She paces in the small room. Back and forth, back and forth, along a worn rut in the carpet. A worn rut. She immediately giggles. “Rut.” She says it out loud and giggles again. I’m five. She sighs, runs fingers through her hair, drags hands down her face stretching her cheeks comically. She resumes pacing. What should I write? What should I write? What to write? I should write. I’ll just write. She sits at the computer. Flexes her fingers. Poised over the keyboard a hundred words tumble through her mind. Suddenly. Once. It. Previously. Darkened. Assuredly. For. Desiring. She sighs again, hops up and resumes pacing. The carpet mats underfoot, shrinking in on itself, nearing the state one could only call threadbare. She sits again. She stands. “I should write. I’ll just write something. Right now. I’m going to just write a story.” She sits. Fingers poised over the keyboard again she breathes in time to the blink of the cursor. The shelf is dusty. It’s actually really dusty. When was the last time I dusted? Was it last week? Did I even dust in here last week or just in the living room? God it’s dusty. That will drive me nuts. She hops out of the chair to find the Swiffer cloths.
Later, every surface in the condo is dust-free and gleaming. Gleaming also is the toilet, the bathtub, the sink, the mirror, the stove, the countertops, and several lamp bases. She paces again. “This is ridiculous, I just have to write something.” She sits. Purses her lips. I should try that new lipgloss out. Just quick, just a quick gloss while I think.
Some time later she sits again, lips glossed, face freshly washed and made back up. Well I’m just wasting time now. I’m like ‘Adaptation’. Shit, I’m just like Nicolas Cage in ‘Adaptation’! That scene was actually so funny. I wonder if that’s on YouTube?
Halfway through 'Adaptation' she turns it off. I’m the worst. She sits back at the computer. Flexes her fingers. I need music, though. I can’t think in all this quiet. So quiet. ‘Prey for Rock n Roll’. Awesome. She dances on her chair. Nope, too loud. ‘Requiem For A Dream’. Too depressing! Guh! Katy Perry. Too frothy. Aerosmith. Too, uh... too Aerosmith? Billy Joel. No. Harry Connick, Jr. LOVE HIM. Okay, too distracting. Volbeat. Perfect. No, too loud. ‘Dark Knight Rises’. Yes.
An hour or so later she has completed an absolutely unpublishable Bane fanfic. “FUUUUUUUUUCK.”
She makes a pot of coffee. She watches it brew. She drinks two cups, one right after the other. She watches the rest of ‘Adaptation’. She sits back at the computer. “JUST. WRITE. SOMETHING.” She puts “I Go To Extremes” on iTunes. God this song is so profound. Billy just gets me. She resurrects, for the fourth time, her ‘Billy Joel Teaches History’ series.
Not much later she tires of researching Walter Winchell. Would it have killed him to put some explanation in the song? It’s like a damn laundry list. Nobody will ever fully research this song. There’s like a thousand things in it. I can’t even count them, it’s nuts. Shortly thereafter she counts 119 historical references in “We Didn’t Start The Fire”.
She pushes back in her chair. Balances precariously on the back legs as she surveys the books on her bookshelf. Geniuses. She grabs one. Reads ‘The Fall of the House of Usher’. Grabs another. Opens to the middle of ‘A Storm of Swords’. Arya chapter. Engrossed, time unwinds. Damn, so good. She replaces the book and stretches. Outside the window dusk is gathering. I love that word: dusk. Dusky. Dusky dusk. It hasn’t been ruined like twilight. That was a great word. Too bad about that word.
A piece of toast later she licks peanut butter off her thumb and sits. Again. Flexes her fingers. Again. The cursor mocks her. Somehow No Mercy is on endless repeat. iTunes mocks her. She holds her head and stares at the screen. Sitting too close. Not ergonomic. Terrible posture. I’m going to go blind.
Suddenly (god didn’t I think about that word like eons ago?) she straightens. Fingers touch the keyboard. She types:
“She paces in the small room. Back and forth, back and forth, along a worn rut in the carpet.”
Nicolas Cage, eat your heart out.
Copyright Corinne Simpson