Lately when I wake up in the morning I feel sad, like a baby. I remember being in my crib and waking up from naps, crying for no reason. I remember when T. was 2 or so, he’d wake up from his nap crying, too. You wake up, there’s no one there, and you feel sad. It’s a step up from waking up anxious or in a panic about my mortality, which is how I was waking up many mornings for quite a while.

I’m alone a lot. A lone … what? Not ranger, that’s what my Dad calls himself. Or he used to. I’m not sure what lone thing I am, but being alone always turns my thoughts towards my own insignificance. I think about how I’m not young anymore and that I will pass through this life and not leave my mark. No offspring, art no one cares about — this is my legacy. It’s no different than the legacy of my rabbit, or my ficus tree.

Is that why I feel sad when I wake up?

I need to be a lot stronger — mentally, physically. I need to get to the person I used to be, in some sense. Confident, a bit cocky even.

Today I accidentally ended up by the railroad yards near the refinery in Richmond. There’s something about the sight of trains — long freight trains, with cars of different shapes and purposes and logos emblazoned on their sides. There’s something about them that makes me long for something I can’t define. When I was 23 I drove cross country alone and took many photographs of freight trains running parallel to the freeway. Who was I at 23? A naïf, a dreamer, wandering about the country with no idea what I wanted other than to be an artist. Here I am, many years later, and I never became an artist. I make art, but I go to work like everyone else.

Last night I wandered through the crowds of the Art Murmur. I always think I’ll see someone I know and I never do. No one sees me. I’m a shadow, a figure in someone else’ dream.

Today I went to the Art Center to see my drawing hanging in the show, among a hundred or so artworks. It’s not a great piece, just something I created to be in the show. It’s easy to miss.

I come home and think, how long will I live in this house? Will I grow old here? Will I be like my neighbor Claire across the street? She was old, she died, and I knew nothing about her other than she praised the gardening I did in my front yard. She had a stern demeanor but she only said nice things to me. Then she was gone. She kept an immaculate house, it sold quickly, and now someone else lives there. It’s like Claire never lived there. Will that be me?

This rain, nourishing and debilitating at the same time.


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