Mike looked at the red in the bowl. How do they do this, the winemakers? He rose from his chair and walked downstairs. What would he do for the rest of the evening? He could call some of the guys, but his balance couldn’t take anymore hits. Caged in the condo. That’d be a good title for...something. He opened one of his flip- pads. Room Notes would fill the time more effectively than the fucking TV.
Phone. “Hello?” Mike didn’t want to talk, at all. He didn’t know want was to be in this night’s agenda.
“Maddenson, what’s good? You gonna come get a beer with us?” Cameron’s voice charged from the earpiece like a horde of hungry syllables, in need of an eardrum through which to puncture.
“Not tonight, Cam. I have so much to do and I can’t afford to be going out anytime soon. Need to keep myself here, be disciplined, for once,” Mike said, knowing he would regret this as soon as the call dissolved.
“Not even one beer?”
“Sorry buddy. Gotta be good tonight.” It felt good for Mike to say this. Was he finally exercising restraint of some kind?
“Alright. Have a good one, Mikey. Call us if you change your mind.”
“I will.” After the phone was set back on the uninviting, cheap, plastic-ish charger, Mike thought if he should have said yes to going out, gather intel on his characters in a setting social. He was trying to justify a mind change. He knew what they were like outside the Room. He needed to save money. Not just pinch pennies, hide them from himself.
He needed funds now. As much as he adored the Room, it did not pay for what he lunged. The flip-pad open. He surveyed his capturings from shifts past.
T 12/29/09. Watching snow, writing about it. What else would a reader expect me to do? How often does it snow here in the wine country with the sun still a bit visible. With every new year, it seems, follows a canoe of resolutions sure to sink. Not this year, 2010. No more outlining, only action. But that, of itself, is a resolution, hope for a new Now.
Forcing my Self to write. A penman of waste, matterless matter that will never, and should never, matter.
Mike closed the little book of notes. Time for dinner. Cat food, he thought, was sure, all he’d find this night. Decided to stay in front of the screen, ignore his grieving core, the internal tremors, rumbles. He continued to flip through the mini-pages.
Late 20s guy, dropping off his resume. In a good mood, I give him a comp tasting, four wines, Sauv Blanc to a Russian River Cab. He kept on about how much free wine we get working here. He really wanted to work the next barrel tasting. He asked, “So after barrel tastings you guys probably get to take home a bunch of wine, huh?” After moving through the wines, he continued his free wine investigation. Wonder why he wants to pour here.
The vines, out there, just beyond the lawn, wonder what they’re doing that we can’t see.
One of our Zins, the “bully in a bottle,” as I call it, a favorite today, guests and me. Taking a sip...wait...reminded why I love the alpha Zin.
Ate three little trays of the amuse bouche. Still hungry. Hate having to eat on a schedule someone else contrived.
Mike was bored from his notes. He picked up the phone, dialed Cam, but stopped before the last digit. TV, on. Not what he wanted to do. Reality TV, sports, movies de-gutted by censors. Mike picked the pad back up, with its lucrative little scribbles. Read.
Wine, wine, wine. Keep it at all times in this mind.
He opened a bottle of Grenache that Mom and Dad gave him as an unexpected gift a couple months ago. He was going to save it for an outing with Alice, but he needed speed. He needed to be productive to some degree this evening.
First sip, the notes grappled with his cognition. He didn’t want to write, just enjoy the potion tumbling towards his center. He picked up the little pad of pages, made some notes of this now, the Room of the encaging condo.
Wine, for me. Not guests pestering me.
Turning off this malignant TV.
His phone rang. The screen let him know it was Cameron. He wouldn’t pick up. A conversation would wreck the Room, this Room. He delighted in being caged, could breath on his schedule. The Grenache’s cherry and pepper tunes threaded themselves into Mike’s imaginative web. This moment, better than a shift in the Room. He discovered a new Room, a new Now.