Who could forget Kurt Vonnegut in Breakfast of Champions. "Dwayne Hoover's penis is seven and a half inches long erect," something like that: the necessary description of the physical body that all artists must, like Rembrandt, and Giotto before him, like Wyeth, like Picasso, deal with. Writers as well. The look of the chin. Kundera gives us the spastic diarrhea an attractive woman suffers given the knowledge of the apparatchik surveillance, gives us the moment of orgasm of a young man as he looks down at the eye of a woman's bottom.
I suppose I should have wished to attempt a kind of Richard Russo story about a guy fallen into the restaurant business, a bartender perhaps. But in the research of a such a 'novel'-- anything you write basically being a novel, an act of the imagination not far away from a poem--I found I had to shepherd the body through an endurance event. Of course. I'm not complaining.
Hungry, working alone, almost to kitchen closing time, I couldn't resist a bite of a slice of baguette. I didn't even butter it. The boss sat there with his wife having endive salad and mushroom fricassee, followed by trout with a celeriac coulis and grilled seafood salad for madam with dressing on the side and a lemon half. Inside the joint of the right knee, on the shin side, the twinge of old Osgood Schlatter pain, coped with by a second pot of green tea and three astragalus tablets. Load of whites in the machine in the basement. Dishes mostly out of the way, three burgers cooked in iron skillet along with mushroom and onion. Shower time. Must pack for family vacation. One more shift to get through, jazz night, with server V and Satin Doll Trio with Mr. Koko on the leopard print couch, jazz standards, nice soothing music, my favorite guitar player Ken Kilpatrick on the arch top Guild.
"Market yourself, you must learn to market yourself." What have I done to market myself, I wonder. Too much mental masturbation, over analysis, handcuffing myself, bleeding away the necessary self-confidence...
Hot water from the shower head loosens the spine; put the calf under the water to open the varicose vein area should there be time to do some yoga, a headstand. President Kennedy took two hot baths every day, poor bastard. "Treat a duchess like a whore, and a whore like a duchess." Yes, proud creatures who bear the race of evolved life that came on space traveling rocks from infinite worlds away... Proud of penis size just right. A little cortisone on the red spots on the cheek and the eyebrow. JFK cortisone sun tan. Lou Gehrig, color of mahogany. Beach, suntan lotion, do not want to get skin cancer melanoma. O type survival rate not good.
Packing. What should I be taking... V made mention of my gut. Probably the wine, yes, certainly. Boss: Maybe you do. Thanks. You do one of my shifts and then sit down and eat vegetables.
Feeling tweaked, the man went about his small pre-work chores of the not worth mentioning variety almost like a man playing large drums, pivoting, moving shirts from the washer to the dryer one by one, like gentle boxer moves or tai chi., boom, boom, left, right, like the spoons out of the soapy water one at a time. Didn't feel like eating, but must eat. Shirt folded and placed in legal pad for wrinkle free transport. Clock: 3:29. Already hears V.'s loud voice. Customer K will probably come tonight.
Okay, eat hamburger with onion and mushroom, no bun. Support sock on left foot to the calve. Levis on, hiking sneakers, reflective pant straps for the bike. Getting serious.
Writers talk to themselves. My mom. Me. Calming. Or not.