I’m writing today. I should write everyday, that’s what people say, but I don’t. Some days, everything just flows, tumbles out onto the page and feels so right, so effortless. And on other days, it doesn’t go that way at all. Today, for example, the writing is UNPLEASANT and UNCOMFORTABLE and I’m using housework and twisted humor as mechanisms to interrupt it. I suck. I have no writing discipline or any sort of formal process at all other than to tell myself to sit my butt down and do it. And so I am, but what’s coming out on paper sucks. Hence, I’m writing THIS crap to dodge the writing I’m supposed to be doing. But hey at least I’m writing something which is all that really matters because if I keep at it, the stuff I really want to say will work itself out, right? One can only hope.
I dropped my kids off at camp and upon my return home, I breathed in my favorite kind of quiet. I caught up on emails and the news, mailed a check, did the dishes. I started yet another load of laundry. And since we’re talking about laundry, could someone please make it STOP? There are only 4 of us in this house. Where does it all come from? I really want to know. Or do I?
And then I remembered I assigned today as a writing day. I haven’t written a damn thing since before I left for Boy’s camping trip a week ago. Maybe I’m still constipated. A lot of that going around lately. Camping does cause constipation, in case you didn’t know. Or maybe I just don’t want to see some of the shit up in my head slip out in PRINT.
I poured another cup of coffee, grabbed my reading glasses, and then took a few spins around the main floor of our house, through the kitchen, the dining room, the library, the family room, round and round and round, circling my target, until finally, I walked over to my desk – if that’s what you want to call it – in my little corner of the library and I turned on my computer. I opened Google docs and cringed when I saw the list of unfinished posts staring back at me. I need to finish them. I WANT to finish them. My blood and sweat and tears and thoughts and feelings and guts are all wrapped up in them, I’ve practically written them all inside my head. It’s what I DO. I have one particular essay just begging to be finished, its one that really matters to me, its the one I promised myself I’d work on today, so I opened it, read what I’d written so far, took a big gulp of coffee, another deep breath, and dug into it for awhile.
And you know what? It sucks, which totally sucks because the subject matter matters too much for it to suck. Say THAT 5 times fast. Ha.
I scooted my antique captain’s chair back, wiggled my toes because they were falling asleep, I obsessed for awhile about all kinds of crap you wouldn’t believe if I told you, played with words and sentences in my head, but when I put them together outside of my head, in black and white, they sucked. I got out of the chair and picked up some of Boy’s crap strewn all over the place, went upstairs to make beds, got really desperate and planned dinner for the next 3 nights.
Then I sat back down and wrote some more. And it sucked. I made a Juanita the Weasel meme. Well, actually, I made about 5 or 6 of them. Ok, 10.
I got back up to grab a couple of trash bags, opened the dreaded mudroom closet and started purging, one of the home projects I have planned for the summer. One bag for trash, one for donation, the crap we’re keeping went up on the counter to be reorganized.
I got a text from one of my LTYM sisters, a happy, hopeful update about her sister who has been battling for her life in the hospital. I sent her a celebratory woofuckinghoo and went back to the closet. A few minutes later, my phone rang and I ran to pick it up – completely unlike me, as you guys know I HATE talking on the phone – because somehow I just knew it was her, and we caught up a little more, laughed together. She told she was going to take that woofuckinghoo straight to her sister’s bedside. Our conversation inspired me to get back to my desk for more writing and this time, I told myself to just put my head down and write. Don’t read, don’t edit, don’t fucking judge, just get it the hell out on paper, no matter how bad I think it sucks, and it does, but I did. I stood up, stretched my back and then sat back down to try to finish up, fighting the urge to read what was on the page.
Unfortunately, I looked out the window instead, and damn if I didn’t miss a bunch of weeds out there yesterday, and so I decided I better go pull them before I forget they’re there and they take over the entire front yard because you know they will.
I went back inside, looked at the clock and thought, wow, time for lunch already. I grabbed the leftover pasta and turned on HGTV.
I did another very long round of writing, no reading, no editing. Just sucky writing. In the middle of a sentence, I decided it was time to call Girl’s college to once again voice my concern about some bullshit going on there. Obviously, they know me by name by now. I admit I giggled to myself a little as I imagined Girl rolling her eyes at me and then I went back to work.
A little while later, I took a quick bathroom break, still wearing my glasses, and I jumped back at my reflection in the mirror. I thought, Jesus! Who is THAT?! And dang, will you look at that whisker growing out of that chin? My chin?! I thought I better go get the tweezers before I forget it’s there and it grows down to my shoulders. So I did. Get the tweezers, I mean. And since we’re talking about whiskers I can’t see, why didn’t I FEEL that thing growing there? I really want to know. Or do I?
I walked back over to my desk to read what I’d written over the course of the last few hours. And it still sucked, but definitely less so. I’ll hit it again tomorrow. Maybe you’ll read it sometime. I hope so. I’m sorry I’m so damn slow to speak on paper lately. I think I’m a little worried I’m ill-equipped to write what I’m trying to write about and I KNOW I’m going to say something wrong. Anyway, I felt strangely satisfied, momentarily peaceful, maybe even a little full of myself for simply not giving up for a few short hours today and for trying to say what I believe needs to be said during this completely whacked out time in the history of this country. And then I ceremoniously closed my computer and walked away, BECAUSE I CAN, all wrapped up in my straight, white privilege.