“Just saw Taxi Blues at the glorious Music Box Theatre. There were women speaking Russian in the lobby.”
That is an excerpt from my Sketchbook of the Mind that I began on October 4, 1990. It is the first journal, or SotM, of the years I lived in Chicago. Those journals and many entries just like the one above are the backbone of Tripio. That particular entry did not make it into Tripio, though reading it now I am forced to consider why it didn’t. Especially as it concludes several lines later with a mention of the “Kati” character in the book.
I just read the entire entry again and am almost angry at myself for not including it in Tripio. The entry mentions work and loneliness. I know where I would have written it into Tripio. I may have simply missed it as I combed through the three or four journals that I used extensively to first generate, then populate Tripio. I may have simply put the journal down and stepped away to grab another cup of coffee or put a load of laundry in the dryer, came back to my desk, absentmindedly turned the page, and that was it.
If I had found that entry I may have started a paragraph with it. I may have used only that line or maybe used the entire entry. Or, I may have parsed the entry out and used a sentence here or there. I am not second guessing myself and Tripio is no worse for not using it. In this expert, Jay, the main character in Tripio waves to the Russian women just as they turn away from him. He had taken Russian in college. He wanted a connection to someone. His next thought is that he wants to go to his apartment and “sleep on the floor and I don’t care if the place needs to be cleaned”.
Hmmmm. Maybe I can put it in Tripio. I am now clearly second guessing myself. After all, that flexibility is part of the appeal of direct publishing. But where would it end? Too scary to contemplate right now. However, the excerpt does capture Jay’s state of mind and being for the first third of Tripio. He is lonely and living in Chicago and Kati is on his mind. He has found places to go like the Music Box theatre but lacks something. Something is missing in his life.
I can only hope that the reader can “feel” that excerpt as they read Tripio. After all, the book is finished. Damn. They will get it won’t they? There are lots of other entries in Tripio and they will connect the reader to Jay. Right?
“May I help who’s next?”