stopping midway on the way back from evergreen to drink a really cold drink, take a deep breath, and check my email after a day at an itty-bitty writer’s conference. good stuff, mostly. bloggish bits written offline below….

[9 am]

I rode all the way from my house to Evergreen, with the exception of a few blocks up Harrison, where I walked my bike, because I just couldn’t take it any more: my legs would not pedal.

Originally I intended to ride down the hill and catch a bus at least up Harrison, but I got there 20 minutes early. So of course I figured: why not ride?

I should pause here to say that I’ve never ridden to Evergreen before, so it was all theoretical. Nor did I measure the distance beforehand. I just asked C which road he’d take, he said “Cooper Point,” followed by, “you aren’t going to ride all the way, are you?”

The scenery, once you get a respectable distance from the mall, is the wonderfulness that comes with the countryside around here. Lots of trees, occasional bits of swampiness, hills. Yep, plenty of hills. I was just getting to the point where I’m thinking: “how goddamn far is it, anyway?” when along came a glorious swooping downhill, building up a great head of steam, and I could see that at the crest of that next hill: a stoplight, the intersection with Kaiser, the turn I needed to take.

Which was then followed by another long beautiful stretch, which I began to fear would never end, even if it was punctuated by exciting lumpiness (construction!) and lovely wildflowers (Evergreen Parkway!).

So many colleges in this region go for the hidden-in-the-trees look, and Evergreen is one of that pack: the building finally loomed up just as I began to wonder: (a) would I make it? (b) was I late?

Now my bike lays up against the library banister, locked in embrace with my helmet, and when I looked at my phone, it said: 8:56. Just in time. And I’m ready to go!

[3 pm]

I’ve reached the end of my ability to be patient and/or sociable. Partially, I’m tired. Really, really tired. I had a very bad dream last night in which Edith and Elizabeth were trying to break off my fingers, and I was trying to float up and away.

Lately I’ve been laying in bed for enough hours, but I don’t feel like I’m getting enough sleep or the right kind of sleep. Overwhelming dreams.

Then I wiped myself out with my ginormous bike ride…even though I’m tempted to do it again in the other direction.

Impatient, short-tempered. That feeling of wanting to run the f— away. The activity now is a visual art activity, which doesn’t really inspire me, and the person running it is playing the American Beauty soundtrack, which I loved in the movie, but it’s getting on my last nerve now.

I was similarly unimpressed with the 2nd session before lunch. Too much lecture, not enough writing. I suppose it only makes sense being at a college, but damn! I graduated 10 years ago (this very weekend, IIRC), and there’s a reason I haven’t gone back. I want to do, not to talk about the history of how others have done…or listen to someone else do the same.

And the usual social insecurities, of course. At least at Evergreen being 31 doesn’t put me entirely out of the possible student age, but at the same time I feel slightly out of sync. Being insecure about writing, having described myself as “coming back from a hiatus,” which now that I consider it, is a little strange, since I’ve been writing in this vein almost all along. And not knowing anybody, when most everybody else knows everybody else…which is just the sort of situation where I want to curl up and die. (Digression: this is MUCH more so than with SXSW. There I knew of people, or I knew their names, or I was looking forward to meeting them.)

I’ve been trying to socialize during the breaks, in breakout groups, etc., which has its own consequences for my mental states. Tends to push me towards the radical yet generic statement: people suck.

So I sit in the back of the room (near the electricity), feeling antsy and also on the verge of sleep. Also, I am the only attendee with a laptop…what a change from six weeks ago! One more session…I think I have enough juice in the battery to sit closer in, so I will.

One Reply to “brain-fried”

  1. Sorry to hear about all the problems.
    Maybe you should try to meet local writers before and outside of the writer’s conference then go to one so you don’t have those same problems

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