Day 13: The rain

Words written:4,564
Bug bites picked at: 4
Imagined (?) ticks in hair: Countless

My mother worries I am not enjoying this experience enough. I am. It's not easy to write every day and stay focused on the same story, but it's also not hard. Not comparatively speaking. Not as hard as getting up at 6:10 a.m., getting on a train, and spending eight hours at work (I like my job a lot, but it's still a lot of work for other people). This is a completely selfish endeavor, and all of the things that I have to do are self-imposed. When I'm not writing, I feel negligent if I'm not also reading literature or a play or poetry. And that's enjoyable too. I read some Edward Albee today, Christopher Durang, a few poems by a man named Ross. Last night, I read a short story by Barth that ended in dual suicide you don't see coming, but which makes perfect sense. I read books about surgery. I go to the library and I pull books off the shelf. Today, it was Willa Cather's My Antonia, which I am ashamed to say I never read, even though it's set in Nebraska and mentions places I know and have been to, such as Hastings.  In between writing and reading, I am at a coffee shop, eating a $12 egg burrito and purloining plastic spoons to use for Chap's dinner. This afternoon, I ate a small bucket of rice pudding with cinnamon on top while reading a play. I watch the dog hop around in the grass, and the most stress I feel is in keeping him from eating deer scat (this requires almost constant vigilance). I go to bed at 9 p.m. and play on my phone and then read until I'm tired. Each morning, I ride a bike into town, flying down the curvy roads, and then I do the same on the way home, chugging up hills and then coasting. The whole stay here is like the bike rides (she wrote, searching for a metaphor). It's almost all enjoyable, and only a little difficult, but in a way that's good for you.

I'd say the only other worry is this fear that I'm not doing enough, not revising enough, not pushing myself enough. You ask your job to let you go for four weeks, you leave your family to their own devices, and you wonder if what you have in the end will be worth the sacrifice you're requiring of other people. I know all of us here feel that to some extent--the pressure to make it worthwhile. I suppose if you didn't feel that, you shouldn't be here in the first place.

The librarians and their clip art have made it clear that there is to be no talking on one's cell phone. Montauk folks don't always listen. 

At Left Hand Coffee Shop today, I gave my name as Mustang. The barista was very smooth--he only flinched for one second. Mustang? he repeated. Yeah, I said. 


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