The supervisor keeps waving her hands outside my classroom. I see her through the little window in the door. I tell my students to hold on a second. She says no hats on. I say okay. Take my hat off. Says she wants to observe my classroom. Of course, I say. You’re always welcome. How about Monday, she says. Whenever you like, I say, flipping my hat in my hands. 

I defended my thesis today. That’s how the describe the process—a thesis defense. I think that’s an antiquated and overly aggressive description for a conversation about art and autobiography and school and honesty and censorship and being a dad and editing and the reader’s preferences and falling in love with patience and slow food. This morning’s thesis defense was a me-focused therapy session, carefully examining the I-Me-My I put forth in the bound version of the Alt Dad Diary: Vol 1: Dear Mom, I Have A Daughter. It’ll be available soon for 99 centavos. 

One thing that came up was how impatient I am. My mentor said he could see it on the page, feel it flailing about. Like I’ll say one MEGA thing on one line, or one paragraph, and then never return to it. Like gone with the ADD wind. My mentor said-asked whether this mania was the animating energy behind alcoholism, ultra-running, grief. The term is graphomaniac—someone who writes compulsively. The question, for the academy, the school question, is whether the work product is artistic enough. Or if it’s just mud flung on the dry wall. 

Just listened to this podcast that said you can improve your gut biome not just be eating whole fruits and veggies but by breathing various types of air—go to the swamp, river, mountains, meadow. Sit next to a fern and read a book in the stippled shadow. 

See that non-sequitur. See the move from mud on dry wall to fern. See it?

The supervisor keeps waving her hands. And this time she had her supervisor with her. I lifted my hat off, and I said my hair is messy, I think out of decency and civility I should leave my hat on. The supervisor’s supervisor smiled and said I like your hair Ryan, I think it looks nice. She squinted and asked me what’s wrong with it. I smiled because the conversation had shifted from take off your hat you son of a bitch to we really really like my hair. 

I threw up stomach acid last night. I don’t know why. I took some Teasel root on an empty stomach, maybe that? The fan was blowing and the window was open—maybe I got too cold. Or maybe there was something deep in my gut that wanted out. 

All these non-sequiturs. Where are they going? What theme are they pointing toward? 

Of course now I want a Garmin watch to track my training mileage and pace and heart rate. And of course I’m buying the model from five years ago on eBay that’s only $14. 

The landlord said he would come today at 12:30 to fix the leaking kitchen sink. 

At 1:15, Kate has to meet with her boss too. Uh oh. 

I worked at a coffeeshop named Goodbye Blue Monday for a year after I graduated college and listened to my boss named Dan Riggins tell me about punk rock and Iggy pop and I consequently got to know the song Lust for Life really well. Maybe that’s what this graphomaniac diary called Alt Dad Diary is all about. Maybe anxiety and non-sequitur flitting and floating is really a uncoordinated and unchoreographed dance to headphones, so you can’t hear the music, but you see the results, you see the gyrating grinding guzzling gimme gimme gimme.