What’s Left of My Right Mind

(title of this post is from “Future Starts Slow” by the Kills, from their latest album Blood Pressures)

My agenda for the weekend wasn’t very long, and I’ve actually done about half of what I wrote down.  What I didn’t write down that I ended up doing almost all day yesterday was sleep.  Thursday night was, for some reason, not conducive to sleeping.  Like, at all.  I was tired by 10:30 but couldn’t make my brain stop.  It flipped and flopped between thinking about working and telling myself stories.  At midnight, I couldn’t stand it any more and got up, something I rarely do.  It takes me forever to fall asleep on a good night, so patience is important.  I read until about two and was able to get about five hours of sleep.  I’d planned to have a drink or two Friday night, but that didn’t happen.  I was too tired.  Went to bed by 11 or so, slept until 11 or so Saturday morning, took a nap from 2 to 6, went to bed again at 11:30, got up around 9 this morning.  I haven’t slept like that since I was sick back in the spring.  I knew I was mentally exhausted from work.  I had planned on doing nothing beyond a little writing, a little reading, a lot of wasting time playing the various solitaire games on my computer.  But damn.  I didn’t think I was that physically worn out.  Guess I was.  I didn’t immediately feel better this morning.  Hard to do that when I wake up with killer sinus pain.  But now that I’m on my second cup of coffee and have no more pain in my face, I do feel better.  I didn’t want to waste yesterday like that, but I can’t be mad at myself.  I wouldn’t have slept like that if I hadn’t really, really needed it.

Today has been mostly working on Jack’s last story after several months of neglect and working on it a few lines at a time.  I have domestic duties to attend to, but I don’t particularly care.  I also should go to the library, but I’m not sure I want to leave the house.  If I get antsy later, I might.

For another story I began working on last week, I went and dug up some older, incomplete stories.  By older, I mean written mostly during my senior year of college.  I also found folders and folders of poetry I’d forgotten about, and I suspect these are mostly drafts and that the final drafts are lurking elsewhere.  There were a number of short stories in there as well, most of which are really truly awful and need to be destroyed.  But I’m not up to that task quite yet.  I want to read through them before I toss them out.  I don’t think there will be much worth saving, but I’m going to pretend that’s what I’m looking for.  Ideas may be worth revisiting, but I know the actual prose is going to be bad.

Maybe what I’m looking for is confirmation that I’m a better writer than I was fifteen, ten or even two years ago.  Maybe I’m looking for confirmation that I’m still horrible and should just give up pretending that I’m any kind of artist at all.  Because all the sudden, at the ripe old age of almost 36, I have some idea of what I want to be when I grow up, and I need to convince myself that it’s impossible so that I won’t be too disappointed when it doesn’t happen.  Ambition is a strange beast, and it’s in alien territory in my head.  We don’t know how to react to each other.  Its instinct is to sit and wait and grow until ignoring it is impossible.  My instinct is to flee.  So for now, I’m ignoring it, but I’m not running.  Yet.  For now, I’m tired of having grey hair, so I’m going to go make it black and attempt to read over some of this old crap I’ve dug up.

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