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2007-05-16 - 12:50 p.m.

I've got my bike in the rack outside the front entrance to my office building. On Mondays, I throw the bike in the back of my truck and haul it in. On Fridays, I unlock it, throw it in the truck, and take it back home. In between, a half-hour or so after lunch, I unlock it, give it a burst out of the parking lot and onto the main road, and start going. I don't ride for long--20 minutes, usually--but it's enough to get my heart going and to get that feeling in the top of the legs that feels like caffeinated crystals are forming and spreading, very quickly, just below the skin. And when I pass people I work with, coming or going through the parking lot, they give me looks. They're smiling, usually, while talking on their cell phones or with a bag of lunch in their hands. I'm not trying to feel better than anyone or worse, for that matter, but fact is, coming down the last hill before I come back in, in the highest gear and still pedaling, cars three feet from me and barely going faster, all of that feels like flying and ain't nothing like that happening inside these walls here.

I try to keep flying with the writing, but it's always hard. It hasn't been easy in a while. I think the only way to tackle this new one is to tackle each chapter like it's an essay. Take ten pages at a time. Looking at anything larger, at least at this point, is overwhelming. Too many things already wrong, too many things I need to do, too many possibilities. I've got the most general of outlines, as far as where I'm going, and I've got to just trust that. I'm rereading "Stop-Time" and "An American Childhood" to convince myself that one can write a memoir about a childhood in which nothing much, really, happened. Much more true with the Dillard book than the Conroy book. Man, "Stop-Time" is a good one. The best one, maybe, that I've read.

Springtime makes me tired. I wake up with dried tears in my eyes. Wow, if that isn't some kind of image. Anyway, not really sad so far as I can tell, but instead just blasted by what few trees there are in the city to open up and pollinate. Jammed-up nose, some mornings, and also some tight chest stuff. Makes me want to take a deep swim in a very blue backyard pool.

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