Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Juju, Please

I’m sitting in my workshop/shed/studio, watching my monitor fade in and out as demand for electricity grows. The air conditioner chugs along gamely, conditioning precious little. It’s 101.3F outside, give or take. Watered extra this morning, the basil has ceased screaming for mercy and begun to cringe. The garden sends up scattered puffs of dust. Even the birds are wilted.

Power has gone out twice today, which presumably will culminate in a more serious, more protracted outage later.

Still, it’s better than the floods. Less messy.

Breathing the air is like breathing tweed.

The heat pump, sounding like a fifty pound cicada, hasn’t shut down all day. It’s nice in the house. Cool, even cold, if you sit around long. The good computer’s inside, cool, edge, while out here there’s just this old ’98 machine, a pretty good typewriter/dictionary. The reason I’m out here enduring the elements is simple: out here I can smoke while I type.

This isn’t simple perversity. I can’t seem to find the keys I need unless I’m squinting through a ribbon of blue Virginia smoke. With it, I’m dead accurate. But it’s more than a question of dexterity. Smoke has become part of the psychic space I need to inhabit as I approach writing, part of a chain of conditioning that leads to the fingertips on the keys. At times I’ve given it up, and things didn’t work quite correctly, even after a year. I always felt about three degrees off. Now I limit it to parties and studio time. Bad, I know.

But I’ll bet everyone does something, some little indispensable juju, to get the jujuices moving. I, for one,, could stand to find something workable, so if you’d care to share…



  1. Yes, guilty smoker as well and apart from all my 'juju' items around me I have to sit cross-legged when writing. This caused hours of endless fun when searching for a new chair, and some very odd looks from shop staff as I tried to wedge myself into various styles.
    Also have a favourite chinese silk cushion that supports my back, a stack of 'moody' music, bowl of olives or pistachios and my lucky elephant ashtray (which I suppose is not so lucky really because it doesn't help me give up).

  2. Anonymous4:58 am

    Your are Excellent. And so is your site! Keep up the good work. Bookmarked.

  3. Interesting...I hadn't thought about it before. I live in a house with too many little people, so I can't afford to have too many 'juju' luxuries, but I need to work on a computer--even for journal writing--cannot do the longhand thing. I need to hear the click of keys. And I MUST have a window to stare out of, and preferably a tree outside of it.