There are few things that frustrate me more than to return to some story or essay I started just a few hours before and feel nothing of the original idea that seemed to possess me earlier. It is an extremely rare occurrence for me to be able to ever pick back up on something once I am derailed but it does happen, such was the case last Saturday. The story in question is one that I started several months ago but just sort of died on the vine. Sometime during the middle of last week I reread what I had already written and in the surreal universe that makes up the grey matter between my ears very early Friday morning several new ideas on how to proceed struck me like lightening. So, Saturday morning I eagerly jumped up to begin believing I might actually write something decent.
Looking at my watch as I got out of bed I saw it was nearly six-thirty in the morning, a little later than I planned but luckily both the kids and my wife were still asleep. Within a few minutes I had the laptop booted and my coffee ready and had actually started typing when my daughter came into the kitchen.
“Daddy, whatcha doing?” Darth Wiggles asked sleepily as she came to stand beside me far sooner than I liked.
“Just writing sweetie,” I answered back actually foolish enough to believe I could get her to go to the living room with a Pop Tart and glass of milk and watch television while I continued. That probably would have worked too if we had milk that morning. Apparently someone, Darth Spoilboy, decided to have milk and cookies after I went to bed leaving just enough to make a sloshing sound if you shook the container.
Needless to say there was nowhere near enough for Wiggles much less Dragonwife or Spoilboy when he finally decided to wake up and grace us with his presence around noontime. This forced me to make a milk run to the nearby grocery store, of course Dragonwife called out for me to take the shopping list of items we needed before I left. Wanting to protect my reborn muse I made a few notes on a piece of paper, saved the small amount I had already typed, and closed up the laptop figuring I could pick everything right back up.
All told it took about an hour for me to go to the store and return. By that time Dragonwife was up and much to my horror motivated and full of energy to “get the backyard cleaned up a little” a depressing development since the night before she complained about “feeling bad.” Such a non-optimal condition for her is a near certain sign that nothing substantial or complicated would be tried that weekend. For those unfamiliar with the workings of my family during a slacker inspired uncomplicated weekend just picture a bunch of lazy people lying around the living room watching DVD’s and ordering take out and you will understand.
Not only did Dragonwife feel like working outside the cloudy skies and constant drizzly the high paid television weather people said would make up the weather that day had utterly failed to appear. Things were going so wrong that it was almost like the bright sun that was slowly appearing above the tree tops was laughing at me. Good thing I do not live near any of those overly chipper and extroverted television meteorologists, I would have had their asses raking my yard.
While this might sound like a minor issue my lovely wife is very funny when it comes to yard work. She actually hates it worse than me but any resistance to her plans is met with a stubborn persistence to do even more. This is where Darth Spoilboy comes into play. From the moment I forced him out of bed around eight o’clock Dragonwife and him were at odds over everything steadily ratcheting up the yard work brinkmanship.
It did not take long before my son and I were doing the annual cutting of the crape myrtle trees that line the fence surrounding our backyard. For reasons that escape me all the garden and landscaping experts say crape myrtle trees are suppose to be cut back each winter. I personally feel it is a grand conspiracy involving the gardening/landscaping industrial complex out to scam even more money from foolish Americans vainly trying to recreate English country manors in miniature. But anyway, our crape myrtles are rather large making it a tedious and time consuming job that I am usually able to talk my way out of doing with us instead hiring a landscaper to come and cut the limbs for us right before springtime. Unfortunately Spoilboy's inability to keep his mouth shut and not dig our yard working hole any deeper gave Dragonwife the bright idea that we would do it ourselves this year.
With Darth Spoilboy exclaiming to the heavens how both his mother and I were ruining the special plans he had with his girlfriend he and I began cutting the limbs with Dragonwife standing a few feet back offering her wonderful micromanaging advice. Dragonwife stayed with us because she is convinced that I am out to kill all our trees and bushes to avoid yard work. I would usually disagree just on principle but it happens to be true but no matter how hard I try everything refuses my best attempts at plant murder. All told it was an opera of bickering that I am sure some comedy writer would compare to the best Simpson episode.
Spoilboy and I met most of my wife’s expectations on the crape myrtles somewhere around noontime but given how riled up she had become had not the clouds and drizzled that was expected earlier pick that time to come rolling in we would have been out there all day. With the clouds taking up positions above us Dragonwife almost as if on cue said she was feeling bad again and called it a day.
A cry of joy and freedom rang out of both Spoilboy and I and we scrambled to put away all our tools while leaving a huge pile of cut limbs all over the backyard. My newly liberated teenage son was inside the house, in the shower, and speeding off to his girlfriend’s house far faster than the laws of physics should allow. I on the other hand took my time and had my shower then a leisurely lunch. Somehow my muse was still with me and now that I had the rest of the day to relax and write I took my time.
Around one o’clock I sat back down in front of my laptop and began looking at my notes and the small amount I had typed before everything went to shit. I took a deep breath thinking of how to proceed when Dragonwife came into the kitchen.
“Oh yeah,” she said innocently from the kitchen counter fixing herself something to drink, “you wanted to write some more in one of your stories. Well you have all day now, Wiggles and I will leave you alone.”
I have no idea how it happened or why but my muse that had stuck with me all that day popped like a soap bubble blown by a small child on a summer’s day when my wife said those words. My laptop screen displayed several paragraphs that absolutely made no sense and my detailed notes might as well have been written by someone else. For about thirty minutes I just sat there playing with a few sentences trying to jump start whatever I once had, but nothing worked.
Seeing the futility of just sitting in front of a laptop screen contemptuously displaying just the few lines I was able to write on my word processing program I closed everything up and plopped myself on a seat in the living room with Dragonwife who was already on the couch. “I thought you were so eager to write today?” She asked doubtfully.
“Yeah, but it didn’t work out like I wanted.” I said sinking into the comfortable chair next the couch while beginning the process of dozing off for a nap.
|Now, that might have refreshed my creative juices after that damn unscheduled yard work. Sorry, I just could not resist adding it.|