August 5, 2020:
I love studying in the bowling alley.
The chaos is perfect. Pink noise: wash of voices, pins falling, announcements, toasts, laughter, cheers. It's perfect because nothing stands out. It's a beautiful blanket of mayhem which cancels itself, taking with it much of the choir of my ADHD companions, freeing me to focus on the voice of the text.
Sometimes I'll sit in a booth at the restaurant, with my books and colored pens munching fries, sipping Coke, at lunch time throwing in a turkey sandwich. Sometimes I'll choose a booth closer to the lanes, where the sounds of rolling balls is more consistent, and the piquant crash of falling pins. Depends who the waitress is, and which lanes have the prettiest girls. Girls make everything better.
And I love the pier. O.B. Pier becomes my summer second home. Ride my bike, pick up a sub at Poma's Deli, supplement with fries and Cokes from the always curiously dark little diner over the water. The sounds are less intense than the bowling alley, less insistent, but they also blend. Gulls, fishermen casting their rods, shouts from the beach, breakers. With the pier gently rocking from surf and tides, lulling me and my books and my colored pens into concentration.
I've got with me at one time or another Ben Brewster's Althussers, the white ones before the Natkin covers. Passages From Antiquity to Feudalism, which I read several times. The Interpretation of Dreams; A Theory of Literary Production; Braudel; Barthes; Terry Eagleton; Minima Moralia; Tristram Shandy; Ulysses; Gravity's Rainbow; Wilde; Jarry; Tolstoy; Benjamin; Kerouac; Proust. Learning my way into new cities streetsign by streetsign, rapt, making up for lost time.