Monday, March 30, 2015


My day started with breaking my glasses. One of the little plastic oval feet that rest on the side of my nose had been digging into my skin for days, so I went to bend it a little and it snapped off.

I live in near-constant fear of breaking my glasses -- that's an exaggeration, but it's true that it's very often on my mind, because I can't do much of anything without them, can't read, can't leave the house, I don't even like to walk around the apartment without them because I run into things -- but I have an old pair that are close to the same prescription, just not as clear for reading, so I put those on. C dug out some epoxy for me and I glued the nose piece back on. It doesn't swivel like it's supposed to, but maybe it'll be fine.

Writing days have been frustrating the last week or so. I have a couple small things yet to write for Hester Prynne and I can't find anything interesting about them to draw me in. There's no big rush -- we have a nearly-complete first draft and a workshop in the fall at Playwrights Horizons Theater School. We have the summer to get ready, so there's time to get these last bits done. But I have time now, and I want to write.

I want to start a new play or dive back into something old and incomplete, but I have to decide which, so I've been sifting through old notebooks in search of notes or a fragment, a sketch, a story, something to galvanize my artist brain.

The city is replacing the concrete stairway that goes up 10 flights from Broadway to our street and runs right past our apartment. There are 2 parallel staircases. They ripped one out last year and just finished making the new one. Now they're ripping out the other one. A lot of concrete has to be smashed and hauled away. They start at about 8 and stop for the day at about 4. It's very loud.

I decided I was thinking too hard and needed some busywork to get me out of my head. I've been putting it off because it makes me sad, but I'd given up on my worm composting and had to dispose of the bin and its contents, and that seemed like as good a task as any for an already frustrating Monday.

I got the worms about 3 years ago and set up a plastic bin under the sink. They were going to eat my kitchen scraps and make potting soil. I loved those worms, they were easy to care for, and I felt good about doing some small part to keep garbage out of the landfill. But a small bin of worms under the sink, it turns out, eat very little. Very little. Like about a banana peel a week. I cook every day, so they weren't eating more than about 1% of the vegetable scraps I was throwing away. Even though it quickly became clear my worms were no more than a gesture, a ritual of environmental consciousness that wasn't doing anything to actually help the environment, I hated giving up. The ritual was enough for a long time. But then it just started to feel stupid.

I stopped feeding them. A worm composting bin self-regulates. If there's less food, they reproduce less and their numbers dwindle. So after a few months, there was just dirt left. Or so I thought. When I went to empty it out this morning, I found one small worm. One. Since it's spring, I thought it would be fine if I took it out to the front yard. I put it in the sink while I scooped out the dirt and scattered it among our various potted plants. But I forgot it was there when I came back to the sink to wash my hands, and, when I remembered and looked down, it was gone down the drain.

Like my day.

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