Mark does not understand the creative process.
I am sitting here this morning all slumped in my chair. It spins, did you know that? Plus, also? I can raise it up and down. The raising up and down is a feature I sort of wish I hadn’t noticed.
Sometimes? If I am fucking around on the computer for too long and using my mouse a lot? My right hand gets a teeny bit annoyed and chilly feeling. Like my circulation has been cut off.
When this happens, I like to imagine that I am suffering from frostbite. I am a mountain climber, and I am scaling the last troublesome bits of Mt. Everest, and it is fucking freezing cold, and a blizzard is coming, and there are avalanches on either side of me. I should turn back, but I carry on! I am all inspiring! Because I am determined to beat this fucking mountain (it is my nemesis), and if I have to lose a fucking hand on the way to conquering this evil bitch mountain nemesis? Then so be it, people. So be fucking it.
I am lost in this reverie, and shaking my hand to force some blood down to my tingly fingertips when Mark walks by, “You should raise your chair so that your arm doesn’t rest against the edge of the table.”
What? You can do that? Hold on. Let me check.
And then? Like a miracle? I am sitting higher!
And my hand? Goes back to its normal state where it is not about to turn black and fall off because of frostbite.
I am happy and typing and mousing. Sitting all tall. Like a big girl!
And then? My feet go to sleep. Both of them. All suddenly and tingly and horrifically.
It is much harder to imagine that you are a heroic mountain-climber if both of your feet are now going to be lost due to frost-bite.
Because a mountain climber with no feet? Is a dead fucking loser mountain climber.
Mt. Everest is a cruel bitch, people.
So now I am hopping and stomping about the room, trying to force life back into my deadened feet.
I sit back down and massage my feet. One at a time.
As I am doing this, I realize that in my new elevated position? My feet do not actually touch the floor. Tip-toes . . . yes. Entire bottom of foot . . . no.
And when my feet are all dangly and child-like and not quite meeting the floor? They go to sleep. I know this from every single time I have ever been in a movie theater.
I am short, people.
So I lower the chair. Happy feet.
And then my hand goes to sleep.
So I raise the chair. Happy hand.
And then my feet go to sleep.
I will spare you the story of the 8 million times I have now adjusted this chair in an attempt to find that perfect spot in which blood may freely flow to all of my extremities.
It is not to be found, people.
And now we have come back to where Mark does not understand the creative process.
Although first? I would like to mention that while I have visions in my head of being an inspiring mountain climber who suffers from frost-bite? In real life? I think mountain climbers are fucking idiots. Just so you know.
And speaking of people who are not really that inspiring and may actually be fucking idiots?
There is a certain kind of writer out there who annoys the hell out of me. Don’t worry . . . it’s none of you guys.
And even if it were?
Well, that would kind of suck, actually. I guess I would have to break out the, “It’s not you. It’s me!” speech. Because I do in fact have all kinds of fucking issues.
Here is my problem. I do not want to be inspired.
Seriously. I do not. I do not want to be told to go out and capture the magic of the day. I do not want to be told that I need to do special things for myself to capture the magic of myself. I do not want to be told about others who have captured the magic while I am sitting here with numb feet and frostbitten hands. I do not want to be told about how you were all broken, but now you are on the road to recovery because you have climbed your own personal evil nemesis mountain. Especially if you are going to close with how I need to go out and conquer my own mountain. Fuck that.
Go, gentle reader! Go out all inspired by my writing and my suffering and my fabulousness and spread the inspirational word!
Get away from me with that shit. You are annoying the crap out of me.
I want to be clear . . . I am not averse to responding emotionally to someone else’s writing. I am not averse to being inspired. But if those things are going to happen? I want them to happen organically, because of something I bring to the experience as a reader. I want to be unexpectedly and terrifyingly swept away by the force of my connection with your words.
If that moment happens? That is magic. Rare and lovely magic.
If there are little sign-posts up all over the place about how I am about to be inspired and uplifted? That is not rare and lovely magic. That is manipulative bullshit.
Wait. Where was I?
Mark does not understand the creative process.
So I am sitting in my chair all slumpy, just thinking. My chair spins . . . I believe I already mentioned that. I try not to spin it a lot (even though it is a lovely feature), because very time I spin my chair, I think of my grandmother and a story my mom once told me.
My grandmother had suffered a stroke, and while she had mostly recovered, there was some dissent among family members about whether or not she was still competent to handle her affairs. There was a meeting with the attorneys and the family and my grandmother . . . in which it was decided, over strenuous objections, that my grandmother was in fact still competent.
My grandmother did not speak more than a few syllables during this meeting.
And then, as my mom tells it, at the close of the meeting, her eye was caught by sudden silly movement in a room full of serious stillness. She turned to look at her mother (my grandmother). My grandmother was spinning in her chair. Slowly at first, and then faster, a look of complete and utter joy on her face. Oblivious to the discussions and disagreements swirling around her, she smiled and spun in mischievous childlike delight.
So when I spin in this chair, it feels like a sign of incompetency to me.
Back to Mark being all clueless about the creative process.
So I am sitting here all slumpy and thoughtful, and Mark comes through and sits down. Starts talking stuff about how his screen-saver is not working and he needs another cup of coffee and he has an email to forward to me. I am not really listening. I am all slumpy and thinking.
He gets testy, “So what I say holds no interest at all? You’re just going to sit there in your chair in a daze? You are doing nothing but staring into space in a daze!”
“I am not sitting here in a daze!”
I sit up straight and start typing, “I am so not sitting here in a daze. I am sitting here being inspired!”
And guess what? I have had an epiphany! I will share it so that you can be all inspired as well . . .
I believe that in addition to all of my various dysfunctions?
I must now add Ergonomically Challenged.
Because my feet? Totally asleep.
Save your tears, people. Because I am going to be strong and I am going to figure this shit out. I will triumph over this latest bit of adversity.
I will be . . . in a word . . .