Living Out Loud: : Journal -- February 13, 2007

Just another Tuesday

4:00 a.m. — I get out of bed pretty much at the normal time. Spend about an hour or so drinking coffee and working on my novel. I do my best writing in the morning, or so I lie to myself.

5:00 a.m. — Feed my cat Phoebe.

5:10 a.m. — I put up a blog entry on the LOL Blog and check the comments, then go to the CincyNation web site to check out what the weather's going to be. There's freezing rain in the city dropping on about two inches of new snow. Shit.

5:55 a.m. — I'm out of the shower and dressed, have a banana for breakfast. Check my e-mail messages on my computer, and then pack up my stuff for my consulting job downtown.

6:00 a.m. — Stand on the porch of the Roanoke apartment building where I live in Clifton.

Look at the ice on the tree limbs and think to myself how beautiful it is, that Mother Nature is truly a wonderful thing. I almost choke up thinking about how good life really is.

6:03 a.m. — Fall flat on my ass walking to the bus stop. Cursing, I get up and almost fall again. Like an old woman on ice, I finally make it to the bus stop.

7:00 a.m. — I basically crawl back to my apartment. The fucking bus never showed up. I light up a cigarette, only got five left in the pack. I go back to working on the novel, thinking I'll wait for daylight before venturing out again.

8:15 a.m. — My roommate sticks his head in my study. "No school today?" he asks, smiling. I say I'll probably go in later. He says he's going to brave it and go out (He's a member of the Ohio Express; you know the bubblegum rock group from the late 60's who sang "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy." I swear to God this is true — did a Google search on him. I didn't tell him but I think trying to drive on icy roads makes him a "Dummy, Dummy, Dummy").

8:55 a.m. — Out the door again, again fall on my ass. I take it as a sign from God.

9:00 a.m. — I call the office downtown, saying I'm not coming in. Light up another cigarette — now four left in the pack.

10:35 a.m. — Stare at my computer screen - need to come up with a column for February 21. I have no idea what to write.

12:00 p.m. — I stop looking at prom sites and try to decide what to have for lunch. Three cigarettes left.

12:20 p.m. — Have chicken flavored Ramen noodle soup for lunch.

1:00 p.m. — Down to one cigarette, will try to venture out again.

1:45 p.m. — A cold rain is falling, but the sidewalks aren't too slick. As I head over to Keller's IGA, I see approaching me a women I took out a couple years ago. Let's just say it didn't work out and I don't really want her to see me. I pull up the hood on my jacket and pick up my pace, almost falling in some slush on the sidewalk. I think she notices me, but doesn't say anything.

2:00 p.m. — I unpack my stuff from Keller's — cigarettes, cat food, a big bottle of cheap vodka and some tonic water.

3:45 p.m. — Smoke many cigarettes while staring at my computer screen, trying to think of something to write about.

4:00 p.m. — I get an e-mail from the old girlfriend who saw he almost fall down while walking to Keller's. She apparently did know it was me and says it's rude for me not to say hello. She also tells me I look bad and that my hair is too long for someone my age. This reminds me why we broke up. She's Miss Critical.

4:30 p.m. — Fell asleep at my computer trying to think of a column to write — roommate slamming the door wakes me up. I swear to God, he was singing that "Yummy" song as he went down the hallway.

4:45 p.m. — I feed Phoebe.

5:20 p.m. — I get a phone call from a buddy wanting to go over to Northside Tavern. Remembering the number of times on my ass or almost on my ass with the snow and ice, I tell my friend I'm going to pass.

6:00 p.m. — While staring at my computer still trying to come up with an idea for the column, I think of that bottle of vodka in the fridge.

7:00 p.m. — I thought that perhaps drinking would give me an idea for a story, would make me more creative somehow, but now I'm just feeling a little drunk.

7:45 p.m. — Lucinda Williams is a great, you know? I've been listening to "Essence" over and over again. I love that line where she says, "Please come find me and help me get fucked up." That's a great line.

8:15 p.m. — Still drinking. Wasn't I supposed to be working on something?

9:00 p.m. — I'm thinking of that old girlfriend I ran into today. Maybe I should call her, you know, patch things up, but I just practiced talking — not doing it so well right now, will call her tomorrow for sure.

10:15 p.m. — Just woke up at my desk, must have gotten hungry a little bit ago. My head was almost in a tray of Stouffer's Grilled Rosemary Chicken.

11:00 p.m. — I'll have one more drink before going to bed. The column? I'll do it tomorrow. I always write better on Wednesdays anyway.

Check out the Living Out Loud Blog at Larry Gross' Book "Signed, Sealed and Delivered: Stories" is in bookstores now or can be ordered through

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