color is its own reward.

Day -24 | Hammered Every Night | Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese is a Bargain

Seinfeld must have never gotten his period.

I read somewhere Jerry keeps a calendar on his wall to track his progress with writing. Each day he writes, he marks a red X across the day.

The purpose?

He says it’s a mechanism to encourage him to write every day. That it’s too overwhelming to sit down and write 1,000 jokes at once. The number of days he’s X’d off in a month, tacked to one of his stately walls in Billy Joel’s former East Hampton estate, gives him an illustration of just how dedicated he’s been to the endeavor.

It gave me an idea. Not to track the days I write but the days I drink.

Rather, not drink.

There’s four consecutive red X’s in a pocket-sized calendar that Ted absconded from his employer (he thinks anything free is worth something). January 17-20th. I didn’t drink these days; lapsed on the 21st.

The parallel?

Any girl would recognize it. The dreaded event “Aunt Rose Takes the Red Eye” is plastered in red across four days each month in my Google Calendar.

Back to the intent of the no-drink calendar. I forfeit an hour in writing the day following the nights I drink and two hours in reading the days I begin to drown my intellect at 7:00 p.m. The [five] days I haven’t drank in January, thus far, have bought me fifteen hours of productivity.

I can’t get my ass to Faulkner, but it’s a start, right?

pic-red-crayon-sweatingI got up this morning, didn’t drink the night before (couldn’t bear the thought of rewinding the last two hours of the Pats/Steelers game to learn by which tactics we conquered in detail), fumbled for the no-drinking calendar as if reaching for a glistening cold, pale gold pilsner of Stella Artois, the head on it audacious and bodacious and beckoning, and made my mark. Crayon to paper, tracing the lines back and forth.

Isn’t it nice to be up early? Clearheaded?

I choose a song in which to begin my day, an inkling of inspiration. Today it’s Radiohead’s Codex. Rolling Stone describes the song as an invitation to leap into the unknown. It’s just Yorke at the piano accompanied by what sounds like a very depressed EKG machine; the melody luxuriates in pillowy ache, the lyrics are at once reassuring and creepy.

Bear with me.

Can an EKG machine sound depressing? It beeps and blimps, there’s no heartbeat.

Trust me, I know.

I used to collapse to the floor in the throes of tachycardia and I’m well-acquainted with the sound of an EKG. And if you watch The King of Limbs—Live from the Basement on YouTube, Thom is by no means creating the semblance of song by his lonesome.

Jump off the end / The water’s clear and innocent

Only little Thom Yorke could turn the prompt to kill yourself into a melodic lullaby. Not quite inspirational.

I love it, though, don’t you?

And these days, can lyrics be at once reassuring and creepy? With all the darkness that’s prominent on TV? I don’t think Yorke’s lyrics are creepy. The Rolling Stone writer has Creep imprinted on his brain, a song Radiohead has notoriously escaped playing live for decades.

I digress.

My blood, pumped by my heart and through my uterus, which hopefully is not nurturing a fetus [still no period], is the same color red I scratch down on the no-drink calendar.

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