It’s hell being a writer stuck in a cube dweller’s body. Today I had to drag my cold, stiff corpse up to the computer desk to regain some semblance of life by doing something creative. My soul left my body some time ago, threatening to never come back unless I gave it something to live for.
The other day we had an important department meeting to discuss critical issues. Chief among these was office chair safety. That’s right. Screw the metrics. Some lady leaned over to pick up a post-it note off the floor, bumped her head on the desk and fell right the fuck out of her chair. They discussed, at length, safer ways to pick up a post-it note, including getting one’s fat ass out of the chair, squatting down to grab the note, and then lifting with one’s legs. I’m not even joking you.
Next on the agenda was proper hand-washing techniques, seeing as Ebola is lurking around every corner waiting to kill the shit out of you. They wanted each member of the department to demonstrate what they believed to be proper hand-washing procedure. I was halfway expecting to get a story read before nap time, but that crap didn’t happen.
Thinking all the riveting subjects had finally been covered, we moved on to talk about if the department wanted to reinstate the secret pal gift program. This is where some secret pal leaves little gifts on your desk for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and your own slow death. The bosses wanted to make it clear that this would be a secret vote, as there tends to be backlash for the people who openly don’t want to participate. They wanted to give them a safe way to say no, because apparently you can get your ass whacked for not wanting to leave cheap WalMart shit on your coworkers desk.
After a heated debate on how not everyone can afford five dollars every six months, I woke up from my coma only to discover they had moved on to warn us of the impending threat of birds shitting on people from the tree branch outside the south exit. It was decided that the branch should be cut, but certainly not before my wrists. When the letter opener didn’t seem to be doing the trick, I tried to stick my arm in the paper shredder. It just jammed and then I slipped and fell in my own pool of blood. Maybe we should be discussing how to properly kill oneself when standard office supplies just won’t do.
Writing a book is especially challenging when you don’t have a soul anymore. When I get home at 5:30 after looking at a screen of numbers all day, the screen of letters, or lack thereof, proves to be very intimidating. The other day, with no motivation to write, I decided to drink a little to infuse myself with creativity. It always worked for research papers. I ended up writing like the wind. The next day when I looked at it, and I’m not kidding, this is one snippet of the pile of shit that burst forth from my magic fingers:
“When I was a as a child, I told everyone that won day god was going to turn me into a boy. I hoped and I prayed and said Hell Mary’s, even though I wasn’t a Catholic and didn’t know what a Hale Mary was. Later I would learn that it was just a last ditch effort at a toucch down. What kind of crap were these people selling, and why was everyone buying it? I lost hope, for good, of ever receiving that pianist.”
First of all, I’m a good speller. I was in UIL, for God’s sake. Second of all, who were the people doing the selling? I’m not sure where I was going with that. Thirdly, I never wanted a pianist, but a penis would have been dandy.
I realize that balancing life sucking work with life giving writing is a real bitch. People routinely ask how my book is coming along, and I of course say great, because all things considered it is. Writing under the best of circumstances can be a challenge, but writing without the help of my soul is bullshit.
Now that I know proper chair safety, hand washing technique, and how to dodge bird shit, it’s balancing work with my real calling that’s next on the agenda.