I woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed. Literally. I’m usually very adamant that I sleep on the right side of my bed, but when my eyes opened this morning they were staring out of my bedroom window, which, alas, is on the left side of my bed. And they did not behold a pleasant sight. The whole yard seemed to be blanketed in a dreary, hazy sort of fog. Clouds clung in the sky just inches over our roof, dangling on thin marionette strings and just waiting for the inevitable moment when they would come crashing down on us and thrust us even deeper into this dismal world. The birds’ songs sounded forced and depressing.
In other words, it was a typical day in the Pacific Northwest.
This was sorely disappointing at first; I had big plans for the day. For one thing, it was the day I would finally start noveling again, something I couldn’t quite bring myself to do for the past few weeks. This was due to the fact that my main character is currently suffering from inexplicable acute depression. Well, to give her credit, it’s not exactly inexplicable. I mean, she just found out that her mom was violently murdered, for crying out loud. But still. She’s not coping well. She’s shut herself up and is sort of rocking back and forth on her bed in a state of numb disbelief, denial, and self-pity. And I don’t know how to get her out of it. Maybe start her on some Zoloft? 😉 Or some therapy…with I, her creator, as her shrink…I could imagine how that would go:
Me (official clipboard on my lap, special shrink glasses, mega high heels): So, what seems to be the problem here today?
Her (reclining on a classic red velvet psychiatric chair): I don’t know, Doctor…this world just seems to be…too much…at times…
Me (scribbling away at clipboard): I see. Do you think this sensation could have anything to do with the fact that you just found out your mom was gruesomely annihilated, and that you lied to everyone important to you after finding this out?
Her (wide-eyed): How did you know about that, Doctor?
Me (smiling knowingly): Ah, because I created you, young Padawan.
Her (still wide-eyed): What’s that?
Me: Ah…never mind. It’s a movie reference.
Her: But…you created me?
Me (nodding, very self-satisfied): Exactly.
Her (looking ecstatic): Well, then you can fix this! I mean, you can just write me out of this! I won’t have to go to any more of your stupid shrink sessions!
Me (shaking head sadly): But that’s why you’re here. I can’t do anything for your case. Myself, your family and friends–we can all be a support system for you, but in the end, it is you who have to carve out your own road to happiness. You’ll sort this out all on your own.
And with that, I recline in my shrink chair, smiling to myself and thinking proudly that I have just delivered some very high-quality psychiatric advice, and trying very hard to ignore the fact that my patient is staring at me from her chair, stunned and obviously heartbroken. Because I have let her down, leaving her like this.
I shake my head to clear it of such strange visions.
I decided that maybe I was just looking on the dull side of things, and, lo and behold, I was. When I finally dragged myself outside to go for a run and mull over my writing it was pleasantly warm outside, and the dogs were sure happy to see me. (They each hold toys in their mouths and shake their heads viciously to kill them as they trot along behind me.) In fact, they were so excited to see me out running again that they joyously inhaled the “active” fragrance of my running shoes…
The dogs make me look slow, because they’re hardly panting at all while I’m busting my butt to get one more lap in before 15 minutes is up. (I think it’s due to them having four legs.) But, alas, I am slow…
And sadly, I didn’t have any mega brainstorms during my run. My thought process was something like: ow, ow, ow, legs so sore, so sore, painful painful, must go faster get stronger, pain, ow, pain is GOOD, ow, faster!.. My legs have some objections to running, unfortunately. But I figure that if I want to go out for the cross-country team this year, I must learn to silence them. Whether that means completely murdering them, I’m not sure…but that tactic would be effective.
I came back inside. I gorged myself on more hummus. And I still couldn’t write.
Sure, there are plenty of forums on the web for writer’s block, but what about writer’s schizophrenia, hmm? Where you’re imagining yourself as your character’s shrink? I mean, who else does that happen to?!
But I think I need to just close out of the internet, open up Word, keep breathing, and just start typing stuff. Even if it’s crap. Perhaps eventually I’ll come across a gold mine if I just sift through all the silt first.
(Sigh.) It’s going to be a long day.
Please excuse me. I have some writing to do.