I’ve been thinking about the writing game in the last little while — about everything it involves. About looking at the world with curiosity, always. About the ideas ruminating in my head. While I still have my eye on promoting “This is All a Lie” and hope there will be some opportunities to do that in the next months, I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am putting my head down and writing. And, I am lifting my head up and looking around, watching, listening, and being silent in the world. Being observant, kind, compassionate — and writing. These are my jobs. Not promoting. Not worrying about things out of my control. Not worrying about people loving my writing, or not loving my writing. Just writing. Just reflecting what I see and feel and think, through stories, and characters. (Honestly, for a few days there, I was agitated by what people thought about my writing and I do not like that person who was agitated.) I am playing my clarinet in a small New York club, sitting in the back row, playing my clarinet — and working on the finishing movements of the new novel: “The Elephant on the Charles Bridge.” It gets better each day. And making notes about two new novels (working titles): “Big Mountain” and “A Tango for Mendolera Galbo”.
Here’s my advice to myself: Take a breath, Trofimuk…now exhale, and do your fucking job.
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April does what (she) likes
Apparently, April has decided she wants to behave like February. She storms into the room and glares at you. She pounds across the floor to the fridge and pulls out a frozen bottle of vodka, pours a portion of the slow liquid into a coffee cup and drinks it in one gulp. She frowns at you. It’s a cold scowl that lets you know you should probably sleep on the couch. So you do. You do not know why April is so angry, and frigid, and hostile. She’s always been unpredictable, but never this cold. If you were religious, you might try to explain it by telling yourself you’ve done something to offend God. But you are not superstitious. You spark up the fireplace and keep it going all night. Your sleep is fitful and you dream about small purple flowers by the railway tracks off Mendelson Avenue, and tulips poking through black dirt, and losing your car keys. In the morning, the small patch of grass that had been uncovered by a never-say-never sun is re-covered by snow. Your dream of crocuses and tulips is just a dream. Your car keys are where you left them, on the mantle beside the statue of Buddha. You decide you will wait for April to come downstairs. You make a pot of coffee, feed the cat and play Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert on the stereo. Snowflakes twirl past the window and you wonder if the snow will amount to anything substantial. You’ve already hung the shovels in the garage.
You know April has her moods but you love her regardless. You love her for her moments of light and warmth. Like rain after snow. Like a thousand shades of green after just brown, just grey, just white. You remember making love with April, leaned against the brick wall of some building on campus, the warmth of the sun on your face, the heat radiating from the bricks. She lifted her skirt and it was pure joy. You closed your eyes and drifted inside all that she offered. That’s the April you remember, and love.
Upstairs, you are surprised to find the bedroom door is unlocked. The cat will not cross the threshold. It sniffs, and backs away. April is sleeping. She has tossed the bed sheets onto the floor and she’s curled herself around a pillow. She’s grinding her teeth and moaning low. Her lips have a blue tinge.
The window in the bedroom is wide open and you can hear the chickadees and sparrows in the back yard.
The bedroom window is wide open and it’s snowing harder now.
The window is opened wide and April is shivering on the bed.