I’m so jealous of my time, possessive of it, reluctantly sharing it with others, and grumpy when I do. Call Mom to tell her I love her and thank her for reading my last book? But that takes times.
Takes time. Steals time. That time can’t be returned.
No, I’m not doing extraordinary things with my time. Changing kitty litter. Playing computer games. Reading. Working on the biz aspect of writing. And that is work. Not fun, trying to squeeze money out of my words. I prefer the – wait, let me look it up.
My wife’s book club’s latest reading was ‘Norwegian by Night’. I love her for the way in which she reads these offerings, makes them her own and seeks information about the writer and the book’s genesis. In this case, she was also puzzled by the book’s title. She never found a good answer.
‘Norwegian by Night’ was a debut novel and attracted the fame and fortune that I sometimes fantasize about (okay, I think about it the way I thought about sex in my teen years). Naturally, I hate its author, Derek Miller.
No, ha ha, kidding. Really.
But while she researched, my wife found an interview with him and said, “You’ll like this. Listen. ‘The easy part, by contrast, was the exuberant pleasure that came from having no rules, no masters, no demands for propriety, diplomacy, or even collaboration. And frankly no consequences.'”
Oh, yeah, baby, that’s the stuff. To go back, I prefer the exuberant pleasure that comes from having no rules and master, and no demands, rather than that icky business side.
That’s why I’m jealous of my time, of sharing it. They are demands. I’m being held hostage, forced to conform, socialize, speak coherently and be polite, watch out for zombies, and obey the masters of culture and values, and I resist.
My wife ‘understands’ it to some degree, that is, she accepts the logic of me desiring and wanting to write each day. I think she feels it’s owed to me as well. While in the second half of my military’s twenty year career, I spit frustration daily about having to endure that damn macho stilted, reactionary bureaucracy when I could be writing. But I stayed in to get the pension, which admittedly, now, is worthwhile to have. Then we stayed in the pricey Silicon Valley – SF Bay area, as she was starting a new career, putting off moving to somewhere cheap where I could use my pension to fund my writing. And I put twenty years into jobs there, paying off bills, acquiring useful material goods like computers, and accumulating a ‘retirement nest egg’. Okay, good.
But damn, I wanted to write, and still want to write, and look back on all the energy shunted into other things and wonder what might be different.
Don’t we all, though? Go back and think on something, and wonder what might be different?
I could be more intellectual about this, make up clever quotes, or find brilliant insights into the nature of time and humanity, and metaphors about time and the stages of life, and youth being wasted on the young, but —
That’s not really me. That would be a pretender. I’m bare bones, stream of consciousness, sorry, the filter is broken, sort of writer. I call it organic, but it’s really me being lazy.
Enough of this. I’m wasting time. I need to go write like crazy. It’s really the only dam I have against insanity.
By the way, Book Chewing’s interview with Derek Miller is here. Go read it. You have the time.