Sunday, January 6, 2008
I’m crepuscular to nocturnal; my energy rises with the setting of the sun. I’ve been off work for two weeks and for two weeks I’ve been up later and later still, reading, walking, and running in the dark. On Friday my sister's dog died and I put on my I-pod (finally put away my walkman thanks to Wendy)and ran for 4.53 miles, up Beaumont, down Alberta, to the Kennedy School, and home. I ran through a windstorm, pushed back at the wind like I wish I could have pushed back at Graciano's death. Tonight I walked Maya up Beaumont, following the energy of the click of my boot heels in the damp asphalt. Maya creeps along beside me, her primal figure like a spirit shadow at my side. I have always risen to the moon. In college I would sleep by day and jog by night. In Turkey I would blend in with the Ramazan crowds thronging the streets to devour food before the sunlit fasts. The shadows fill my mind with thoughts, and the quiet covers me.
There are many night scenes in my novel. My darkest place is when Cheng falls into the dark of a cave. I wanted to bring him to a primal place of fear, deep in the earth, and muggy with sulfurous underground hot springs. When I was in college, we went spelunking in Wales. I broke my glasses in half sliding down the impossibly small holes. At the end of the adventure we were asked to wedge ourselves between tight slabs of rock and slither to the exit. My fears pressed from me like olive oil, and I rolled out, strengthened and whole. I wanted to do this to Cheng. To make him face his own primal self, to see it, face it, crawl through it, and come out whole.