Thursday, April 27, 2006

A haze of malaise

I have the strange feeling of being only remotely attached to myself, as I move through the world, today. I awoke somewhat unremarkably. The Painter had crawled into bed with us, to snuggle, as he often does, sometime before 6:00. 6:21 am I climbed out of bed (which entailed climbing over him), because I had lain half-awake, since being stirred, contemplating a rewrite of my NEH proposal.

I had met briefly with one of the young professors in my host department yesterday afternoon, to get some feedback. She had some very pointed questions, and quite a few good ideas, regarding the narrative and the proposed project, leading me to think of scrapping a good portion of what I'd written. This morning, as I lay in bed, thoughts of how to rewrite kept me alert. (I guess the true answer to the prompt insomnia: in my response to the ABC meme should have been "lately? quite often".)

When I arose, the Painter, as is his wont upon rising, intoned: "can I please have some milk, daddy?". Then, once the milk was served, he asked, in his inimitable, but constantly repeated, manner, "what shall we do now?" It's amazing to me how his inquisitive, demanding energies seem nearly never to be diminished. I sighed that I had some things to write down on the computer; "that's daddy's work, he writes things". So, I suggested he might watch an episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood while I worked. He liked that thought, especially since my laptop was on the coffee table, and I would be sitting next to him on the couch, keeping him company.

It's a pleasant thing to sit next to my boy, even if I required headphones and music to mask the sound of the TV show. I had a semi-productive time at it. But that's alright.

The morning was as most mornings are, though a bit longer than usual, and in a sense a bit less harried. The Rocket Scientist was told a couple days ago that for the time being (likely 2-3 weeks) she can only bill up to 20 hrs./week of her time to the project she's ostensibly working on. The rest has to be overhead, since they've screwed up with the budgetting, and are currently in process of rebidding the project. So, she was in no rush to get to work, since half of her time is assumedly to be spent in cleaning her office, rearranging books and papers, sitting in on mind-numbing training sessions, and the like. "Good enough for guberment work" as they say.

But, since I left the house, mostly silent in the car seat next to my wife, I've felt an odd degree of separation from the sights and sounds, the sensations of my being. It's quiet here in the departmental computer lab (quiet except for the hum of the internal fans, and the tap typing on someone's keyboard beside me).

The day is overcast, gray sky. The wind gently stirs the leaves and limbs of the Eucalyptus outside my window. I overlook the bicycle path, as ants and beetles of people pass by, blues, reds, greens, yellows, blacks, whites. The carillon chimes. It's ten o'clock. Will this be a day for me? Will I rewrite and complete the NEH?

Tomorrow I stay with the boys, so I won't get any writing done then. Deadline is Monday. If I'm going to submit, I should get it done today. But, for now, for the next few minutes, I'm just going to sit, and be.

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