Last night before the Sufjan concert, I made a pact: Write every day, for 69 days.
“Why 69?” asked Randy in the throng right before the lights dimmed into green and yellow on the stage. I shrugged. “It’s just a number. The one that came to me.”
The idea came on Sunday, after I wrote about granola bars. So that should be entry No. 1. And this is 3.
I’ve always gotten nervous with commitment. When I commit to something, I raise a concrete wall. Eyes fixed on the wall, I see a silver spatula slathering on another slab of concrete with each step I take. So the closer I get to the goal, the higher the wall rises. The less sky I see, the more disconnected I feel. And then I start to suffocate, and soon enough I veer sharp left and opt for the exit.
To avoid opting for the exit this time, I decided that I won’t mind if some of the entries come out bad. On the nights I can’t string sentences together, I’ll be honest, write just a few and make a quick bow before bed. And on those days where I really can’t sit down and pull one thought together — whether it’s because I’m feeling uninspired, drunk or tired — I’ll write, “I have nothing to say today.”
I expect a few strings of “I have nothing to say today”s in the months ahead. And so, anticipating these road blocks of sentences, I’m prepared to jump higher to get past them instead of changing direction.
I have an article to write. It’s 10:09 p.m. The wine glass that was supposed to accompany the muse during my hours of writing is three-fourths empty now. I haven’t written a word yet. I haven’t even finished going through the research.
But I have spoken to Boy. We’ll call him that here. Boy called, and we spoke for 45 minutes, a vital interval of the night that I had sectioned off for writing. Now I’m behind … but I don’t feel behind. In fact, time seems to wake with me but stop short on the steps outside my building every morning and watch me go off alone into the distance these days. It watches me pass it by too when I return home in the afternoons and only creeps back up and slips under the door in bed with me when the lights are off and I’m fast asleep.
And so, away from the eye of time again tonight, every minute of the conversation was exhilarating. You know how you feel when you speak to a crush … silly, and like you say the wrong things?
Well, with Boy tonight, I felt only a little silly, and most of the time I said the right things, and they just happened to be the real things, the real me, and his rolling laughter echoing at the other end of the line from some little room in Manhattan made me feel complete as I lay a borough away from him on my bed, my foot bobbing on my other knee while I was looking at the ceiling and chuckling, feeling like I was part of a pure teenage experience, where you’ve left all your homework till late and you’re still blabbing on the phone with some friend about some things insignificant right then and in the scheme of life and yet important for your spirit and that age.
A run-on there, yes — which I will not use in the article, mind you — but that’s also how life itself is sometimes … it flows in like a torrent, taking with it everything in sight, plans, deadlines, thoughts, feelings.
The bad thing is that when the water settles again and you hear time tip-toeing up the stairs, the deadlines seem a bit more looming than before.