6 March 2020
This morning I re-read my August 2013 essay, The Proper Writing Space:
I do not need a cave, although I do definitely need cave time. A grotto, to me, is too dank, and dark. My proper writing space has always been, and will always be, an attic, an upstairs loft of privacy that permits me to reach toward the stars!
And my proper writing space is about to finally and fully materialize — 7 years after I wrote that essay!
The roof is on my Dream House, and so that domicile is now, in accordance with French juridical tax statutes, a Real House. The front door has been installed! Late last year, Dear Husband brought home a hefty catalog of door designs. I flipped through it, looked at the model on the inside back cover and said:
Less than one minute for that choice. They always save the best for last!
I have been in conference with the Door Doctor to select knobs. It appears that the Round Knob of yore is no more. Flattish button types, discs, biscuits, and levers are all the rage. I went with the Egg-y style. When I put my powerful little hand on a door-knob, I want something to hold! The egg holds infinite possibilities!
And speaking of possibilities, at least creative ones, the News of the Day is an endless supply of satire and farce. There’s not much reality there, but we fiction writers round up enough of that working material all on our own.
This morning, I was entertained by the Media Circus surrounding the quarantine of a cruise ship off the coast of California, with helicopters rush-delivering the latest in tests for the virus that has yet to kill more people than the yearly flu.
Strains of “The Morning After” ran through my mind. The cruise ship from the original 1972 movie The Poseidon Adventure, just before it gets walloped by a tidal wave in the middle of the ocean — is how this adventure is being handled by the Newsies. The theme song of Governor Nutcase is “There’s Got to Be A Morning After”. All of his groupie groovy sycophants chime in with "There’s Got to Be A Morning After Pill”.
Much like the characters trying to survive and reach daylight in the Original Hollywood Film, most of these lost souls don’t know Up from Down. Their ship has been turned upside-down — and they are all headed in the wrong direction. Somehow, these fools on this ship of fools do not apprehend (see): You must go down to go up!
Disasters-in-the-making await reportage by the Harebrained-Media.
Meanwhile, the latest Headline hectors us to WASH YOUR HANDS. I personally have never felt comfortable smearing the anti-germ stuff over my hands and arms. There is nothing like soap and water to rid the skin of bacteria and cooties!
Starbucks has discontinued their skinflint use of re-useable cups. I always found that cheapskate practice — along with the Pour-over — for that hideously burned coffee — to be typical of the brand: over-rated and over-priced.
In other un-reported news, in the real parts of California, people work and live. We pay exorbitant taxes to work and punitive fees to live, and we all await the arrival of some kind of normalcy. I personally await it, while living in an all-electric, 1970s antiquated rental house that has probably never seen better days. Life is a garden variety of gardens that we tend, and I, for one, am chomping on the bit to tend to gardens I have yet to dig and plant.
Last month, I was enormously enjoying watching the early Lieutenant Columbo (See Columbo: Just One More Thing) — and I found a gold mine in one humongously hilarious episode that is, reportedly, the most-highly rated show of the entire run of this series, ever. This episode took me back to 1979, my very first days here in the Golden State (See Paradise).
Long before the Sonoma Wine Cave became the avant-garde party place of political fund-raising and corporate cronyism, there was the Carsini Wine Cave Caper!
This episode is entitled “Any Old Port in a Storm”. The murder is perpetrated by Donald Pleasance in a role that is actually human. He did not play the Devil or a Mad Scientist or a Whack-job Musician, but a sympathetic character: Adrian Carsini.
Here Pleasance is an older brother who must contend with his ne-er-do-well sibling, a hipster of his hippie-dippie-trippie era who announces that he intends to sell the family vineyard to the Marino Brothers. Think Gallo. Think 1970s California (buckets of booze, pool patios, hot tubs, aviator shades) — if you can tolerate the thoughts! Hey, I’m doing it!
Mr. Pleasance erupts with words that speak for so many here in the Golden State gone brassy!
“The sixty-nine-cents-a-gallon Marino Brothers? They don't make wine! They don't even make good mouthwash!”
The Liquid Filth soliloquy is the stuff of legends. Just ask Ernest and Julio. (And the Silent Partner who made greasy cheddar cheese.) The liquid filth in California currently rolls out to sea, just like cruddy claret, right through those vintage ports in the San Francisco Bay.
The interior of the U.S. Airplane in the Flight-to-the-East scene approximates the size of my atelier artist space in the Dream Home! And the 1st Class Luxury Seat rivals the size of my armchair!
Several months ago, I told Dear Husband that I need to grow emotionally, from within, to be able to move into my Dream House. The past two years have constituted enormous cave time for me to achieve that state of inner growth. These last few months of waiting with anticipation for the End of Construction now provide me with many avenues of resolution and pathways of reckoning, all of them — moving toward the future.
It is my hope that here in America many of the people arduously awaiting for life to “begin again” are moving toward the future along their own unique roads of discovery.
I am realizing countless delayed moments, moments that have mellowed and deepened, like fine wine, during their waiting to become realized.
And I am catching falling stars.
Falling stars are good for more than just rainy days, even here in California, where Paradise is real.