Archive | 2:53 pm


12 Jun

After nearly 6 weeks, I click a Word document open. The whiteness blinds me and I shield my eyes from its accusatory glare. The knot in the pit of my stomach is baby-sized now and ‘WTF’ flashes in large neon letters to the beat of a funeral march. Loo-ser, loo-ser, left, right, left.

In a bid to escape, I jump paragraphs. As if leaving a line behind will usher a stampede of ideas, a veritable troupe of trapeze artists who will fling themselves onto the safety net of this page, then loll a while before swinging wildly onward to another.

I stand in the ring. And I stand alone. It’s awful quiet when you’re all gone, I say to nobody in particular. There is no echo. And the knot is now making its way up to my throat.

A peculiar freeze takes over this warm summer day. First a bird’s clatter, then an insect’s hum. But this page, it isn’t moving. I quake, to give the Valley company. Only the Valley’s tremors subside. Writing needs to be more like mowing a lawn. A precise patch of L-shaped tasks, and then you’re done. Trimmed, neat, rinse, repeat. The knot decides it prefers the ampleness of my stomach. It slides back gutward, suspiciously fuller.  I continue to flail, in a cycle of panic and ambiguity. I would be happiest in an assembly line. Concrete, solid, done when done.

Noticing two straight sentences beginning with ‘I’ brings up concerns of ego injection. A lifelong aversion to navel-gazers jumps into the pool party that all my baggage decided to throw when I wasn’t looking. The knot’s moving heartward and the constriction hurts. I should wring the curtains and howl. Let me switch on the iron in preparation. And Purell my palms so the drapes stay white.

I can’t fathom potters or painters. Wash those hands, people. And eat with a fork. Ickiness makes me squirm.  So I sit myself down, after nearly 6 weeks, and click open a Word document. Its whiteness blinds me and I shield my eyes from the accusatory glare. But then I think of the options and soothe myself that at least writing is clean. The knot yawns demurely, cups its chin, and waits for me to begin.