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Sunday, March 17, 2013


I open the window, address the pop-up window requiring me to update my password.

I wait while the program reloads, resets, conjure a new encryption to protect yet another facet of my online life. There are so many now, they're hard to keep track of, resulting in my routine lock-out of programs and apps and accounts because I can't remember what I reset this one to the last time, have no frame of reference for what I dreamt up in the quick of the moment.

There, finally, it is.

Buried amid the quick to-do lists and blog prompts that always hit me right before I try to force my insomnia to cave every night, is a short essay begun on a plane ride while a new friend astutely slept.

It is the bones of the first chapter of my book, untouched since this past August.

I read the first few words and my eyes glaze over, my brain actively vetoing the effort of focusing, figuratively and literally. I feel my eye dart in their sockets back and forth, scanning the words I've put to screen via tablet as I remember scanning boring assignments in school -- avoidance to the max, trying to pick out the important parts.

The thing is, it's all important.

I close my eyes and with a dejected sigh I close the program completely.

It's already a half-hour after when I should be in bed in order to run in the morning, and the growing restlessness in my chest tells me I don't have the patience right now, to tear apart my own words and flesh them back out, to concentrate on prose and syntax while rehashing a pivotal moment in the almost-divorce with enough clarity and emotion to transport someone else there, into that moment with me so that they feel it and live it and are pressed to read on to live the story like I did almost four years ago.

Except right now, right now I'm not sure I can relive it in order to tell it. Not tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

A few months ago the chapter and the foreword were magically emailed to me from the program that houses them -- I haven't explored Evernote enough to know if it just does this or if you set a timer of sorts or what all happened, all I know is that out of all the notes of the last two years I've housed there, the two parts of my book were digitally chosen to be shot right back at me, slapping me in the face one random night while I scanned Pinterest on my phone.

It hasn't happened again, since. 

Around me I keep hearing of books being published, writers getting that first book deal, or those deals having their rights optioned for movies; of authors on book tours and signing copies of their life stories printed out for eager readers who have somehow found their words and devoured them like so many other literary entanglements before them, centuries upon centuries of the written word leading up to the moment when they, the author, are a hero to the reader, as well as their families and friends and publishers and themselves because they did it, they wrote something worth reading.

The significance is kind of crushing me.

There's a tightness in my chest that refuses to slack, shortening my breaths and causing my muscles to quake with the effort of existing, only to remind me of what I'm not doing, what I should be doing, because look, look at everyone around you who is doing it, the time is here, the time is now, why are you ignoring this?

Because I know the effort it will take.

I know what going back to that time, through the box of saved journals and legal notes and clandestine copies of evidence I was never meant to see -- the phone records, the emails, the handwritten notes on napkins -- will require of me and subsequently do to me. I know myself well enough to resolutely acknowledge that to dive into this and do it the way I wanted will require me to cut myself off from nearly everything so that when I do go back to that time and those events the only place I will have to go with my feelings will be a virtual page, because only when I give myself over to myself completely do I write the way I want to, the way that always seems to reach the brains and hearts attached to the eyeballs that consume my soul-pourings like soup du jour, a fleeting delicacy to be internalized before it's gone, forever off of the menu. I can't even register things like Twitter or Facebook or email or blogs or laundry or dishes or projects or really my family because to break that stride is to lose it, to detach from an engulfing process so abruptly it nearly causes physical trauma and it will take thrice as long to return to that state, yet never quite the same because the moment passed and I'll never be able to get it back again.

I feel like I'm filling my days with mundanity to escape the inevitability of going recluse in order to get this done, this one thing I've felt for as long as I can remember to be my purpose, my calling.

It's just really REALLY inopportune timing.