Right now, I just can’t write a thing.
Confined. To a space, 12′ x 12′, no front door key with which to escape, cordoned off by plastic sheeting, the newly sanded hardwood flooring setting a first stain, I have been typing virtually all day.
Indeed, typing, back and forth, to get replacement musicians for a wedding in July whose hires bailed on me, yes; tapping the keys to search out music stalled in transit, only to discover that scheduling prevents going forward with its recital gig after all; and, stuffing myself with way more curried chicken and rice than Michael Jordan would ever eat in a lifetime, let alone a single meal, that from Golden Wok delivery, on account of the gas stove burners emitting a curious, kerosene-like odor upon ignition the cause of which none of the flooring crew acknowledges.
Yes; one can type ad nauseum, on auto-brain. But, write?
Writing requires a fairly empty stomach. An alpha wave, or several, coursing through. A certain position of the sun in the firmament, either just ascending or peaking, but probably not waning, at least for starters; once off and running, so to speak, such conditions recede from all notice but, at the opening lines, yes; the prevailing atmosphere must provide a certain subconscious texture.
Threatening storm systems are ideal. Greying skies. Moisture at one’s fingertips. The security inducing, tall, north facing window panes, a bit of a rattle in their frames from the billowing wind – protective, yet inviting the subdued hues just beyond. But, so also the proverbial sunny day, though not without some brief liquid refreshment as prelude.
Munching works, but it must be dark peppermint chocolate or a fairly benign chip, not greasy or giving of crumbs. Just a little teaser.
The best stimulants, actually, are those which engage the body. Walking around the dining room table, grand bequeathment of one ex-mother in law who was sure every household needed one, in some kind of stepping plan, almost a dance, while the music plays; or, driving on the highway toward a single destination. Some mystery of physics playing with one’s head. Ideas feeding each other; entire stories unfold. Snatching the pen and the drive-thru receipt, scrawling without looking, elbowing the wheel, defying the state cops’ eyes peeled for cell phones, getting the seeds planted.
Yes, dear hearts. We write best then.
My dining room table is up on end now, hugging the overstuffed chair just behind the secretary and the stacked Pathfinders and Plato and the four matching chairs from Pistone’s that Tony Curtis said might be Portuguese; the vacuum cleaner-covering cozy, shaped like an angel in a calico dress, in front of the upright piano and the sofa bed and the shabby chic armoire from Big Flea that came from Thailand smelling like paint, all interred for three days in the tomb awaiting transfiguration.
The New Earth I’ll be calling my music room won’t have a table to circle any longer. A creme colored Steinway, orphaned by Rascal Flats and rescued from death row in Nashville, will soon occupy its very own throne. I’ll be riding that rocket ship into other dimensions before we know it.
The stove top fumes, according to John from National Fuel, are some synergy of natural gas and the polyurethane precipitating into the air surrounding everything. Time to haul out the ionizing air cleaning machines and pretend that they are sucking out the last of the poison. Enough Peppermint Patties might mask any ill effects, or at least any consciousness thereof.
But, meantime, no; won’t be writing tonight. Am a bit out of my element. Maybe this is what childbirth feels like, right before the water breaks. Or, death, right ahead of those final three catch breaths in the pocket of the throat. I’ll be waiting, somewhere between what might have been and what was for far too long, for that which is getting ready to greet me, right around the corner of the next turn of phrase.
© Ruth Ann Scanzillo
3/20/15 all writes reserved. Wink.