waiting and cold coffee

Some days are open and unplanned, with the potential for promise or complete emptiness. Some days are like this. So, you shuffle around the house in your slippers, restless and undecided. There’s a mug of coffee in your hand that grew cold hours ago. You sit down in front of the computer and run a hand through uneven hair that’s barely there (because you cut it all off yourself a few weeks before), rubbing the bits of sleep out of the corner of your eyes, while trying to figure out how to translate into words the growing congestion in your mind.

You know there is something there, but where are the words? How do you piece them together, and if you did, what purpose would that serve? What are words for anyway? For a frustrated, scowling moment, you resent the constant search and your need for these words. Perhaps, because you recognize that without words, your world would be an endless, barren, colorless landscape. You know, all too well, that without them you would shrivel up and die, and you almost did once….you remember that time when you clung to words, like a life jacket on a sinking ship. That time when you were trapped inside yourself, and as you fought desperately to rescue the words from drowning, those words brought you safely back to the surface of yourself. There you lay for a time, breathless and half dead, drying out on the shores of life…

Since then, the recovery for you both has been mostly floundering, interspersed with brief periods of flow. Then, there are days like these, when perhaps still traumatized and recovering, the words withhold themselves from you. “You have been impatient, you have been needy and too demanding,” they seem to say almost reproachfully, “so, frustrated silence is all you deserve today.” The chair screams in protest as you push it backwards, and resigned, pull your hovering hands back from the lettered black keys.

Some days are full of potential. Some days are just for waiting and drinking cold coffee.


Today, everything I start to write has the feel of bullshit. I am trying too hard. Figuring out where to start, how to sound articulate and profound… Then, it becomes all about the reader, not the writing, not the story. I don’t want to agonize over every word, trying to figure out how to paint moving descriptive verbal imagery, like the author of one of the books I have been reading lately. Her book is full of sentences I sometimes find myself rereading 2 or 3 times, not for clarity and comprehension, but to savor them. Her writing is delicious. I want to write deliciously… I want to do more than tell a story. I want the words to stimulate the senses, to inspire a sigh of pleasure, or even a groan of pain.

I was eating gluten free for about 8 months. It seemed to be the right thing to do for my body, at the time, but recently I changed my mind. The reasons are inconsequential, but for 8 months I had nothing with wheat or gluten. For 8 months, I fantasized about the spongy, softness of a loaf of bread. That first piece of buttery bread, after that much time away, was a rare uncomplicated moment of flavorful, textural bliss. That is how I want to write. I want reading the words I put together to feel like my mouth and taste buds felt eating that first piece of real bread, after eight months of nothing but dry and flaky gluten free alternatives. I want to write in a way that feels like a return to the way things used to be, when everything inside is relieved to be reminded of what it recognizes as good.