I woke up before 5 this morning–a combination of nursing the ankle-impaired guy in bed with me and hearing my daughter getting ready to run out to her insanely early morning babysitting job, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. In fact I didn’t want to. I felt a little tug towards the computer, a little sentimental about the crazy old days when I needed to be up so early to transform the whirring in my head into the durned Insiders’ Guide to Richmond in between running around to wineries, Civil War battlefields, and restaurants.  

Ah, to work in the hushed, dark morning when the phone wouldn’t ring and when I couldn’t possibly have to call 500 people to fact check everything–such a relief. To see the empty cans piling up by the sink, and at 3 in the afternoon I’d pad out to the recycling bin in my pjs and chuck ‘em in. I think it was the only time in my life I felt a kinship with those gin-swilling, smoking fiction writers who  go on benders. I didn’t leave the house much either for days at a time, but the difference is the cans were sparkling water and what was hanging out of my mouth wasn’t a cigarette but a chocolate bar.

I was so efficient back in the day–the writing while sleeping, editing while peeing—time-saving multi-tasking. I never quite got to the point where I ate in the bathroom and I never figured out how to write in the shower, but it was close.  I do remember really missing the outside world–my yard, my weeds–anything tactile besides the keyboard and candy wrappers.

And now I’ve gone back to a semi-normal existence of not getting a damned thing done and there are still people at James River Cellars , just a few miles away, making wine today. I could use a bottle of their Chardonel (what they call their Hot Tub wine) right about now.

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