In the Meantime

I think I’m still harboring some hope that I will wake up one day and want to do something else. Something more legitimate, something more lucrative.

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Maybe tomorrow, I sometimes think. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll wake up and want to solve math problems. Or fix sinks. Or fly planes. Or sell shoes. Or show houses.

And every morning, I wake up at an ungodly hour and urge myself through a sixty-minute something, a bowl full of oats, a shower, a coffee shop commute, and a too-hot café au lait — all so that I can get really and truly worked up, before sitting down to figure out why. Why the hell why.

Sometimes this works like a charm. I might well be a woman possessed, but I have my script and I follow it. Who said it, Hemingway? Write hard and clear about what hurts.

But other times, it’s as if I have totally forgotten all of my lines. No wait — it’s more severe than that. More career-ending. It’s almost as if you’ve handed me pages from a play I’ve never seen before. Not ever. And you’re standing there, thinking this is really out of character, and I’m swaying there, thinking I’m about to throw up. Cue that feeling. The one that’s uniquely distant but distinct. The one that’s universally horrifying — that one. 

It’s times like these in which my feet have been known to just up and accelerate. AWAY. Almost without asking. It’s time for a break, they announce: bathroom then biscotti. Maybe the best [salted caramel dark chocolate pretzel] biscotti.

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My shady spot might well be a sunny spot, by the time I return.

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Maybe I’ll be able to write then, and maybe I won’t.

Maybe I’ll just act as if I know perfectly well what I’m doing, where I’m going. Maybe I’d never intended to write today, anyway.

Maybe I’ll go down to the water and suck in a big breath. A large lungful of salty air. There are worse things.

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Maybe I won’t be alone. Maybe I’ll wish I had a cardigan. Maybe I’ll see a boy with a book, and wish I had said hello. Maybe I’ll get back in the car, and look out at a lighthouse. Just like the other lonely people.

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Are they a little lost, too?

And maybe I’ll roll the windows up, when I should be rolling them down. And maybe I’ll listen to something sad, when I know that’s probably not smart. Stupid. Why say with three words what you can say with one?

Maybe I’ll feel worse before I feel better. Maybe this is how this works.

And maybe — maybe I’ll think of somewhere else I can go, in order to avoid going home. In the meantime.

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