Resting on Laurels

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

I am not sure why people rest on their laurels, but I figure it can’t hurt too much, so I will try. I have not recovered from my last entry. I am not sure if it’s the caffeine or the writing, but I felt drained. I wish it wasn’t like that. I wish I could take the inspiration (and, I’ll admit, Sunday’s inspiration fell flatter and shorter than I had hoped when it first hit me after the yummy caffeine) and use it the next day to write and write and write. You can probably see where I’m going with this. I would use that next day’s inspiration to inspire me the next day until I had a viciously brilliant inspiration cycle, which would allow me to pound out five-hundred page novels, with my only worries relating to wrist and finger fatigue. Ah, to dream.

Nevertheless here I am trying again. I finished today’s yummy caffeine after taking yesterday as an NYC day—i.e., No Yummy Caffeine day. I drank liters of the stuff on Sunday, which caused some of the aforementioned fatigue and nausea.

Today is again brilliant as we finally hit upon the promised drought. I look at today’s caffeine as a bit of a reward. I attended my company-sponsored health screening this morning (all normal, mother—nothing to worry about). But after sitting here and attempting to pound out a paragraph, I realized that the caffeine would do little to help me along my way. The time isn’t right for me to start writing yet. I have to start accepting that. There are times I can write and times I can edit and times, well, where I’m not good for very much.

The health screening took place in a large conference room. Around fifteen stations were set up with a nurse at each station. Two of these stations had blood pressure machines, and the remaining stations had blood-taking machines. After waiving all liability and waiting in lines (so many lines), a nurse yelled, “Next.” I found her when she raised her chubby arm. I sat down and she asked me to pick a finger to prick. I didn’t realize we’d have this choice, and I was a slow in the choosing. She was asking me to sacrifice one of my fingers, and I wasn’t sure which one I liked least and would be willing to part with. I asked her if she’d return it when she was done (I was in my funny mood), but she didn’t see much humor in my statement. I gave her my left hand. She said it was too cold and made me shake it repeatedly to warm it up. Eventually, after squeezing all my fingertips with her gloved hand, she chose my middle finger.

She pricked the finger with the plastic pricking device—it’s a plastic box with a button on top, which, when pressed, releases a spring-loaded needle onto your finger. It’s a one-time use device (or so I imagine), and a small dot of blood formed on my finger. The nurse used a thin glass cylinder to collect the blood. She viciously squeezed my finger trying to get more blood from it. She didn’t think I was a good bleeder, and she blamed me for that, as if I somehow controlled how I bled. She switched to another glass cylinder, where with much squeezing and manipulating, she finally was able to collect her required blood. She told me that my finger would be soar from her squeezing tomorrow. I doubted it, of course. I’m a man’s man and as a man’s man, a finger pricking, no matter how painful it looked, does not cause me pain.

She placed a bandage on the finger and then warned me not to take it off until tomorrow. Her warning was like the terrorist warnings: she said if I did, there was a good chance that my finger would become infected and the infection would travel through my bloodstream to my heart, where it would do all sorts of bad things. Your capillaries, she said, traveled right to your heart, and you don’t need that infection spreading to your heart, now do you. Keep the bandage on, or I’m going to have to ask the secretary of health to raise the terrorist alert to orange. Suffice to say, the bandage is still around my finger. I like bandages: the sticky part is always fun to play with, push in, pop out, repeat.

Eight minutes later, when the electronic machine she fed my blood into popped, she called me over (she was busy with two more patients, but ignored them for a moment), wrote down the scores on my score sheet and handed it to me. No discussion of the meaning of the numbers, no idle talk, just the filled out form with a big circle around “desirable.” I felt gypped. I looked over and watched how the other, thinner nurses were taking their time to explain the results to their patients. How they were joking with their patients other about how normal or desirable they were. My nurse did none of that. She barely had time to hand me the sheet before she waved me off to begin her work up of her next patients. How was I to bask in my normalcy if she didn’t banter with me?


It’s hot out by the pool. The concrete burns my feet and we all run to the rubber mats that the lifeguards keep spraying down with the hose. A slight wind strikes us with the smell of chlorine, but doesn’t do much to cool us.


I read many articles where writers described their favorite part of writing (and it’s not the book tour, as I assumed). It seems that after planning a story, writing notes about characters, creating thumbnails of the scenes, the fun part, once of all that is done, is writing the story, living in the world that the author created in her head. Man, where do I sign up for that? I don’t know if I haven’t planned it well enough or if I don’t have the imagination to support that type of writing, but sitting down and writing the stories that float around (rather superficially) in my head is fucking difficult for me. Some of it might be that I’m not interested in writing the stories I plan. Part of it is that I rely too much on inspiration and don’t have the requisite tools (i.e., tools that I can deploy even when I am mind dead or in the pits of the opposite of inspiration). I don’t know what it is, but I don’t live in the world of my stories. I live in the let’s get this written world, and in my world, the worst thing I can do is realize that I’m writing because after I realize it, I know I’m not going to be writing for much longer.

I know I was supposed to consternate in story-form, but I haven’t found the story again. I had thoughts about it (I always have thoughts about my stories), but I’m not sure if I can turn any of those thoughts into actual writing (besides note writing, which is so much fucking easier than story writing).


Overhead from someone leaving a meeting: “I’m so sick of talking about doing work.”


As a side note, I had uninstalled WOW a few days ago as part of my VAAS or Video game Addiction Abatement Strategy (Doolies defines VAAS as the Video game Account Activation System, which just goes to show you whose side she's on). Doolies, using her impeccable charms, has convinced me to reinstall it. As I type this, WOW is reinstalling on my computer. I lasted almost four days, but alas, dear Ulrich, I knew me well. Here’s to the next time I uninstall only to reinstall a few days later!


Yeah, I know I should be separating these into multiple postings, but I’m lazy. Very, very lazy. At least I put separators between the different sections. Ain’t I nice.

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