When you have twelve dogs, keeping a small house clean is close to being impossible. Tara & I have been showing our little house to potential buyers. And every day, the house needs cleaned & cleaned. All the hair & food & dirt needs to be swept from the floor. Every day, dishes need to be washed, put into the dishwasher… dirty laundry needs put away.

And let’s not get into my work/writing space. That always remains a wreck of Post-It notes, stacks of manuscript pages, cuttings, open books with highlighted, helpful passages, & print-outs.

Windows & doors need to be open. Fresh air & air fresheners need to cut away the smell of dog & cigarette smoke.

Right now: the house is ready for a showing. Our new home is bought – paid for, in full, & waiting. Tara is doing some laundry. I’m simultaneously writing this piece, & reading an excerpt of Barr Miles’ biography on Charles Bukowski, a book I received in the mail, today. I’m running on this trip to replace the books I lost to flames in Ohio. First Editions that were packed away & in storage. They succumbed to Black Mold, hence put into a bonfire that licked up & burned the pages as fast as the tears ran down my face.

At one time, I had over a thousand titles. Dozens of writers. Writers such as Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack Kerouac & the like. Some editions were signed.

Many things were lost when I abandoned life. When the divorce happened, all I cared about was getting drunk. Black-out drunk. Not caring about the treasures I had.

Now: I am digging & searching for those treasures again.


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