An inadvertent but accurate self-portrait. There are nights that Jenn retires early and I retire early, too, though my early is different in that it involves single digits and with numbers on the northeast corner of the clock face.
Writing is a compulsion like anything else in which my chemicals tell me I need do this. It’s like pouring a cup of coffee in the morning even when—and, as you get older—the coffee upsets your stomach. But being in the Zone is like having a purer oxygen. Or maybe less pure—I dunno—as thinking can sometimes flow better with the vessels constricted. Somehow, somewhere serotonin is involved. Write, write, write. And stay up really, really, really, and ungodly late.
The cat—she sits right next to me the whole time and maybe she’s stealing my breath. Isn’t that what cats do? When they sit on the headboard or when they’re comfortable and comfortably menacing with their hands tucked and eyes half-closed. My cat, she purrs. And I type and when I wake up right before I’m supposed to wake up, I move from the couch to the bed and I drag her along with me and she lays on my chest, stealing my breath that second time.
(She also scratches me at 4 a.m. because she’s old and she scrambles getting off the bed because she’s got some reverse-peristaltic thing to attend to, being old. Dammit, Cat).
I went to a blogger conference, and the question was: when as a parent, do you write? And this very humorous panel said ‘keep your eyes open after everyone has closed theirs?’ The other option is waking up early, and—well—no. I know that’s what all the successful writers did. Then again, Marcel Proust had opium delivered with his scones at 5 a.m., and to a cork-lined room; I just stay up late because my coffee probably shouldn’t include oxycontin and I have a job, you know.
It’s pretty dark when it’s 2 a.m. When Cayden was two, I pointed out the Children’s Moon, which is that white thing at 2 p.m. which hangs above public parks and illuminates nothing. It’s the moon for no one looking to sleep. 2 a.m. can sometimes be moonset and when children but not cats are asleep and when why the hell am I not in bed.
On this one occasion, I pressed a button, and took a random photo, being unconscious.