Friday, May 17, 2013

not so springy

Ever since my brief but intense encounter with cocaine, in 1976, I have been forced to acknowledge the addictive side of my personality. Today, that aspect came once again to the fore. A few days ago, I decided to check my Air Miles points, and to my delight had enough to buy something I've wanted for ages, a burr coffee grinder. It arrived yesterday, I bought beans at the local deli, and today I enjoyed freshly ground coffee at breakfast.

But the day proceeded badly. I thought because I'd risen too early - at 6.30 - after too little sleep, I was worn out. Or perhaps I had exhausted myself yesterday, a morning of rushing about, an afternoon with Booboo here, my house a shambles and my arms strained after hauling 25 pounds of wriggling boy. I had so little energy, I had to go back to bed for an hour, and then still couldn't get anything done. At last night's home class, a student wrote about a sudden hospitalization that had left her listless and depressed; for some reason, I was experiencing the same feelings. Why bother? Just sit and stare at the sky.

And then at lunch, as I decided to make another cup of coffee, I realized. The beans I bought yesterday and had consumed for breakfast were decaff. Without the usual dose of my drug, I had lost much of the day to entropy.

That's some powerful drug. Plus, the Air Miles points for my free grinder were accumulated entirely at the LCBO, buying red wine, my other major addiction. Ah well. Could be glue. Could be expensive shoes or tattoos. Coffee and wine - could be worse. I rode over to the delightful Merchants of Green Coffee for a large load of caffeinated beans. Tomorrow morning I'll jam a big dose into my central nervous system and leap into the day.

Four classes this week, lots and lots of stories. After Wednesday's very full session at Ryerson, a wonderful writer from India said, "After hearing their stories, I feel love for everyone in this class." And so do I.

Today, like most of Toronto, I headed to the garden store - which luckily for me is only half a block away - to buy plants. So far, mostly veggies for my garden, which I'll plant tomorrow. It has been sunny, though there's still a bite in the air. Right now, looking out past the fresh cedar of the deck, all I can see is 56 shades of green. Praise be for green.

P.S. Here's a great link to pictures of writers' outlines - some are amazingly convoluted and intricate.

Handwritten outlines by James Salter, Jennifer Egan, J. K. Rowling, and others.


  1. I think there is nothing nicer than a cup of dark-roast coffee, freshly made, first thing in the morning. And yes, wine -- though current favourite here is sunny gooseberry-bright sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or anything sparkling (prosecco!). Indications of an addictive personality? So be it. You are not alone.

  2. Theresa, I agree. I've just been reading Phillip Lopate's "To show and to tell: the craft of literary non-fiction," which is wonderful, and in it he speaks at length about the necessity for the writer to DRAMATIZE his or her quirks. I realize it's a bit of a stretch to take the reader from cocaine to caffeine but I did it anyway. P.S. Check out the outlines link I've just added - fascinating.