Notes from Life Of The Mind
And I keep writing stuff no one will ever read.
Words stretching into sentences stretching into paragraphs and on. Building page after page till I've created - what?
You see: my fingers hit the keys, my pen or pencil (.7 lead - or is it graphite? Always sharp so what's it matter?) My pen or pencil hit the paper and words come out (kinda like magic but not really. Blunt edged magic perhaps. A lot of build up and show and then - poof! A single, tiny puffa thin, easily waved away smoke (smelling of lemon and cloves), and then nothing.
Nothing to show for all that thinking, time, building, broken nails, calluses, sore back and aching knees.
Isn't that just always the way?
The words come out. And at some point I re read 'em, change this, cut that, add something else, and then leave. To make another cup of tea, settle into that smushy chair (which, in all likelihood, will never meet its long intended white canvas mixed with toile slipcover); to read someone else's words. Whether on a page or a screen, or spoken by an actor on the huge tv filling the wall opposite. It really doesn't matter.
I sit: reading, tea sipping, nibbling on whatever I've dug out to nibble upon.
(This morning it was a handful of almonds and semi sweet chocolate chips. Yes seriously.
No - it's ok, go ahead and judge me. I don't care.)
While my phone dings from time to time, facebook posts, emails I've no wish to see right now. The occasional text or (holy crap) an actual call.
A notebook lies next to me (spiral bound, red cover with "List" scrawled across it by me in black sharpie. My "L" written with that annoying loop I make, joining the vertical and horizontal bits). In it I write notes every now and again. Making a half hearted attempt to write legibly so I can actually read it later.
Yes there's always a later. Though, thinking on it, I suppose one day there won't be. And isn't that strange?
Someday I'll write a note - Remember this, Do that! - that I won't be around to read later on. (Sometimes I wonder whether I'll Remember or Do It! anyway, in the Wherever I End Up. Wherever I find myself on that odd day when there is no tomorrow; when, just perhaps, there's an eternal Today.
I hope it's misty; fog rolling in, with the smell of rain.)
Though I'm not wondering any of that this moment.
'Cause honestly - it's too deep a question for my addled brain this cold, clear day.
Instead I sit quietly in my smushy chair for a short or long while - this being entirely dependent upon who is at home or who arrives home.
And whether they require their laundry done, or something to eat, or have a complaint they must lodge (quite often very loud, shrill, and blue edged) Right Now.
Lean back - envision this:
I shift my eyes to theirs, away from the book or screen; allow the pen or pencil to hang limp in my hand. Listening.
Aren't the washer and dryer still in the laundry room? (Has this particular person forgotten the laundry room's location? Should I make a sign perhaps? Red sharpie on white cardstock? Slapping on a sticker or two? No...
Isn't there a woodburning set somewhere about? Odds are I could figure its workings eventually, and we've plenty of wood. Wait! No doubt I should consult pinterest - where surely I'll find a plethora (maybe two plethoras - plethorae?) of ideas for Hey Dude! Laundry Room Right Here- No Quarters Necessary! signs.
While thinking ...
Oh dear he's hungry. Hmmm... Let me think, I do believe I made dinner. Or was that yesterday? No - wait - yes, I feel certain I made dinner both today and yesterday! Well then there must be leftovers! Lovely things leftovers, I enjoy them quite often. Using a salad plate to fool myself into thinking my portion is larger than it actually is, which naturally never works.
Because yes I refill the salad plate with my favorite bits of leftovers, thus making my dinner larger than it would have been had I used a dinner plate in the first place.
Sigh - I find fooling myself surprisingly difficult.
Do other people have this problem?
(At this point I remember I'm listening, so listen I do.)
And discover he (poor thing), really doesn't want leftovers. Ya know - he just doesn't feel like leftovers - either tonight's or yesterday's. He wants Something Else.
And I think: Holy horrors what a dilemma! Lemme see...
I believe there's a fridge and freezer right there, and a large (and loaded) freezer in the even larger (and equally loaded) pantry over there. And look! Why what d'ya know - there's a lovely six burner Wolf range with a double oven and chunky red knobs right smack dab in the gol dern kitchen! And yes! A microwave! (And another in the loaded pantry! Just through there, right next to the loaded freezer.)
Not to mention cold cereal. Or pb&j.
Or...well...I dunno, leftovers?
Finally we arrive at the complaint which must be lodged Right Now!
This usually concerns a sibling (I'd say 98.56% of the time), or a random idiot encountered somewhere along their journeys.
(N.B. I find it astonishing how many Random Idiots exist in this world, and further astonishing how many Random Idiots Some People I Know Who Shall Remain Nameless encounter on a daily basis.
Admittedly, being the introverted, writer, aspiring hermit, No I Don't Wanna Hafta Get Dressed & Go There type I do not get out as much as Some People. Still - when I do venture beyond the borders of Witt's End I seldom encounter the plethora (plethorae) of Random Idiots as Some People do.)
I'm just lucky I guess.
Of the trio so far mentioned, (Laundry , Food, & Complaints - one assumes you were paying attention), the lodging of complaints is by far my least favorite.
And I must admit (though I hate to), the horrid cloak of apathy has begun to drape itself about me, ever so thin, as I listen.
Or at least try to appear as though I'm listening.
Sometimes I am, and sometimes I'm not.
Sometimes I'm thinking of other things.
Such as Chapter 30 in my latest WIP. What a snarl I've gotten myself into there. Really I suppose the only thing to do is to kill off every character and begin anew.
Should the battery in the bathroom scale be replaced? Should one weigh oneself? Or is it best to simply go by how things fit and damn those blasted numbers on the scale?
If indeed Scott and I went on holiday somewhere - the Baltic sounds appealing for some reason. Or Denmark, Norway... I dunno. Perhaps I should just plunge a finger (eyes closed) upon the atlas to decide.
If we went away and left the kids at home - what would we find when we returned?
Naturally my first inclination is to imagine carnage, destruction, smashed china, feathery bits of our chicken flock strewn about the (un-mown) yard, broken cars, walls, bones; every one of my books horribly dusty (perhaps even - shudder - their pages ripped!), muddy footprints upon my furniture, and not a clean glass in the joint.
Or maybe not. Maybe they'd be just fine. Maybe they'd...
But wait - the Formal Lodging of Complaint Right Now! is continuing.
No - evidently it's finished. Crap.
Now the Complainer is staring at me, awaiting my judgment, quivering with ecstatic anticipation - wondering what horrid thing I'm gonna do to that rotter sibling who's caused all this trouble.
And I - (having been busy among the fjords and heard not one word of the Complaint), grimace, sigh, put my head to one side and say "Oh just be nice! Good grief you call yourself adults, well act like one!"
Then I rebury my nose in my book (or against my computer screen, as the case may be). Valiantly ignoring the irritated response to my no response.
Valiantly ignoring the foot stomps upstairs. Valiantly ignoring the heated, whisper argument between Complainer and Alleged Cause of Complaint.
(Yes I know this sounds difficult but really it isn't. With a bit of practice you too can find and don the thin coat of apathy!)
Then, having taken care of laundry, food, and complaint, I pick up my red notebook with the loopy "L" on its cover, spend some long minutes deciphering what I've written (while blaming college for ruining my penmanship), and, though still feeling addled yet surprisingly much less annoyed, begin stringing words into sentences into paragraphs into pages and so on.
Writing stuff no one will ever read.