Right Now.

by Cassie

Right now: I hate everything that comes from my stupid, sullen fingertips. I hate the way the words sound, the useless way they pile up, wet wood grown bloated, forgotten against the side of a ramshackle shed. I hate the way my head feels so full of things to say, a ten car pile-up right behind my eyeballs, but stops just short of stringing together anything meaningful when I am facing an eternity of blank space inches from my face.

Right now: I am furiously envious of those writers who are committed and concise and successful and marketable. I curse my own lack of focus, the metaphors that line my mind, the alliterative beat of my stuttering heart, the fear of rejection and admiration, the weird way I write that’s neither here nor there and never lends itself to easy one line descriptions. I am furiously envious of the writers who have outlines and character files, pages of notes on their protagonist, on their protagonist’s third cousin twice removed. I curse my own haphazard system, months and years of odd facts and dangling storylines and random pairings, stuffed into a pocket here and a Word file there, and that’s when I manage to write them down at all.

Right now: I am bent double over the gut-clenching certainty that I am the worst at everything I put my hand to. A mother who yells too much, who possesses too little patience, who gets that faraway look in her eyes right around 8 o’clock every night while running the bath water. A wife who lets the laundry pile up into nearly insurmountable mountains, who never quite catches all the dog hairs floating through the house, who is fifteen pounds heavier and fifteen years tireder with a tightly coiled anticipation of abandonment curled at the base of her spine. A daughter who isn’t as present as she should be, a sister who lets the distance stretch too long and the silence grow too complicated, a granddaughter who is short-tempered and resentful in the small, mean parts of a crowded psyche. A friend who aims for honest love and open sharing and who ends up alone with the truth scattered around clumsy feet, too big for the graceful movements required of them. A writer who once eschewed the air quotes surrounding her, but now feels entirely appropriate within their confines.

Right now: I am wallowing around in despair I’ve deliberately chosen, completely comfortable in this familiar chair stuffed with self-loathing and feather-light long-term insecurity. I’m sunk in deep, feet curled up under me, the pins and needles the only reminder of how long I’ve been here. I know how it works; I’ll stay here until I can no longer stand the unwashed scent of indulgence, until I’m fat and lethargic with a thousand words stretched out under my skin, and then I will drag myself up, take a shower, and sit down to try this shit again.

But right now: I’m here, right now.