- Typing with one hand is a challenge. Fortunately, my right hand is dominant, and it’s okay. Also fortunately, this isn’t permanent. Tedious process, though. Seven hundred words a day is my current limit. Meanwhile, the muses are running amuck with story ideas. I considered (and haven’t discarded) the idea of writing with a pen in a notebook. Anything to keep the tales moving, hey?
- Haven’t been drinking coffee. First, wanted to rest and sleep. Second, read to avoid caffeine to promote healing broken bones. So, no coffee, no alcohol, and no chocolate. Had dropped the latter from my diet after I discovered what it does to my prostate. Thinking about drinking coffee tomorrow, as I’m weaning myself off the Percocet. Only had one Perc today, three yesterday. Four are prescribed.
- My walking has declined. Been spending most of my time abed. Reached eight thousand steps for the last three days, ten thousand on the last two. I have a long way to go.
- Poor spouse. She’s doing such a terrific job, doing everything, and complaining. This is my fifth trauma in our fifty years together (boyfriend and hubby). In order, cut off tip of my toe, mono, broken neck, dislocated wrist, and this. She should’ve vetted me better. In fairness, I had mono when stationed in the Philippines, and she wasn’t with me. One trauma a decade average; is that normal?
- The cats on that first night and morning were so sweet. I usually feed them. With daybreak, I asked my wife to do that, but the cats refused to go and eat. She brought the food in to them. Nope; they weren’t eating. Wasn’t till I got up a few hours later that they ate. Number one and two cat continued to stay with me through the day. Their loyalty and concern flatters me.
- I feel for the rest of America, enduring a heat wave. Our temps are brushing ninety in Ashland, quite bearable, as night temps fall into the mid-fifties.
What I remember of this vivid string of dreams began with me at home. This home wasn’t one that I’ve ever lived in, but a big, rambling, new place.
My cats were busy being cats but the neighbor’s cat broke in. She ate, which didn’t bother me, but then peed on the floor. I had to chase her down and put her out.
(Note: this has a lot of foundation in real life. The neighbor’s cat used to have free reign, but now, on her last legs, has constant runs, so she’s banned, the poor dear.)
Back to the dream, where my wife is in another room bathing. She’s hollering through the wall, something about how she can’t finish because I’m doing something. I don’t understand at all. Trying to communicate with her wearies me. I flee to my car.
It’s a black sports car. The day is gray and overcast, a sky associated with rainstorms. I drive to a winding section of road in a small town, park and enter a restaurant. It’s a busy old place. The waitresses are young and friendly. I order and eat (nothing that I remember) and then drink a cup of coffee. I’ve been chatting with the waitresses throughout. As I’m waiting for the bill, a woman comes over and asks me out. Surprises me. While she’s attractive, I decline, telling her, I’m married.
I get my bill. There are few customers left. Most are in line to pay. A long line, all the people in line are men. The cash register is on a small knoll outside. It’s a crazy-looking system. For some reason, I now put on my shoes. As I’m doing this, a waitress comes over and chats with me. Then she asks me out. Flattered, I decline. She’s probably a third of my age. I ask her where she would’ve taken me. She tells me to see a movie, Dora. We laugh about that and talk about that movie.
The staff asks if I can help them move some things and clean because the restaurant is changing locations tomorrow. Although I have things to do and don’t want to help, I do what I can. It’s only a few things, and there’s still a line to pay.
The line winds down. I take my leave and go to pay. The owner is the cashier. I hand him my bill, which is on a clipboard. He shows me a receipt and tells me, “It’s already been paid.”
Well, cool. I don’t know how or when, but I’m thankful. There’s no clues on the receipt, and everyone is now gone.
I return to my car. It’s still a gray day. The car is blocked in by trucks. I figure if I back up a hill, I can then leave by going down the other side of a hill. I don’t know how I figured that out. But when I go do make that maneuver, I discover my car is facing the right way. All I do is release the brake and put in the clutch and I’m going down a hill and onto the road, on my way. I do so with truckers standing around, watching me.
I drive off. The dream ends.
I sit down to write each day with little idea of what’s going to happen. This terrifies me.
Then I read a sentence or two of what I’ve written the day before, sometimes a little more, and the story takes off. In the space of ninety minutes to two hours, I’ll add two to three thousand more words, then stop and edit a little. Few changes are required; the story is coming to me so fully complete, I’m just the typist.
I know where and how the story started and where it’s supposed to be going. I lack all clues about how to get it there. I just followed the muses. They’ve presented this character that I don’t understand. He’s erratic. I know the reasons he’s erratic, as more of his backstory comes to me after I’ve written about him. After I write, I walk away and think, why did he do that? What’s wrong with him? He’s so inconsistent, I worry about it; I want to fix that, and make him consistent. But I suspect that if I attempt to fix him, he’ll just stop and the muses will walk away.
So…I let it ride, accepting my role as typist. The story sometimes entertains me, but more often baffles me. I’m writing mostly to see what happens next.
It’s a weird, odd role, being the typist. I know some writers insist that what I’m describing is complete bullshit, muses and characters don’t just take over.
Yeah, but here I am, with my coffee, about to do it again. It really is writing like crazy. It’s gotten me to seventy-seven pages so far. Guess I’ll just hang on and try to enjoy the ride.
Had a doughnut, thought about having another. The little devil on my shoulder started singing, “Go ahead and do it, do it, do it till you’re satisfied.” Now the 1974 B.T. Express song, “Do It ‘Til You’re Satisfied”, is stuck in my mental stream, distracting me from my writing and pushing me toward eating a second doughnut.
The doughnut does complement the coffee, though…
Looking out, sipping coffee, I questioned myself, seeking the day and date. Wow, the sixteenth, half of April is already gone. Thursday again, already? It seemed like we just had one. Pretty soon, it’ll be the weekend all over again.
The weekend doesn’t have much true meaning for me. Military existence as a shift worker made them moot. When I joined management, it changed, and I kind of got the hang of it, mostly due to my wife saying, “It’s the weekend. We should do something.”
Everyone seemed to have a mindset around the weekend – do something, or do nothing. Meanwhile, since dropping out of the employment world to enter the sinister world of being a novelist, I’ve drifted back out of the weekend thing. Everyday is for writing in my world, but I still clash with the rest of the world and its idea of the weekend (along with those pesky interruptions called ‘holidays’).
Weirdly, out of all this, the song by the Killers, “Human” (2008), splashed into my thought stream.
I did my best to notice
When the call came down the line
Up to the platform of surrender
I was brought but I was kind
And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord
h/t to Genius.com
Interesting to me but probably no one else how my mind jumps through these connections. It makes me smile.
That could be the coffee, though.