03/20/2021 1 By BuddyCushman

It’s 7:35 Friday night. I worked for a youth organization once named 735. Back in Melrose, Massachusetts. Lot of my changes there, the North Shore, all those kid outfits, all the roles I took, all the way up to Director level over and over again. We got good work done a lot of the time, here and there, they call it human services, and I’m thinking it was my inherent business to stress the human. So I’m sitting waiting for a Zoom thing, it’ll be in Oakland, CA, where more changes took place and I walked those streets and around and around the Lake, and I got to smile at the races – and mean it – which is one of the real good deals in Oakland. Everyone that’s an American ought to walk that Lake at least a couple of times.

I spent some of the hours of the day, this one, Friday, internal weather, rearranging books and pulling out sacred books I’ve owned 50 years now for donating to free little libraries, around here in Portland, maybe 50 or more in three paper bags, making way for newer books in piles all over, and my wife is off on a three-day silent retreat and when she comes back she’ll be happy to see the reduced clutter, and maybe notice I used lemon oil to polish the book cases, and I put all the Kerouac’s and Ginsberg’s and Burrough’s on one shelf, stuff slightly more organized, poetry with poetry, books on how to write better sidled up together, books about musicians together on the landing except Dylan’s ‘Chronicles Vol 1’ over with the Philip K Dick and some other good stuff.

Man, I love books, I love sitting here at the keyboard and over there with a Bic medium pen, blue, spilling my guts in my Morning Pages notebook every morning. I love my pencils and pens and lately I’ve spent money on charcoal and drawing pads and steno pads and number 8 thick pencils and I’m drawing kitties and cats all the time, there’s pulled-off drawn sheets everywhere and I’m having this fantasy/dream/planful thinking that I will collect all those feline creations and create a book of drawings and I know I likely won’t sell even one and, honestly, my caring about the investments and devotions of other folks has dipped bigtime.

And maybe all this thinking and two-finger typing and typos I have to stop and fix, maybe this is clutter. Clutter. On a Friday night. Before Zoom. Around Oakland. All these cats. Sacred books.