Okay. Try and find a routine, as you adjust to another Saturday night shift. Get up at some point after noon, make tea, put a cooked hamburger in the toaster oven, take a shower, do a half hour of yoga complete with shoulder stand, plow, headstand, inversion poses being good for the mood. Remember the third eye, breath through, as you meditate what Wai Lana calls "dahntyen," an area below the navel. Okay. Raining. Time to eat. Fold a shirt. Figure out how to get to work. Big rain. Walk is good.
Try to find a routine that includes such and also a moment to write, which is to say, a moment to believe in writing and also practice it, not having time to linger over written pieces. I wonder, a thought of the day, if in what is commonly regarded as meekness, passivity, a Zen sort of servitude toward humble simple things, in that receptiveness not particularly taken as being conspicuously masculine in our society, within that mode, the mind fires up. It sends out feeler rays, sonar, positioning, and indulges/participates/discovers again the mode of high thought.
I don't mind Saturdays, but my entire body is stiff and sore by the end of the shift. The next day I get up when I can, and still I'm stiff and very sore. The thought, each year I do this, and where does it get me? Therefore, what is wrong with me? What should I be doing? Am I too much of a creep to believe in hard work, seventy hours a week? Do I use the religious mendicant model as a supportive crutch, not that I'd have the courage… Sunday, a day of rest. Realize that it's hard dealing with the shifts of a bartender, because he has no escape. They get him early for drinks, he's got all the set-up to do to keep the restaurant night's flowing, he's the one who has to clean up, even the busboy leaves, then he does the money, still has things to do, eats by himself, not with much joy, but just because he bonked an hour and a half ago.
I dragged myself up the street, up the hill past the Safeway, to stop in at Bread Soda for a glass of wine. Young attractive people, and there I am, sitting in a corner looking at my phone. I've become too old for this. I missed the boat. I'm not attractive here anymore on the strip where I've tended bar, and I'm fine with that, just lonesome.
Tell me, doctor, what should I believe in on a Sunday? In porn or bogus personal ads, in exercise, in some form of religion, in sitting here writing down my thoughts as they come, as I sip my tea, washed the dishes from yesterday, careful to take ground flax seed with my tea, 2 ibuprofen, 3 astragalus, an allergy pill, a slippery elm before breakfast? Should I believe in the job anymore? If I do yoga and meditate will I have some high insight of the present moment and living in it? Is it that the endurance of a shift leaves the mind unsettled, just as it pains the body? Should I believe in the weather radar on the television, confirming it's a rainy day, or in the cable TV's guide list of what's on PBS tonight, or in Eckhart Tolle and light some incense to rid the room of the ego beasts that have entered my head over the last few days? Should I scan the headlines of the New York Times?
What strange awkward creatures we are, a day off and a writer has nothing to write. Tired, we miss the chance to offer genuine hospitality to the traveling pilgrim. Could you love or be loved even if you had no material prosperity, even if you had nothing, just for who you are, but then can you be anyone, do you have any inherent quality of being, good or kind, wise, anything solid, or do all such things themselves disappear too easily? Does one have any inherent personality, any savor, that would support the meaning of their work as a human being just being who they are? Can one ever push off the problem of being defined by the work you've done, by the hours you've kept?