Welcome friend to Create Art Podcast where we create more than we consume. I am Timothy Kimo Brien your thankful head instigator with over 20 years in arts and education helping you tame your inner critic and provide you with commentary, interviews, discussions, and projects that will inspire you to create art. This month I will be podcasting daily and writing a novel in 30 days. I am participating in NaPodPoMo and NaNoWriMo. You will be able to listen to what I wrote for the day and read it at the same time. I like to practice what I preach when it comes to art so I am challenging myself to write and having you come along for the ride. I hope this inspires you to accomplish your goals with your art and if you would like to share what you are doing email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Story So Far
1 Nov 2020 day count 1942 cumulative count 1942
It was his day off, well not really a day off, he did have a doctor appointment later that morning, so he got up at his usual time and went to the coffee shop. The day had started a bit too bright for his liking, these fall mornings usually threw off his circadian rhythm, so he thought it was later than it was. Rolling over and looking at the clock the piercing red digital numbers read 6:43. He took the whole day off because he wasn’t sure of what he was going to hear from the doc that day, plus he usually didn’t use much leave time since the divorce.
The coffee shop was his refuge since his life had fallen apart. It was not too trendy, there were people his age that would come and spend time. Being in his early forties, fewer places were open to him in that he felt like the creepy old guy. Often, he’d attend movies alone, his old friends were married and had their own lives to live, where as his life was forced to begin anew after 15 years of marriage. The dissolution of the marriage was amicable, they had no kids because he was unable to perform in that aspect. She had wanted kids, the house, two cars and the dream. Most of that he was able to provide, but the kid part was beyond his control.
It was a similar doctor visit that he attended alone when he received the news of the impending end of his life. It was a fluke that they found the brain tumor that would eventually lead to his status. There was little they could do to help him go into remission and all he wanted to do was work until the very end. She had wanted him to take time off and just be with her. That for him was torture, he was wired differently that she was. He did not want to be mothered and nursed back to health. He wanted to go out quietly without much fanfare. When they could not see eye to eye, they both decided that he needed to see this to the end on his own terms.
It was a Tuesday when he went to the coffee shop. There was still some fog in the air as it was not quite 7:30 AM. There were a few patrons in the shop. He stood in line and looked for his favorite spot to be open, an old couch that gave to his weight exactly right, it cuddled him into an hour or two visit each time. Luckily, no one had taken the couch so he would be able to enjoy the day despite the news he was going to receive from the doc. He stood in the line and gave the barista his drink order.
“Red eye with an extra shot and an everything bagel please,” he said.
“Busy day for you today huh, usually don’t see you in here this early,” replied the barista behind the bar. She worked the early shift most days and, on the weekends, he would come in and order the same drink and food. She was going to the local college in the theatre department and they had talked many times about what she was going to do after she graduated which changed ever few weeks.
“Doctor stuff today, took the day off and couldn’t sleep in so I figured I’d come in and read or write. How is the play going,”? He asked as she was taking a playwriting class to finish her required classes this semester.
“Having a hard time with the dialogue, my prof says write like you talk, but how exactly do you do that and make it interesting,”? She replied while mindlessly making his red eye.
The forced steam started to run in the espresso machine so they needed to talk over the noise.
“Well what you could do is record a conversation and then type it out to get the feel for what people talk about. “
“Yeah, people act funny when they are being recorded, I need someone that would be natural even when I record them. Hard to find people that can act natural.” She was finishing his drink and used finger quotes when saying ‘act naturally’.
“Well you can record me, although I doubt what I have to say would be interesting for your play,” he replied.
“Well if you have time after your doctor stuff, would you be able to come by and I could record you, Tuesdays are pretty light here and we could go toward the back tables where few people go. That way I would not get anyone else on the tape, just us,”?
“Yeah I can drop by, not sure exactly what time I would be done, but I’m happy to lend a hand to a fellow writer,” he said.
“Carl, I am not a writer, I just need to get a good grade. Do lights, and lights don’t talk.”
“Your dialogue is with lights and with the audience, so yeah, you do need to learn the dialogue aspect to not just get a good grade, but for when I come to see your shows with my notebook, I can be pretty ruthless with my notes.”
“Yes Carl, I remember the first time you came to that show, you really tore my work apart,”.
“But it was much better the next time right, a lot easier when you learned that purple and green don’t go together and when the audience can actually see the actors,”.
