I Stayed Up Too Late Writing This Again
Now with 100% less politics (sorry Max) and 0% more Pain and Power of Chores (sorry Fitz)
My pattern of writing at obscene hours continues with this newest installment. There are more of these but most are too short or too meandering to post.
There comes a time at night, usually between 10:30 and 11:00, when a primordial urge abruptly takes me over, as compelling as it is random — introspective, metaphysical, emotional, and sometimes ideological writing. It always starts when I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. I get up with a groan, knowing that I should at least try to get something done instead of lying awake in silence. I put on some old crooner or big band, maybe Duke Ellington, maybe Harry James, maybe Bing Crosby, and let the algorithm do its work. I start out cleaning, belting the lyrics whether I actually know them or not. Books and clothes get put away and some real progress gets done, but the biggest issue spot is always my desk.
The desk in my bedroom is the final destination for any and all of my detritus as well as my main workspace for school. This is, of course, a problem, and I set to work tidying it up. My vocal chords usually get a bit strained by now so I stop singing so enthusiastically, too. Eventually, I reach a satisfactory point and rummage about for some notebook, journal, sometimes even notepad, to write in. The writing begins in my trademark hurried scrawl (nobody actually sees the handwriting so I don’t need to make it legible for anyone other than me), often with an under-sharpened pencil and an underdeveloped idea. Sometimes I stop and think for long periods thinking of what to write, and sometimes I can barely get the words on paper fast enough. But I press on, back turned against the wind.
Who knows what or why this time is mine to write in more than any other hour of the day, and who knows how long this specific writing spree will last. My bad hand posture-induced cramp is starting, but Aretha seems nowhere near stopping.
All of this music swirling around me is essential, tangential as its inclusion in this writing may seem at first glance. I truly abhor writing in silence. It swallows up any creative thoughts one might have and spawns daydreams galore. On pain of getting into a diatribe over some topic or contention and the slow encroachment of ‘70s rock on what was once the sole domain of swing, I should be getting to bed. It will be a pain to type this up in the morning (it has been), but discovering something I’ve typed up will not ignite nearly as much nostalgia. Let me leave you with something I discovered tonight cleaning my desk...
Three men stand before a clear lake
Why have they come here?
There is so much more to do.
MT, 6/3/18, 10:53 PM