Ever been frustrated with your writing? It happened to me once… or was it twice? Since we can relate, please allow me on this Friday morning to grant us a little levity with those self-doubt riddled reflections we subject ourselves to.
“A Post-Coital Conversation With My Writing”
I sit in my desk chair, spent.
Proud of myself actually.
I reach for my writing drink: A Gentleman Jack with ice. Which, after having been neglected for the past hour while I diligently pounded my keyboard until I felt I had nothing left to give, is sweating as much as I feel my mind is now.
While selfishly imbibing in a euphoric swig, I glance back at the only light emanating the room… my iMac. My 21st century writer’s version of lighting a candle. And it’s mocking me. I can not only feel it but in an osmotically weird way hear it as well.
“You’re feeling pretty good right now, aren’t you?”, It says.
I set my sweat-drenched glass back on its coaster, “Uh, you know what? I am.”
“What about me! Am I fully satisfied?”, my screen dims slightly from what I’m sure is the start of my power saver function but I can’t help but think my iMac just pouted.
Completely taken off guard… and quite frankly… not expecting this kind of reaction from my writing so soon after a marathon session of intimate time together, I begin to stutter.
“Wh, Wh, What did I do wrong THIS time? I held in there until I had two full chapters done!”
I gently stroke the spacebar on my keyboard and my iMac raises it’s head and looks me in the eye again. After a moment watching the hourglass spin while she collects her thoughts, she admits, “Listen, I’m not going to say what you wrote towards the end of chapter three wasn’t pretty hot, and that I’d really like to try that again someday; but things really fell apart after that. I felt you were just dialing it in. Like your head wasn’t really here with me.”
Taking a deep breath, I swallow my pride and realize there are two in this relationship and it’s certainly not always about me. “What was it about the fourth chapter we spent together you didn’t like?”
“Well for starters, about half way in you had a run-on sentence that just went on, and on, and on, and on. I kept throwing up signals to change direction, go down a different path, inject something meaningful into that part of our night and you just didn’t get the hint.”
“But I thought you liked when I rambled like that sometimes,” I say, grabbing for another swig from my glass. Trying to not feel as awkward as this had become.
“It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that we’ve done that before and sometimes I need something new. Don’t you want to keep this interesting too?”
Shocked, I respond, “Of course I do! I intend to spend the rest of my life with you, how can you say that? I suppose you’d be happier with a Stephen King or a John Grisham!” I realize I’m getting defensive now and have officially lost my post-coital boyish glow.
It may have been my imagination but my screen derivatively brightened. Shouting back at me, “I never complained when you had those one night stands with YOUR short story hussies!”
“Whoa whoa whoa! We had an understanding. We broke up and you didn’t want anything to do with me for a long time, remember?”
“That’s not true. You shelved me. Walked away. You made promises to me you didn’t keep. How could I give you all of me in return?” Again the screen dims. This time I stroke the spacebar again trying to get my iMac to look at me and she won’t.
“I didn’t shelve you because I wanted to. We were in an awkward place and I felt it best to give us space. If those short story “hussies” as you call them hurt you, I’m sorry. That was never my intention.”
“Well what about that lingerie model you spent an entire week with? What was her name? Something like “The Golden Heart”? What about her? She had to have obviously meant something to you. It’s all you talked about.”
Exasperated, I can’t help but respond, “That was over a year and a half ago! And it obviously didn’t work out!”
“That doesn’t keep you from answering her email and those little post cards she sends you in the mail.”
At this point I didn’t have a defense. “But she keeps contacting me! Incessantly! I can’t just ignore that.” Grabbing another swig just so I didn’t have to look at what seems now to be a smoky glow coming from less than a foot from me.
“Do you want to spend more time with her?”, Still dimmed, still pouting.
“It’s not like that. I know that YOU are what is going to make me happy for the rest of my life. I just feel a bit more of a writer around her. I guess my ego got in the way and you’re right, it’s not fair to you.”
Giving us a moment of pause while I take a contemplative breath and she takes another contemplative spin of processing, we sit looking at each other and realize this really is where we both belong.
I take the first stab at a reconciliation, “Can we just get back to us please?”
“What would it take?” A new hope in my demeanor. “I’ll do anything.”
“Well, you know toward the end of our time together you reached into your bag of tricks and brought out a comma?”
“Of course. I thought you’d like that.”
Screen dims and it’s revealed, “I would have rather you used a semi-colon… or even an ellipsis.”
“Well, I can promise you I will do that. Yet, I need for you to give me all I need back as well.”
“What does that mean?” The screen brightens and I have hope again.
“I need to feel connected to you. I realize that won’t happen all the time but in those moments it doesn’t I don’t want us to simply disconnect. It’s important we stand together.”
Without a doubt, my screen illuminates even more. “I want that too!”
“So if I promise to selectively use more semi-colons when you want them, calm down the run-on sentences and experiment a bit more with the heat, you’ll open up and give me the space I need to work?”
I swear my iMac dims before eagerly replying, “Of course. I don’t think I’m wrong in asking for all of your attention but if there are times you need space, I’ll understand.”
Even though there hasn’t really been any noise between us except the rattling of ice in my now empty glass, things become serene. “As sweet as that is, it’s more important for you to know that there is nothing more I want than you. I can go all Jerry Maguire on you and say, ‘You had me at Chapter 1’, but even that isn’t true enough. ‘You Complete Me’? Still not enough. I NEED you. Period. There is nothing more I want than to breathe and live through your being.”
My screen brightens and this time there is no spinning circle. “You’ll give me your full attention?”
At that moment, in the upper right corner of the screen a pop-up reveals I just received an email from Golden Heart again. I shoot a quick glance at my main page and she doesn’t seem to have noticed yet in all my years I know intuition is a quiet and patient giant. I gather my true feelings and I gather my honest thoughts before making my decision. Placing my hand on my mouse I scroll to the delete box and quietly tap it.
I owe it to my writing, to my craft, to myself; to be the person my writing expects me to be. It’s the right thing for everyone involved. Especially to those words staring back at me.
My screen dims, the energy is high, and whether it was she or I, the first words that popped up on the screen were: Come back to bed.
RU Writers, do you have a love/hate relationship with your machine?
Bio: Like most of us, I’ve been around the block a time or two (or three) in the relationship world. I like to think of myself as having a pretty thick skin, however, that skin doesn’t surround the heart.
I’ve been in love; I’ve been in lust. I’ve been hurt and got up to do it all again, each time having learned more of myself as well as “wants” and “don’t wants” for my next relationship. Amazingly enough, I never gave up on that one true love wrapped in Romance. You can visit me here, at http://thedanceofromanceonline.com
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