Perhaps one can write about absences as much as presences.
This is Winston at 8:59am today, no spring in his step, no appeal to play or go outside. Yesterday he had his distemper shot. Today he lacks inspiration, his usual zest.
I’m about to put the timer on for 15 minutes, to see what kind of summing-up I can generate. Then I have to get ready for the day. The first item is to meet with a lawyer at 10:30am to sign a trust document, and associated paperwork. This is a thing you do when you are the only parent left. Personal administrative organization is important.
Fifteen minutes, go.
In my capsule bio over there on the side, it claims that I write when I feel a “click.” (You have a muse, I a click.) Not much click in the past several months that lead to writing, though certainly there have been other sparks or even ah ha! moments.
I have packed and unpacked a lot of boxes, and with the great help of my family and friends we have moved from one address to another. The new one is better. For one thing, more sun streams into the windows. That’s both a metaphor and physically true.
I have taught classes, gone to meetings, ‘graded’ papers (shorthand for commenting on them), shopped for and eaten food, socialized, laughed, slept (but not nearly enough), listened, cried (though less and less), paid, spoken to groups of people whether students or colleagues, sewed buttons back on, gritted my teeth, sighed, touched.
Every minute of every day is filled.
Ugh, I hate that, like a topic sentence that can only announce a litany of Poor Me, I’m So Busy.
And yet it feels like race sometimes. I eat on the way from thing to thing, like a vehicle constantly refueling while in operation. Do military planes do that, or race cars?
I’m not fast, though. I wish I were. Still methodical, still a uni-tasker or, at most, a bi-tasker. Not multi.
I daydream about reading, yet feel incapable of sitting down for a long, luxurious amount of time which is what reading needs.
And about writing I long for it yet wonder if I am permanently impaired. Perhaps, you know, I should just have some image stand in for thoughts or even a video.
I just pictured video-ing myself, and the anticipatory stress of getting the hair and background and sweater and facial expressions just right for the medium.
Like a child, I want to call in sick because, you know, sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Then my internal dialog convinces me I should go and I can go and this is how I will do it.
Maybe we have pets, like Winston, to project not just our love onto, but our other animal wishes and desires, like curling up with our nose to our knees — I think I’m still flexible enough for the fetal position — and taking a break from our usual selves. Winston has signaled that today he is not even going to walk though I will prod him to take a bathroom break.
Me though? I’ll walk.
Alarm! Sound: piano riff. Fifteen minutes, done. In a moment I’ll stand.