Yesterday during my walk, I was feeling so discouraged at how late I’ve been: perpetually late to all of my day jobs, late to sort through the boxes filling my would-be workspace, late to adulthood.
When I met you I was mid-procrastination in years’ long delay. Too unmotivated to get serious writing, too lazy to cook, I’d go out for early supper, most days, week after week. It’s how you found me.
Remember when I would say that I intend to write a book? You’d just look at me and say nothing. I was a little hurt at what seemed to be a lack of encouragement. But the more I thought about it, I began to see it this way: you were a person of action. You worked hard. There are bound pages with your name on the cover and spine. Publishing is commonplace in your circles; working hard is commonplace in your circles. I’ve come to imagine that perhaps if you had chosen to speak in those moments, you might have said, “Show me.”
Yesterday during my walk, I was feeling lonely. No one in my life knew you. No one in my life talks to me the way you used to. Constantly, I have imaginary conversations where I contrive your responses knowing full well it’s impossible to know what you’d really say. I come up with my best guesses, reminding myself that it’s all me anyway.
So yesterday, as I walked, I chose to think, So what if you’re late and lonely and have failed to write a book up until now. Keep going. Keep going.
That thought (Keep going) got me through marathon training years ago, not to mention the marathon itself. It will get me through this grieving. It will get me through my dream of writing a collection of essays.
I finally did unpack the clutter in the spare room; it doesn’t matter that it took the impending arrival of house guests to move me into action.
Here is my office. I’m not going to tell you what I do here. I will show you.