Then i went back to writing and i entered far into the story and was lost in it. i was writing it now and it was not writing itself and i did not look up nor know anything about the time nor think where i was nor order any more rum st james. i was tired of rum st james without thinking about it. then the story was finished and i was very tired. i read the last paragraph and then i looked up and looked for the girl and she had gone. i hope she's gone with a good man, i thought. but i felt sad. ========== would stand and look out over the roofs of paris and think, 'do not worry. you have always written before and you will write now. all you have to do is write one true sentence. write the truest sentence that you know.' so finally i would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. it was easy then because there was always one true sentence that i knew or had seen or had heard someone say. if i started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, i found that i could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence i had written. ========== it was in that room too that i learned not to think about anything that i was writing from the time i stopped writing until i started again the next day. that way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time i would be listening to other people and noticing everything, i hoped; learning, i hoped; and i would read so that i would not think about my work and make myself impotent to do it. going down the stairs when i had worked well, and that needed luck as well as discipline, was a wonderful feeling and i was free then to walk anywhere in paris. ========== 'you can either buy clothes or buy pictures,' she said. 'it's that simple. no one who is not very rich can do both. pay no attention to your clothes and no attention at all to the mode, and buy your clothes for comfort and durability, and you will have the clothes money to buy pictures.' ========== i would have to work hard tomorrow. work could cure almost anything, i believed then, and i believe now. then all i had to be cured of, i decided miss stein felt, was youth and loving my wife. i was not at all sad when i got home to the rue cardinal lemoine and told my newly acquired knowledge to my wife. in the night we were happy with our own knowledge we already had and other new knowledge we had acquired in the mountains. ========== when i was writing, it was necessary for me to read after i had written. if you kept thinking about it, you would lose the thing that you were writing before you could go on with it the next day. it was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. that was better than anything. but afterwards, when you were empty, it was necessary to read in order not to think or worry about your work until you could do it again. ========== 'We can have two drinks.' 'then we can eat somewhere.' 'no. don't forget we have to pay the library.' 'we'll come home and eat here and we'll have a lovely meal and drink beaune from the co-operative you can see right out of the window there with the price of the beaune on the window. and afterwards we'll read and then go to bed and make love.' 'And we'll never love anyone else but each other.' 'no. never.' ========== i would walk along the quais when i had finished work or when i was trying to think something out. it was easier to think if i was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood. ========== outside on the rue de l'odeon i was disgusted with myself for having complained about things. i was doing what i did of my own free will and i was doing it stupidly. i should have bought a large piece of bread and eaten it instead of skipping a meal. i could taste the brown lovely crust. but it is dry in your mouth without something to drink. you god-damn complainer. you dirty phony saint and martyr, i said to myself. ========== These people made it a comfortable cafe since they were all interested in each other and in their drinks or coffees, or infusions, and in the papers and periodicals which were fastened to rods, and no one was on exhibition. ========== The blue-backed notebooks, the two pencils and the pencil sharpener (a pocket knife was too wasteful), the marble-topped tables, the smell of early morning, sweeping out and mopping, and luck were all you needed. for luck you carried a horse chestnut and a rabbit's foot in your right pocket. the fur had been worn off the rabbit's foot long ago and the bones and the sinews were polished by wear. the claws scratched in the lining of your pocket and you knew your luck was still there. ========== 'you had the air of a man alone in the jungle,' he said. 'i am like a blind pig when i work.' 'but were you not in the jungle, monsieur?' 'In the bush,' i said. ========== i only know that ezra tried to be kind to dunning as he was kind to so many people and i always hoped dunning was as fine a poet as ezra believed him to be. for a poet he threw a very accurate milk bottle. but ezra, who was a very great poet, played a good game of tennis too. evan shipman, who was a very fine poet and who truly did not care if his poems were ever published, felt that it should remain a mystery. ========== scott then asked me if i were afraid to die and i said more at some times than at others.