This past week, instead of writing, I’ve been dealing with contractors — the retaining wall beside our house has fallen in and our roof is leaking. The guy building our new wall — and it is a beautiful wall — is fascinated with the fact that I’m a writer. He says he wants to write a book. Instead of working on my new book, I stand out in the cold and listen to the Wall Man tell me all about the book he would write if only he were a writer. He tells me about the snow sculptures he makes to raise money for charity and how he once experienced a true miracle.
In addition to spending a great deal of what little free time I have with the Wall Man and holding the ladder for the roofer (it was that or call the fire department, he said), I’ve been taking my mother, my daughter and our dog, who has some sort of hideously itchy skin condition, to doctor’s appointments. And what else have I spent my time on? Working on Halloween costumes. Going to playdates, playgroups and storytime. Drinking far too much coffee. Watching Dexter on Showtime. Fighting off the urge to take up smoking cigarettes again. Making a leaf collage. Trying to find crayons that aren’t broken. Sewing dislodged flowers back onto the dress of Hello Kitty. Drinking more coffee. Losing hours of time at MySpace. Raking leaves. Watching more fall. Raking again. Trying to find the perfect pumpkin. Wondering if I have ADD. Wondering if anyone other than family and friends are going to buy my book. Wondering if I’ll ever finish my next book. Drinking more coffee. Making beads out of potatoes. Making potato prints. Thinking that maybe I am a little too obsessed with potatoes. Googling potatoes. Googling obsession. Trying to figure out which fuse has blown when the power in the kitchen goes out and, horror of horrors, my coffee pot stops mid-brew!
The truth is I am a very flighty person. My life is full of half-finished projects. My memory is terrible. If you send me to the grocery store with a list of three items, I will completely forget what they are by the time I get there if it’s not written down. I will come back with mangoes and seltzer and a story about a woman I met in the bread aisle who once sent a poem to Neil Diamond. It’s a wonder I get anything done at all, and to me, a complete miracle that I am able to write an entire novel. Which reminds me, I’ve gotta get back to work on that new book. But first, a little more coffee, and what the hell, maybe I’ll go out and see if the Wall Man wants a cup…
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