2 am Notes from AWP:

by Jeff Oaks

1) Because my body wakes up when the alcohol leaves it in the middle of the night, I don’t usually drink anymore. It was only two lovely gin and tonics though, and the guys in the bar were cute.

2) A text from another old friend. They’re in the bar. Come down. I was already asleep and all my alerts on silent.

3) The iPhone’s little moonlight by which to write these notes for the day. My roommate’s regular breathing the rhythm.

4) I don’t like to say goodbye to anything anymore. I’ll try anything once again.

5) At least my insomnia is now on Pacific Standard Time.

6) How many discussions revolve here around submissions? The woman who, as a Graywolf editor said Nice to meet you, involuntarily (so it seemed) curtsied.

7) Another friend who recommended I get the shirt from Submittable.

8) Breakfast is already planned. Most of Saturday. I’m already thinking about the gym. I walked 25,000 steps yesterday.

9) We walked to the water and its darkness. We looked for the friends whose birthday it was. We sent texts. We talked about our lives. There were no answers. Eventually we took ourselves out.

10) Sometimes I like the little solitude the insomniac gets to think in. But you can’t live there long, revising everything.

11) An old friend, his name changed, is even sweeter than he always was. I rejoice in his first book. A newly tenured friend introduces me as her teacher. Tomorrow a former student reads from her first book. Out of the mass of faces, a man appears, shakes my hand; I had a terrible crush on him when we worked together. Now we’re two administrators with goatees, tired eyes, lanyards with our affiliations clearly printed out, lamenting enrollments, forgetting those beautiful bodies we had.

12) The gym here is always open. You can work out your sleeplessness staring at the sleeping city. I almost burst out singing after the first ten minutes on the elliptical. I couldn’t tell if I were running or dancing.