Sicily – September 22, 2015

Complaining can feel good, but cannot be sustained before absurdity takes over. An aria of self-pity, however entertaining, doesn’t play well to an audience of myself. Therefore, not sleeping efficiently or at all is really a big ‘so what.’

Harken. I lay in bed, lying awake, waiting for Erice’s goddamn bells. Every quarter hour, a peel counts the hours and then, a sweet little afterthought ding, one, two, or three, to indicate which quarter it was. So easy to anticipate: so easy to get wrong: so easy to hate.

Tuesday is a wash. We have workshop; I am inattentive, lost in non-thought. Caffeine and resentment just prolong the misery. Finally, I bolt when a pair of gray lunch sausages settles in front of me.

I let my friend Katie know of my need to duck out of our afternoon plans and slither up to my room and into my bed. Two hours later, I am awoken by a solicitous knock and rouse myself, restored. A shower enables me to resume the human pantomime. People come up to me, cocking their heads and clucking. I respond brightly, idiotically. Fuck jetlag. No – Fuck TriQuarterly and their otherworldly request.

The afternoon, I spend taking care of life details. Then there’s the wine-and-cheese reception and poetry reading in the secluded garden overlook where a semicircle of white plastic armchairs mirrors the sweep of in a grand, but treacherously worn staircase. Natasha Trethewey reads her lovely poems, as does Hope Maxwell Snyder. I do not drowse. Dinner follows, always at eight o’clock, European-style. I sit next to Patricia Hampl and across from Lynn Freed and have a great old chinwag.

I conk out. Big fucking deal.

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