I can’t write with that racket.
If my creative setting isn’t just so, my brain goes numb. Unwanted noise stifles my fingers like a pair of boiled wool mittens.
Here I’ve gone to the trouble to call the front desk about turning on the fireplace, filled a glass measuring cup with water for Via – Columbian Roast – found my notepad and a pen, actually turned the chair toward the window. This cozy little corner of the living-dining room was going to be my writer’s den.
It’s 7:30 in the morning, for cryin’ out loud. Who needs the TV at this hour? And is it breaking news? When someone stops to stand in front of a TV, I expect to hear something akin to a lunar landing. What? What’s that I hear? Some nameless person rattles about car parts or car speed or car art and I’m getting more irritated by the minute.
But do I speak? No. Why not? Because this should not bother me.
We’re sharing a lovely apartment with a pretty view. I’ve got my laptop, an overstuffed chair by the window AND the fireplace. Coffee is but seconds away.
Besides, what’s a little TV chatter to a writer like me? I’ve been doing this my whole life. Second nature like, ummm, drat. Metaphors escape me. Car-man is asking some garage guys the top speed of juiced-up El Camino.
How am I supposed to turn a phrase with this TV trash turning my stomach?
I can do this. Thoughts should flow effortlessly to fingertips. There’s was a time I could write copy on a crowded bus. One morning, years ago, I wrote a mission statement with one hand and dried my hair with the other.
Get over yourself, I say to my head. Fix the coffees, take your notepaper and sit, write. Block out the auto babble.
I can’t write. Too distracted. The flat, rectangular elephant in the room is making me crazy. The microwave beeps three times – a sound I’ve been anticipating.
Get over yourself, my head says back to me. Be thoughtful here. Not upset. I walk over to the TV watcher. Manage to pry open my gritted teeth.
“Would you like some coffee?”
Polite too. That makes it worse. How am I supposed to write when the TV-watching living-room-taker-over is polite?
Taking my irritation-flavored coffee to the bedroom, I prop up pillows and nestle in for practice with pen and paper.
“Home is where the heart is,” the pen writes. After boring myself with home and heart, the pen moves on its own – like the moving-thingy (“planchette”) on a Quija board – forming other words.
“My apologies … but I write to the rhythm of my pen …” Words get crossed out; parenthesis embrace the writer’s distractions.
I gaze out the window for inspiration. Nothing. Snow falls over Santa Fe. Television murmurs through closed doors. I can’t write. I got nothin’.Photo: news.com.au