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Thirteen books down, twenty-seven to go.

Caught Patti Smith at Columbia with Derrick and Jennie. Patti spat on the stage of Miller Theater, about two feet from where David Remnick interviewed Joan Didion. Hot.

Best buddy Brian visited from Los Angeles. He took this picture:

I’m all, like, get me the fuck out of New York before I turn into one of these.

Over a nice pasta dinner and, later, a chocolate eclair at the Hungarian Pastry Shop, I think I sweet-talked him into considering a move back “home,” as I’m now calling it. I’m all about getting mi familia set up on the West Coast again, where we can age gracefully together, renting male escorts for each other’s retirement parties and breaking our hips on the hills of San Francisco.

What else?

I read Proust during the blizzard, er the Blizzard of ‘06. I’m sorry, y’all, but a blizzard ain’t a blizzard when you don’t have a car, a driveway, or a sidewalk to shovel. My feet got wet crossing Broadway, but that’s all I can say. Between that and sitting in overheated, drafty classrooms with a bunch of coughing, wheezing Ivy Leaguers who can’t bear to take a sick day or two, and it’s caught up to me. So I gave myself permission to finish season four of 24. I know I’m coming to it rather late, but did anyone else get the creeps watching everyone on the show gradually turn into Dick Cheney? I thought they were going to take the lawyer from “Amnesty Global” out back and use him and the Secretary of Defense’s gay son for target practice.

Should be obvious by now; there comes a moment in every semester when my gym routine falls away, I catch the flu, and I turn into an insecure bitch. Or I reveal the insecure bitch, depending on your level of optimism. I’m burnt out, I’m sick of workshop, sick of turning in first drafts, sick of being critiqued. I feel like everything’s about six inches away from my face, and of the millions of words I’ve consumed in the last two years, my current favorite is retreat.

At one point in Proust’s Swann’s Way, the character M. Legrandin corners little Marcel and says, “I have every useless thing in the world in my house there. The only thing wanting is the necessary thing, a great patch of open blue sky like this. Always try to keep a patch of sky above your life, little boy. You have a soul in you of rare quality, an artist’s nature; never let it starve for lack of what it needs.”

The great thing about books is that you can always find what you need in them; no matter what you want, there’s something in there that’ll fit.

I got my carrot on a stick, though. Columbia sent me an email last week, asking if I would be renewing my lease at the end of May. I wrote back, “no.”

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