Writing, I find, is the damndest thing. I can neither condone or control it; all I can do is hope it takes me somewhere interesting. Most times it does. When it doesn’t, I tend to mope around and scowl at the wallpaper, a habit my wife can do without. Then again, she has her piano. She’s playing it now, beautifully. Don’t ask me name the song, though. It’s a classical number I’ve only listened to her pound out a million times. One thing I’ve never heard her do however, is sit down to play and not be able to. That would be unthinkable and most unhealthy for the Pittman household. See, that shiny Yamaha is her emotional release - as much as my own coffee-stained keyboard is the key to a good night sleep. When I first began sequestering myself in my upstairs lair to write, I assured my bride all was still well. “Look. I’m not playing Donkey Kong up there,” I’d say - as if chasing pixilated plumbers were any less viable than posting one’s every other thought on the internet. My wife, a wise woman who learned to live with my quirks l-o-n-g ago, only laughs, then threatens to buy me a poster of that damn gorilla. Should I ever get published, I fully expect her to present me with it, whereupon I’ll frame and display it with great pride.
But that day is a long way away - especially since I’m wasting my time riffing on writer’s block, rather than filling holes in my memoir. But therein, lies the rub. No matter how I compartmentalize my time, no matter how many posts I slather on the web, no matter how much fine Guatemalan bean I crush and drain through paper, I still cannot summon the muse whenever I want. I guess that’s why they call it a muse. All I do know is I can schedule whole blocks of time here in my study, only to watch dust motes dance for what feels like hours on end. Other times, I’ll suddenly come to - aware only that I’m totally naked, soaking wet and scribbling rejoinders on the steamed-up shower door (a really bad tactic considering my homeland’s current drought). But I didn’t log in to put that picture in your head; it’s merely what my fingers heard my head say. Most times I pay attention, but there are times I don’t. I’ve learned to just let it go, you see, to allow my hands to dictate that voice in my head and just be glad he’s feeling talkative. Hell, the worst thing that can happen is I’ll refer to myself in third person, something I cringe at every time someone does it in front of my camera.
But I digress, which come to think of it, may be the title of this very post. I’m pretty sure it’ll all be downhill from there - as this is one of those awful stream of consciousness entries my half dozen readers so graciously allow me from time to time. Sorry…and thanks. If you’re still reading this, you either know me or have little else to do. I’m cool with that. In fact, that kind of reader generosity is what keeps blogging possible. If everything I share here had to polished and rewritten, I’d find another hobby and you’d find another website to surf. That would suck, for I am as addicted to your eyeballs as I am hooked on good coffee. How authors of yesteryear produced finished works with no encouragement along the way astounds me. Then again, there’s lots about writing I don’t know. I didn’t study it in the college courses I never attended, didn’t even experiment with in high school (outside of forging a few report cards). I just grew up reading everything I could find, hid my ambition under a cloak of melancholy and figured I’d get around to scribbling down my thoughts someday.
The internet, however, I never saw coming.