Last week I worked every day at two jobs I like. I got two free small press books as bonuses. One is Vallie Lynn Watson’s A River So Long and the other is Jac Jemc’s My Only Wife. I get an hour a day for lunch. I always bring my lunch, so I use the hour to slowly eat my food, drink some tea, and read. Last week I read Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl and Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle in quick succession. I finished A River So Long over the weekend.
I am in a fallow mode. I keep walking around my neighborhood and looking at things and feeling happy. I am listening to other people talk. I am reading a lot of good books and taking pleasure in the work that I’m doing. I make meals for myself and my friends. I look over slush for the journal and anthology I edit for on the side. I’ve been slowly exercising a knot out of my back. I am applying for free trips. I am not writing. I have a story seed I’m turning over and over in my head. It’s about Antartica and small, enclosed spaces. Soon I will be ready to sit and write it down.
On Saturday it snowed. I woke up to homemade cinnamon rolls made by my roommate. I ate cinnamon rolls and drank coffee. I held the lizard up to the window glass to see the snow, and afterward he went back into his artificial cave and curled the tip of his tail over his nose. I went out and tromped around around in the perfect, powdery snow in Prospect Park for a few hours. We had a snowball fight and built a snowman. We stopped at Bierkraft afterward for a sandwich and a post-snow pint of dark beer. I came home and read journal submissions, then made a cauldron of homemade macaroni and cheese for my friends. Then we watched The Maltese Falcon, which will always and forever remain one of my favorite films of all time.
Yesterday I went into Manhattan to accompany my boyfriend to a vintage video game store. We stopped by Chinatown to celebrate the new year of the snake and were showered with confetti. I watched dragon dancers rear up and down, and afterward I stood in the slushy street and ate a bit of lamb grilled on a stick. I came home, braised beef shanks, roasted broccoli, and simmered polenta.
Paradoxically, I feel like I have more time now that I spend five days a week in an office. When I have a day to myself I want to use it up completely. So I do.