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2003-12-07 - 6:10 p.m.

I was so happy to get done with two reseach papers on Thursday and Friday that I've done pretty much nothing yesterday and today. I went to the library and tried to find some light reading (Stephan Fatsis' book about competitive Scrabble, actually) but no go. So I had to settle for a National Book Award winner.

I want it to snow very much. Today was great. I had a button-down on under a peacoat, buttoned up high, and it was just the right amount of cloth between me and the air outside. It was balance, stasis, and that always feels nice. It's like when I told my students I like the fall because it means I can wear sweaters. I felt silly about it, but it's goddamned true. Baltimore got a foot of snow and I miss that. I miss it, especially, falling for hours and hours. That's the best time to make coffee and stay in bed all day, a warm naked body beside yours.

I'm embarrassed enough about vanity to feel bad that I'm checking the mail every day to see if my story's come out yet. The editor told me it'd be out in November, but no sign yet. I want to give one of my two free copies to my parents. When I told my mom about it, back in May, she asked if I'd sign it for her. That's a strange thought: signing a story for my parents. A story that references sex, illicit drug use in a hotel room, lots of cigarettes.

Trying not smoking. I can't afford it. Bummed one today. The first two days, I know from experience, are the toughest. If I can get past that, I think the new breathing capacity will sell the rest for me.

Had a dream I was a samurai last night, and that this guy with a long, curved sword had missed my belly but got the guy fighting next to me with a good stroke to the gut. I hauled my buddy to the rear and tried to administer to his wound, but he was delirious and he wouldn't let me treat it with iodine. What is it about war stories? I know exactly where it came from: a combination of reading reviews of the Tom Cruise movie and from the Norman Mailer novel I just got done reading. If I could somehow get a hold of the HBO movie "When Trumpets Fade," I'd be an even happier war-story dude.

Should start job hunting tomorrow. We'll see how important that feels at 11 am.

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