Lives of Leisure . . . writers and otherwise
(sketch toward a piece aimed at the The New Yorker’s “Shouts and Murmurs” section)
Once, asked about his writing routine, E.L. Doctorow said: “Here’s how it goes: I’m up at the stroke of 10 or 10:30. I have breakfast and read the papers, and then it’s lunchtime. Then maybe a little nap after lunch and out to the gym, and before I know it, it’s time to have a drink.”
From: Writer’s Almanac, January 6, 2012.
1) “‘Scuse me,” John Boener said, firing up another Salem from the one still burning. “My father taught me not to waste matches. Listen, I was born an early riser, like the old man–and let me tell you that ain’t no easy trick when you run a bar like dad did–so I’m out of the sack and showered around eight or nine. Except after a doozy, like when Mitch, Eric and Paul popped over with a case of Merlot. Those guys are murder. I don’t know how the hell Mitch keeps up. He must store adrenaline in his jowls. Where’d my goddamn flip flops go?”
2) “Stress? What makes you think that?” President Obama chuckled, cracking another beer. “I usually hook up with Joe or Harry or Leon around noon and we’ll go wet a line, chew the fat. Sometimes we’ll take out the boat. Few times a week we’ll challenge the Joint Chiefs to a little pick-up game in the afternoon, or a round of best ball, and then we’ll do some barbeque back at the White House. Afterwards it’s a movie and a little snuggle time before lights out.”
3) Putin’s eyes relaxed and he smiled wistfully. “Morning, yes. I remember morning. When I was a boy I used to get up then. I had–how you call her . . . governess? Yes–was very beautiful. She possessed greatly nubile physique. We would walk and she would read Lenin to me and sometimes we would nestle. She went somewhere one day and never came back. And now I am a man. I prefer rise in afternoon.”
4) Ahmadinejad leaned back on the sofa, shrugging. “After morning prayers I like to chill and then I go play with the kids when they get home from school.” He put his hands behind his head and narrowed his shaggy eyes. “So why are you asking?”