is the beginning of a new day. It is also the continuing of gears in motion. And some days I feel like I don’t quite fit and it is a struggle to arrange the pieces in their proper places. And some days are easy (like the fog has lifted). And some days are hard (the smoke has not cleared from my latest detonation).
But it is a new day. I woke up this morning and breathed in air that made me thankful for my lungs.
Last night I had the intention to drive home. I arrived at my shift in a chipper mood completely unaware that I was about to have the Shift From Hell. Things have been going swell in my life. I have many days where I’m thankful for my breath. It is a good way to live. I traveled to Pennsylvania on a train with my mother to visit my niece. One night I felt overwhelmed after handling E- all day and needed a smoke break.
mom i just need this right now, okay?
She wanted me to stay in the room so I wouldn’t disturb R-, but I was stirred up like a mixture in a shaker and needed to get out.
ill hang with you later but i need this. Then. Out of nowhere. You think you know what youre doing in life and that you have it all figured out but then one day you realize that you dont… and… i still have a lot to learn. and you’re still my mom. there’s so much i can learn from you.
I think there’s a lot I can learn from you, too.
And I have found myself swept up once more. But this time… something’s different.
Or am I imaging things?
(play things out. What’s the rush?)
I walked into a cloud of pesticide.
what the hell?
Fucking roaches crawling around everywhere. We had two hours to clean house and set up. By the time the graduated RNs walked in I was exhausted and pissed and honestly on the brink of another panic attack.
Sweep the room and check the corners. I squashed 11 bugs and spent the entire night pouring drinks for medical professionals who don’t know how to drink or talk to waitstaff or, for that matter, each other (Newest Pet Peeve: amateur drinkers…
Sandy goes to work every day and takes care of people with cancer. When she gets home she drowns her depression in Cabernet. She’s confused as to why she keeps smiling at people even though she hates her life. “Why did I ever have my children?” she thought bitterly and regretted it immediately. So she nervously took another sip.
[“Was that too mean?”]
Sandy was so happy to have received Most Likely To Succeed at her college graduation. She framed the slip of paper and put it on her dresser to remind her of a promise she had made to herself. Lately, she kept forgetting what it had been she promised. It seemed like a dream and she could only sometimes grasp it. Then it would dissipate out of her hand like smoke. Never even there.
Sandy leaned over the bar and ordered another Corona Lite from the pretty little bartender.
“Killed it,” she slurred, slipping the bottle closer to her. Did Andrew look over? Sandy was suddenly aware that she was flushed. Yes, he side-swiped her. Gave her that little look from the corner of his eyes as she grabbed another beer. Sipping his Stella slowly and solemnly, judging her. She leaned further over the bar to grab the tender’s attention. “Excuse me. What’s my tab at?”
“Like the singer.”
She looked around at the packed room filled with the newest pack of graduates. They were all so young and beautiful and promising. Their parents came out to celebrate and some had handsome men. She envied them. She felt like, not so long ago… something similar happened to her. That she had so many dreams, worked really hard to graduate and got a good position. Then Phil got her pregnant. And she made herself a promise.
But she couldn’t remember what.
“Beers?” She stammered, incredulous.
“No,” she pretty young bartender said, and laughed, “total.” She turned back to the screen. “5 beers.”
“Oh.” That’s not so bad.
Sandy laughed along with the pretty young bartender and lowered her voice, “Well, I haven’t done this in yeears.
I work with them, they’re great girls. Real promising.
I’m getting an Uber home, all the way to Hillsville. Haha!”
The beer was almost gone and Sandy decided to down it.
“Killed it. Can I have another one?”
And felt like she forgot something.
Hm. Oh, Sandy.
Life is full of material. It is a new day, isn’t it?
I’m learning, I think.
Maybe I’m getting a hang of this whole thing.
I’ve been trying this crazy new technique called fucking sitting down and making myself write. Here’s a Personal secret–I longhand everything. I carry around three small notebooks in my purse. They all have different functions. One is my book for standup. One is my book of poetry. And one I have affectionately called my Thought Catcher where I literally just scribble every god damn annoying thing that comes in my head. (I feel like the older I get the crazier I get?)
Then I have two larger notebooks that I free write shit in. Start stories. The computer is intimidating.
And I like transcribing the story to the screen, and adding more meat to it as I go along.
I’ve been doing that a lot. Have an idea. Start the idea. And finish it. Writing is terrifying because it takes an incredible amount of trust.
Usually once I squeeze the first inspiration out I’m stuck, at a loss, and I give up, or excuse myself saying, Oh, I’ll give this one some thought and get back to it later.
Stop thinking! Just write. Do. Pen on the paper. Build the story.
Not like I have this down completely. I’m just beginning. I push myself, but I’m still barely finishing… not finishing, but…
I’m going for longer.
I think I’m getting a hang of this.
I’ve made myself a promise.