Uptown Rantz

Don't Wanna Be No Uptown Fool

Lawn Mowing at 1:15 a.m.

Mowing the lawn at 1:15 a.m. doesn’t seem weird when you’re actually doing it. Maybe when you’re thinking about doing it, or hear of someone else doing it, but not when you’re the one actually pushing the grass cutter in the moment. It’s an old-fashioned motor-less rotating blade mower propelled only by my farmer tanned arms and legs. Besides, my immediate neighbors are shielded from anything I’m doing by the whirr of their air conditioners on this humid, mosquito-ridden night.

As I’m mowing I’m thinking about writing. Rarely do I think about the actual writing process…taking an outside my body look at myself and seeing a solitary me writing in a notebook or feverishly typing on my HP. I think of subjects to write about quite often, but not often do I think about the physical act of writing. But I’m doing it as I cut an even diagonal pattern in the front yard.

I’m picturing myself with a job writing position papers for a presidential campaign like that depressed girl’s roommate in Prozac Nation. I see myself as the go-to writer in a political setting like a real-life Sam Seaborn from The West Wing. And then I think about just putting some of my old book journal entries together, calling it a book and self-publishing it like Henry Rollins.

I feel manic. All this thinking about writing has made me restless, happy and focused. I set the mower next to the garage and go straight to the living room closet where all my old book journals are stored in a gray footlocker.

I randomly pick one and open it even though I have zero idea what I’m searching for. I think I’m primarily looking for validation that all these journals…hundreds and hundreds of pages…literary snapshots of my life…that they mean something. I’m expecting them to speak to me and form a synergetic bond with me, like guitars did with Hendrix and Vaughn. To show me that separately, these journals and I are unremarkable carbon-based objects. But once fused we form a nuclear-like union whose sum is more powerful than its individual parts could ever imagine.

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