The Way It’s Supposed To Work … The Way It Does Work

This last week I have not returned from work on time even once. Late nights, many errands, unplanned doctor visits, the world in a tumult and all schedules moved to hell’s hearth. And all this week, I have calmly looked over the time and energy left me, and chosen, consciously, what I would do that evening — usually eat and sleep. I have been calm and balanced; the things I did weren’t what I would have wanted, but they were the choices I made, and I knew I was making them. Nothing was foist on me.

It’s much easier to be calm when I remember that.

This morning Bridgette asked me what I wanted to do this weekend.

“I think I should write…while I can…I’m….

“I’m becoming sort of despairing. Like I should find another hobby, housework or something like that. Like, if I’m going to put so little time into the book, I should just admit that it won’t happen and try to move on.” She looked as if she had some things to say to that, but I wasn’t done. “So I think I should get up, check my email, have some tea, unplug the internet from the computer, and write. I should write a lot. So I can see that I will, even after a week without, sit down and write, and that I can do it, and kind of burn out the despair.”

I got smiles and pats on the head and breakfast made for me. And it was good. After a time, I was noticing that the despair was accompanied by frustration over that damnable chapter 2, irritation at taking so long and doing so little…a bunch of stuff. And I decided to do the writing equivalent of “running it all out” in roadwork, the equivalent of running past the cramps, past the shortness of breath, past the little thoughts of stopping, until the runner is just — running. I was going to do that, but with writing.

But there were things needing done.

Othello stepped up; he wished to go out with friends tonight, but the date was to be late-night, and he needed rides both ways. And money.

“I don’t want to stay up that late. But. I can be bought.” I told him about ‘running through it’, and the things I felt needed to be done today. “Here’s the deal. I’ll write. You be me. Not work in the way you would work, but the way I would, as if you courted self-destruction, and each task was balancing the sin in your soul. Be me so I can be someone who writes, and I’ll stay up late and play taxi.”

And so it was. Bridgette worked without me, ran errands without me, Othello worked like a man obsessed. The chores he did are done as I would have done them. And I wrote 1800 words (the first thousand very, very slowly, but steadily) and finished chapter 2. Chapter 2 will always suck, but it is a written chapter that may suck without my attention, now, until it’s time to rewrite.

The way it’s supposed to work … it works that way. Amazing.

24 thoughts on “The Way It’s Supposed To Work … The Way It Does Work”

  1. “Here’s the deal. I’ll write. You be me. Not work in the way you would work, but the way I would, as if you courted self-destruction, and each task was balancing the sin in your soul.”

    Can you teach me how to do that…?

        1. Easy. Believe this:

          Every single thing you do — no matter how small — matters enormously. You only do one or two HUGE things, you do zillions of tiny ones, and it is by the tiny things that people judge your worth. Which tiny thing is your most valued friend/lover/family member looking at today? How well you are groomed? Whether you cleaned up after yourself? How quick you were to help wrap a package, walk the dog, move the house six inches to the left?

          Now be insecure.

          Those two things will power one another and you will be a self-destructive force for accomplishment.

          1. Well. There might be other ways to do things with fervor. Like, give a damn about whether it is done, is done well, and decide that you will approve of yourself more if you have done it, and done it well.

            Or, y’know, get a loving partner with a whip and leather boots. All sorts of ways to get to fervor.

          2. Hmmmm…

            I could always become a dominatrix… have people come to my house so I can call them pigs and make them do my dishes and vacuum the floor…

    1. No problem. I’ll teach you the way it was taught to me:

      grips in headlock

      It is all right to let people love you. bonk
      It is all right to let people take care of you. bonk
      You are still a good person if you don’t do everything yourself. bonk
      Your loved ones will still value you….


      1. *laughs* I never had *that* problem… partially due to laziness but mostly because I was surrounded by an amazing amount of love from the moment I was born. πŸ˜€

        …I still can not for the life of me take a compliment well, however. πŸ˜€

        1. You will be able to take a compliment when you believe that:

          1. The compliment is true or truly meant
          2. You believe there is no ulterior motive
          3. You deserve to be complimented

          Note that you can believe the compliment is true and still not believe you deserve it. Luck with that….

          1. I will never believe that I “Deserve” to be complimented. To me that borders on feeling as if I were entitled to be complimented, which leads to undeserved egotistic attitudes and the like.

            As for able to take a compliment… I just don’t… react… well. I want to run away and hide anytime anyone compliments me… it’s kinda freaky actually.

          2. “deserve”. “Undeserved”. Hmph. They imply a belief in justice and its basic desireability that you might consider rooting out of your system. As I’ve noted in many other places, I want nothing to do with justice. I want preferential treatment.

            As for the compliment thing…you freak out beautifully. You’re actually quite an inspiration in that way. And you look so good while you’re freaking.

          3. Oh, darlin’, I’m so there. See shards of me, see shattered bits and shiny pieces. See fractured Scott everywhere.

            Under “broken” in the dictionary there are parts of my picture.

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