Sunday, December 4, 2016
December 2, 2016
Heat’s off, or rather some electrical anomaly shuts the furnace off after it reaches the set temperature, which means I have to climb down into the basement to hit the reset switch (or whatever it is) whenever I want heat. The cats think this is great fun. Discovered how to work the gas fire logs upstairs, after 3 years. Found the following when I was selecting files to go on my new computer. It’s the studio log I kept when I had the tiny dark space on the Phil Mechanic mezzanine:
August 9, 2009
This is the first day I’ve actually used my office in the Phil Mechanic as an office. Wrote four poems at the café, transcribed them here. It is quiet, cool, darkish. Telemann is on the CD. The chair is the wrong height, uncomfortable. The desk is a door that used to cut off two spaces in my house, or DJ’s, and had been languishing in the garage for as long as I had the property. The brilliant heat of the summer day is masked and diffused here. For the last hour I have been quiet as a mouse, hidden, happy.
August 29, 2009
Working on the poetry archives, again (or still) to the sound of Telemann. I am finding ways to use this space, glad that I didn’t let it go when prudence suggested I should. High school students are meeting above, in the planning stages of a student literary magazine. Dusty, cool, dark: all in this place shall be well.
October 17, 2009
Much has changed since the last entry. I’m typing in the numbing cold on the third floor. The season has changed, as have all other things, all equally gray and cold. I’ve moved my office off the mezzanine into my studio, which is mine alone now that Jason is moving out. His boxes are packed and stacked on the floor, a sorrow and an affront. One day he is promising to stay at least three years; the next, an abrupt email announces he is moving out, now. It was an odd process. He fucked D’s wife, and reacted to that by developing a grudge against D and everyone else on the third floor, as though they had committed a trespass rather than himself. I cannot ask him about this, as he chose to conceal the narrative from me, and insist that D and L and the others fell short of his moral standards in some vague way, and he was cutting them off for that. David reconciliation—I saw it with my own eyes—but Jason ignored it furiously, rudely, turning his face away as though his former friend, and the man he had wronged, were not in the room. But I love Jason and not them, so I am at a loss as to what stance to take. He has not told me the truth, so counsel cannot be given or taken. To admit to knowing without his telling me is a kind of ambush, and he does not need that now. Of course, he gave no thought to what I need. I have full financial responsibility for this place now, which doesn’t bother me, but it might have bothered him. Partnerships should not be dissolved so airily by one side. Ellen did exactly the same thing to me; I must invite this treatment in some way. In any case, suddenly I am alone, after what was, possibly, the most happy and convivial of the last twenty years. It was thoughtless and coarse and unfaithful on his part, but I can’t think of that through sadness at the bare fact of it. He said he’d meet me here this morning for coffee and to talk, but it is past 3 PM and he has not come. I am being gotten rid of, as I’ve seen him get rid of unnecessary friends in the past. I always think I’m going to be immune to my friends’ darkness, the exception to their customary violence. I could not have been very important to him, for all his protestations in the sweet past. There are certain things you don’t do to people for whom you have basic human respect, much less love. And I will say nothing, and we will go our way in silence. It was lovely for a time.
The little space heater—or two if they are both mine and one not Jason’s—will not heat this place, and I will be writing or painting for six months with the vitality gradually sucked out of me by cold. Closing the office will save me $3000 a year. I should think of that and gloat a little. The thought is not making me happy yet.
October 23, 2009
Jason’s possessions are untouched since the last visit. I carefully edge my stuff from downstairs in around it. Telemann on the CD, barely masking the AM Country blaring from the fat girl’s studio. Stuck here for an hour while Word Perfect downloads. The boys drift in to visit, which makes me happy. I thought this room would be a blank place on everybody’s map once Jason was gone. Artists are a thoughtless bunch. Ursula has absorbed the common space in the library for her open house—where are my paintings? Gone. I know not where—and the fat girl’s crappy tunes rattle the rafters. I wonder if I can continue the direction and growth in my art of the last year with my mentor—my only mentor in my life as a painter—gone. Kevin the Special stood at my door demanding that I do something.
“I am doing something. I’m writing.”
“That’s not doing anything.”
It is unbearable; it must be borne. This list is forever lengthening.
November 4, 2009
Beethoven on the CD. The floor is quiet. Jason is gone, and a brief phone call lets me know that what is left I am meant to dispense with. The next time I come here I may actually paint. Denise threw Jason out of their new house, and he has moved operations to Tennessee, “for a while,” he says. I believe I will not see much of him from now on. I keep thinking if we were actually friends I would have known all this before an almost random phone call. Clearly I do not really know what passes between friends. Bade farewell to my little cave on the mezzanine, with some sorrow.
November 14, 2009
Studio Stroll day, and I arrived early to redress disasters that did not happen, so I have an hour to collect my thoughts before what we hope will be the onslaught. I am alone in the biggest, brightest studio in the building, Medieval music on the CD, and I am happy. I have fought for this time, deceitfully shunning other duties. Lord, let it bear fruit.
Virginia Derryberry has a spectacular show of frowsy goddesses in the Flood. Her interpretations of the myths are wrong, but the paintings are striking.
The voices in the air sing “Ave Maria, gratia plena. . .”
Miss Jason. Miss Jason.
November 15, 2009
One would like to have a way to punish studio strollers who turn on their heels at your door as though it were the contagious ward, who stick their heads in and then back out as though saving themselves at the last moment from a terrible mistake, who wander in, ignore the work and tell you what lovely light you have in the room. One wishes the red haired Adonis glassblower came by for something more than to borrow an extension cord.