“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls” – Anais Nin
I’m going to begin an exercise in which I pretend there has not been a significant gap in blog posts. In which I have been posting one story a week to acclaim. In which I did not become overwhelmed with work and life and had all the time in the world to write. Let’s pretend.
I am finally realizing, after over a year, just what kind of commitment I will need to make if I want to be the writer I hope to be. I now know that because I am not a full-time writer, there will always be limitations. I will continue to battle for balance – read the book, watch the film, write the story, clean the house, heal the wounds, do the good work at that brings home the bacon. Fight, fight, fight.
Where I am today – dutifully reading books that assist in outlining a novel (not the aborted one I began last year, half-cocked). In between, I’m working on short pieces to keep things fresh. Below is the beginning of one of these small tales.
What I will not be – one of these – https://twitter.com/WrknOnMyNovel.
I am traveling to NYC in early May for work. Let’s see what trouble I’ll get into. Maybe I’ll be the lucky 1,000,000,000th customer to be inspired by the city.
You Never Write, You Never Call
The first night you were gone I had a dream that was out of character. I’m standing in a room of a house I own. It’s enormous and has the rough stone walls of a castle. I have at least half a dozen bedrooms that I’m eager to forget about, because I’ve heard that the very wealthy find everything disposable – they shrug off misplaced Rolexes or leave money-clipped cash in public restrooms. I have the feeling kids get when they know someone is hiding and waiting to scare them. The whole place glows red. The children’s chorus from “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” plays with greater volume until I wake up not in a cold sweat, but confused and annoyed.
I don’t dream at all really, and when I do it’s the warped edge of an action movie where I keep trying to reload my gun but the bullets are made of fruit snacks or various root vegetables. I am convinced that this new dream has something to do with her. I pour a bowl of Cocoa Puffs and, defying all rules related to Saturday morning cereal etiquette, eat them angrily.
The park is a good place for me to sit and think about this dream, but I need to get there early before the first wave of strollers land on the playground. I take the dream and pull it apart for analysis. Details are already fading from memory, and I use a pocket notebook to scribble everything I know. Old reporter habit. A recalled detail – I was in the kitchen of the dream house, and a burner on the stove was lit.
Glancing up from my notebook I see a handful of mothers and nannies throwing me looks. I admittedly resemble a porn star from the 70s – blonde Jew afro, unkempt mustache, and eyes that I’ve been told look like they’re only made for fucking or judging. I can’t sit on a bench five minutes before whisper campaigns begin and cops ask me to move along. I want to tell them that something like 95% of child abductions are perpetrated by a family member, but my breath smells like shit and frankly I have bigger fish to fry, so I leave before anyone has a chance to spread paranoia.