There are homeless everywhere. [Editor’s Note: The author means everywhere in the world, not everywhere in Kraków. Clearly. Don’t get angry at me, Krakovians, get angry at the writer’s poor command of context.] Okay, maybe he wasn’t homeless. Maybe they weren’t homeless, but I had two guys in the Christmas Market ask me if I had money for the hot mulled wine that is the specialty alcohol served there. Did they want the alcohol? Just the money? Were they asking me because I was walking around drinking a cup of it or because I had just bought one? The price of a cup is five zloty so it’s close to, but not quite as if, someone asking for five dollars instead of the usual dollar, change, or whatever you can spare. Maybe the hope is that the Christmas Market makes spiritual givers of us all (even though it’s all about buying).
One of the guys I noticed as strange long before he asked me. He was dressed in blue jeans and leather, looking a little like a biker, a little like my old friend Dave might in twenty years (assuming he stays in shape and keeps his hair long). He had grey hair, sort of curly, down to his shoulders, though most of it was fanned out behind his head, windblown. He looked like a traveler, like another lost soul in Kraków, and I guess I was right on.
Even in winter, couples abound, as do families, as do small groups of friends. I suppose it’s better than a thorough nation of individuals wandering like elements of Brownian motion, but it doesn’t make an individual feel much except individual.
Writing one of these things every day brings my inventiveness to new lows: The purpose here is to share my life, not necessarily entertain, though hopefully the twain will meet (the mark). Still, as with past trips, it seems most of the writing that I do is writing about the trip, experiences, feelings, etc., either here or in various journals. Most creative writing is pushed to the wayside. Sickness especially sickens all else but the whinging.
One more interview, and this is the one that I’m most excited about and the most scared about. I realize, from the first two interviews, that the tone and success of an interview depends as much on the meshing of the styles of the interviewers and interviewee as it does preparation on, well, either side. Still, I feel that the St. Lawrence interview has the strongest possibility of throwing questions at me I’m completely unprepared for (for example, about critical theory) and I’m not sure how to prepare. I’ll do my best, though, tomorrow and Friday.
I guess that in the middle of the [NAME WITHHELD FOR SECURITY REASONS] interview today I realized that I might not like it there, and so my brain shut off for internal, instinctual reasons. Sure, I think I could do well there, and there are a lot of interesting opportunities and challenges, but there’s a lack of a <click>. Maybe it was the lag or the crappy connection, or maybe it wasn’t, but at the end of each of my answers there was an uncomfortable pause as though they were saying to themselves, “That’s it?” (Granted, I think I was scatterbrained, both because of the questions they asked and because of the faulty connection) Another element that through me is that they asked me questions that I felt I had addressed in the letter, which then made me feel like they hadn’t prepared for my interview, but which also caused me to try and scrounge up something new that they hadn’t heard yet (Flounder! Flounder! Here, boy!).
Finding oneself looking through all the letters sent out to all the schools is a tad bit depressing (even if there’re a significant number whose deadlines aren’t until after the new year, here called Sylwester (Pronounced like the cat) for some as yet undisclosed reason) since it’s simply a record of hopes thrown into the air like doves from Noah’s hand. Even a successfully garnered interview is only one step closer to one step to go to a decision.
Last night I found myself unable to sleep at a decent hour and my mind racing with ideas about A Day in the Life (the TV series I’m working on, and have been for years, at a snail’s pace), good ideas, and if this trend continues, I may end up staying up and writing rather than trying to sleep. I should do that. I mean, I really should do that. What heed to schedule must I give? None. Zip. Prada.
However, my mind always works towards “responsibility”, even if my body keeps me in bed till eleven and I don’t end up leaving the apartment before 1 pm. However, if I could learn to be beholden to the writing (and find a way to keep warm at the same time) I would. As it is now, I wait for the images, words, phrases, etc. in my mind to build themselves into something I’d be sorry to let go, so sorry I throw the covers off, wake up the computer, and type down the bits of ideas. I’m excited enough about A Day in the Life that I’m almost tempted to ask for help writing it from others, but I’m too jealous of the fun of coming up with the ideas and writing them into executions. Just remember, they are interesting and funny executions.
(With poems it’s easier. I just have to jot the lines down on a scrap bit of paper, such as the desire to write a poem titled Margoth Mammon Emerges from the Sea. And, yes, it’s about what it sounds like, except funnier (at times) (I imagine, since it has yet to be written) and in the voice of Mr. Margoth Mammon.)
It seems everyone else’s apartment that I can see has shades. Why is mine faulty? If by some miracle, I received the Amy Lowell Traveling Fellowship I’m not sure what I would do: My plan before was always to come to Poland and spend my year here, and I still might, but I’d be pretty picky about the apartment I rented. This apartment is great for lots of reasons (location, floor, location, washer/dryer, location) but I think I’d strive for something better or, at least, more suitable (for example, there’s one entire room I’m not using except to store my traveling gear).
This is one painting I’ve found that I’ve thought of using for the cover of my next book. It’s The Frenzy of Ecstasy by an artist named Podkowinski. The other idea I had for a cover uses a personal photograph in the book Phantasmagoria by Marina Warner, but she’s hard to get reach of, and I’m not sure if she’d be amenable. The benefit with Podkowinski is that he’s dead and so not likely to put up much of a fight as to how his images are used.