Like right now. When you’re lying on a couch in Napa, an artists’ commune, at the end of a tiring night full of sweet wine and empty beer bottles. A day that included a drive north from the city. Making new friends and being pleasant with many more. Alcohol and weed and hours of talking make for imperfect writing conditions. But write out a few sentences until your eyes begin to roll back. The raindrops lull you off, or if they don’t then the frogs surely do. There will be more time to write tomorrow.

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Heraclitus was a Greek scholar who lived and died in the years around 500 BCE. Core to his philosophy was the acknowledgement of continual change in the world. He is attributed to many wise aphorisms, several of which have become something like modern philosophic clichés such as “the only thing that is constant is change”. Personally, I prefer the slightly wordier version of this sentiment:

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When I moved to San Francisco in 2012, I lived out my first six months in a quirky, sublet apartment in Western Addition (North of Panhandle, colloquially), near the intersection of Clayton and Hayes Street. I met my roommate, Jim, on Craigslist, and some weeks later we were moving into the top-floor unit of a yellow, two-story, Arts & Crafts inspired house. Kitchen, two bedrooms, split bathroom and shower. No living room. A kook of a landlord (but we’ll save that for another story).

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I just don’t think I am. On the spectrum of “Can Write; Will Write” to “Is a Writer” I am currently flush against the low end, painstakingly fussing over my words to assemble a few paragraphs each night that manage to be coherent and include a strong concluding sentence. The strong concluding sentence is important because it provides the allusion that I have words and wisdom for days stored up inside of me.

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Tonight I went out to see some bluegrass. Honest-to-pete bluegrass, with mandolin, banjo, harmonica and bass fiddle ablaze and feet all around stomping to the beat. The bands played originals as well as traditional bluegrass, and some covered Bowie songs in honor of the late idol’s passing. They all played at a small joint called Driftwood on Folsom Street.

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