Thursday, September 17, 2020

Not much new to report from the little northern city by the sea. Still no rain, and the sunlight is hazy with smoke from the western fires. I harvested a bushel of collard leaves yesterday, and made an angel food cake with egg whites saved up in the freezer. I shipped a batch of editing to an author and created some college-student-style tables and shelves out of various bits-n-pieces in the basement, in an attempt to make my writing/editing area somewhat more adequate. I am currently working at a standing desk stuffed into a corner of the bedroom so tightly that I can't easily open a book and open a laptop at the same time. I have to use the top of Tom's dresser as as a table top; there's nothing resembling a standard desk or chair, and no space to bring them in. I've got books shelved in an unfinished gap in the sheetrock . . . The only place in the room to sit down and read is the bed, but the bed is just a mattress on the floor and the bedside lamp has been set too low to aim the bulb at the page. It's all kind of pathetic, but at least now I've rearranged things so the lamp is high enough to cast a beam.

Somehow I've managed to keep working in these less-than-ideal conditions since March . . . though in the heat of summer I mostly just sat downstairs on the couch because the bedroom was an oven. Now that tolerable temperatures have returned, I'm trying to piece together some sort of semi-unaggravating setup. It's difficult. All of my poetry books are shelved in the room that used to be my study but is now Paul's bedroom, and Paul's bedroom is exactly what you'd expect from a 22-year-old: a chaos of stuff cast hither and yon. It's hard to believe that room ever belonged to me. And yet I was so excited about it, when I moved into it. My first room-of-one's-own. A short-lived joy.

In Harmony I had half-a-room-of-one's-own. Now I've sunk to a corner. So I keep reminding myself of those Bronte sisters, packed together in that parsonage sitting room, writing novels on their laps, as their brother screamed and threw furniture upstairs. I've got it easy.

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