I’m having a fine time at this year’s poetry workshop in Honesdale at The Barn. Some good talent in the group and we are enjoying the food (always excellent!) and camaraderie.
Today I pack for two trips in one. Workshop clothes are casual and comfortable. New York is more . . . New York. Granted that real New Yorkers dress any way they darned well feel like dressing, but when one goes to a nice restaurant or sees a play or sits across the desk from an editor, well, a certain decorum should be observed. And there’s the rub. I hate dragging a big suitcase around these days. Too spoiled by squeezing everything into an overhead bag. This is going to take some planning.
For seven days:
6 pairs of underwear (wearing the 7th)
2 pairs of socks
3 pairs of slacks (wearing the 4th)
2 dress shirts
1 sport coat (carry on the plane)
2 workshop shirts (wearing the 3rd)
1 light sweater
1 pair of dress shoes
1 pair of sandals (wearing them)
In the computer bag:
Laptop and charger
wine opener (well you never know)
copies of poem critiques
presentation outlines and notes
manuscript to work on
extra pens, pencils, leads
book to read
What do you think? Can I stomp all that into one bag small enough to fit into the overhead? Sometimes I gate check but you can’t count on that. When we came home from Vegas recently, I weighed my bag and it came to twenty pounds. The computer bag was sixteen. But a lot of that was catalogs I was carrying for my M.O.W.
Yesterday I needed some chocolate. Most days I don’t think about it much but yesterday I couldn’t stop wanting it. My breakfast cereal with blueberries was good, but believe me there was no chocolate involved. By midmorning I was in the kitchen opening cupboards. Nothing. No misplaced Hershey’s Kiss, no candy bar, not one thing sweet and chocolaty and chewy. I went back to work feeling sorry for myself.
For lunch I had soup, a good soup with plenty of meat chunks and vegetables. I enjoyed it very much. But something was missing, if you know what I’m saying. I made another futile search and trudged, sag-shouldered, back to work.
Yes, my car was in the garage. There’s a store roughly three minutes from our house. Yes, I could have run down there and back and fixed my problem. But I wanted to work and sometimes it’s just better to be a martyr.
Sandy came home. We had a drink that had no chocolate in it. We had a delicious dinner of meatloaf, carrots, and salad. We had no desert. Our TV isn’t working so we sat and talked and caught up on the papers. I decided to dish some ice cream, the last of the homemade from a week ago. I opened the refrigerator. And there in the back, hiding behind the orange juice, was a small container of aging cookie dough! Chocolate chip cookie dough. I bought it the last time I went after pizza.
There was just enough dough in the bottom of the container to make three petite cookies. I spooned out the ice cream, baked the cookies, and marched triumphantly into the living room, a hero in my own castle. Someone should have played Pomp and Circumstance. We snacked like royalty. I even gave Sandy the bigger half of the cookie we split. And then, not long after, it was off to bed. A day filled with high drama and anxiety ended well. Today. I. will. not. think. about. chocolate.