In the Slovenate we are a hierarchy of hastily put-together tunnel-visioned beasts. If you wake up early enough, you might catch glimpse of some of us slouching toward our academic buildings — our hair stuffed into elastic ties that are soggy from the shower where they stuck wristwise, pants wrinkled, novelty cat-print socks bulging from the tops of our faux menswear black leather dress shoes with elastic ties where the laces ought to be. We have order, albeit the kind that people don’t tend to notice when we hold up the line at the library’s front desk.
I think it’s important to find this order. It’s not the same for all of us. As for me, I’m a compulsive cleaner who can’t seem to keep the desk free of clutter for more than a day or two. At this moment, as I am breathing, I am fairly confident that there is a small hill of clothing in front of my bed. Perhaps I will tidy before I sleep.
And, for me, there is a special kind of joy in that sleep that you slink into after a long day at the desk, thinking about problems, and answers, and answers to the problems, and problems with the answers.
I have a favorite bit of nighttime reading. It’s a sort of ritual to wander through a few of John Berryman’s dream songs before sleep — that is, when I know where my copy is. It is a book in pitiable condition and I love it the most. The cover, once fresh and crisp and 90-degree-angled, has been secured by a few coatings of clear packing tape. When I lived a summer in Germany it was the only book I took. And wonderfully so.
I hope all of you are having a fine day in whatever order you’ve established for yourself. Before too long, it will be time for me to turn in. If not my copy of Dream Songs, I hope to be able to get an article or two finished before I sleep.