“So, I guess we are going to talk about lighting design when you get back here,”?
“Well that is one of my favorite topics, I can give you hours of tape if you have the time,”.
“I’m on shift until 3, think you can make it before 5 because I do have a class and then a study session for my midterms in theater history,”?
“Depends on what the doctor says, but I will make it a point ot be back here this afternoon,”.
“What time is your doctor appointment,”?
“It’s at 9:30, buy you know me, I hate being late,”/
“Twenty minutes early or you are thirty minutes late,”.
“Yep, kept me in everyone’s good graces for decades,”.
“Here’s your redeye, extra shot and everything bagel toasted with cream chesse, you need anything else,”?
“Nah, that should keep me going for a few hours, and yes I promise to grab some lunch after the doctors office,”.
“Someone has to nag you until I graduate,”.
With that, he took his drink and bagel to the comfy couch. Just like always he melted right into it and did not want to get up for hours. There were a few books ad magazines on the low coffee table. The table was weather beaten and abused with chips and cracks from having cups dropped and boots clumped on top of it. He quickly scanned his choices and mentally noted that he had read most of the books and the magazines ranged from local zines to mainstream commercial publications. He opened his bag and pulled out a copy of The Paris Review that he was working through. It was a nice issue, the short stories were good, the poetry sometimes went over his head and the interviews were what he really sank his teeth in. Opening the book, he found the dog-eared page where he left off from last time and began in earnest to waste some time and not think about what was to come.
He started drinking the redeye, the bitterness, and the strength of the dark roast coffee that the shop specialized in warmed him up on this cool day. When he felt the caffeine jolt he read faster and took a bite of the toasted bagel. The seeds dropping onto the napkin and he decided it would be better to smear the cream cheese on it versus just dragging the bagel through it. Picking up the knife, he felt a little woozy, it started from his frontal lobe and made its way back to the center. This was his “new normal”, once the episode had passed, he put down the book and pulled out his notepad where he tracked his episodes. He tabbed through about forty pages of notes he had been taking this past year on his episodes as his doctor instructed, describing the episode, where it started, the duration and any feelings or incidents that happened while the episode took place. This was a minor one, but he knew from previous experience that he would forget or just disregard the episode and his doctor would become upset at his lack of diligence. He could hear his doctor’s gentle rebuke of him for not noting, so this year he stayed diligent in tracking these times.
Once the episode had passed and he noted the effects carefully, he went back to drinking the red eye and munching on the bagel while reading his book. It was when his phone vibrated that he noticed he had been on the same page for what seemed like an eternity. He blinked his eyes a few times and Cheryl the barista was next to him gently shaking him from his slumber.
“I don’t know anyone that can down a whole red eye in the middle of the morning and fall asleep, you are giving me a bad name Carl,” she said as he slowly came back to reality.
“Its not you, just had a rough night last, didn’t get a whole lot of sleep,” he replied embarrassed that he had fallen asleep.
“Are you feeling okay, I didn’t want to disturb you, but I know we are going to have the mid-morning rush in a few and you have a doctor’s appointment to get to,” she said with concern in her voice.
“yeah, no, I mean, yeah 9:30 is the appointment and my phone’s alarm just went off, I should be good to go,” he said. Looking into his drink, most of it was gone and what remained of the bagel was enough for one bite. He ate the rest of it, gulped down the remaining drink and put away the book in his backpack. Slowly he stood and Cheryl handed him a fresh to go cup of black coffee.
“Black as your soul, are you going to be okay getting to the doctors office, you can always uber it up there and back,” she asked.
“No need, plus I put just enough in the meter so I gotta move the car anyhow,”.
“They don’t usually start ticketing until noon, you could just leave it here,” she replied.
“Nope, I don’t trust anyone else driving but my own. Honestly I am fine, I put it down in the tracker and I will make sure to report it to the doc, thank you for the togo cup, how much do I owe you,” he asked?
“You got enough on your card for a free one, don’t worry about it, just get there safe and if you are up to it we can do the dialogue thing later today, but if not no worries we will handle it later,” she said.
“I can’t let a fellow lighting designer down; I’ll be here this afternoon. Hey thanks, I will be fine,” he said. With that he left the coffee shop and went outside to the cool air. It woke him up better than the red eye.
Cheryl looked after him as he left, worried that he would get into an accident or something.
To reach out to me, email email@example.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and lets start that conversation.