from the hotel to my car. Do I wait for this to right itself?

December 3, 2017

The cleaning ladies, for some reason, turned the litter box around so that the entrance was against the wall and inaccessible to the cats. I didn’t notice until today. The cats chose the guest room carpet to take their dainty craps on, and dips in the plastic surrounding unopened L L Bean parcels to deposit their urine. I report this because it is unexpected.

Trying to write, trying to mark papers, my hands clawed up in agonies of cramps. You sit and with your eyes narrowed, tears of pain squeezing from the edges.. You don’t know whom to strike. 

First day of auditions for Night Music. We could cast it easily from those who showed up this afternoon.

No official word from the Powers at Cantaria. How wasteful and hateful and unnecessary it all is. With some, abuse of power comes with the tiniest measure of it. I consider the existential struggles that occur from time to time in life, violations so heinous and so clear you think the outcome must be simple: I have never been in the wrong, and I have never won. Marvelous record.

Maud back in vomit mode.