I’m listening to a Jeff Buckley station on Pandora today while I am at my day job, working and writing. I’m glad I have the type of job that means I can spend time writing and as I realized very early this morning I’m missing something.
I’m craving solitude.
I don’t get a lot of it at all. I want to sit alone with a cheese plate and a beer. I want to sit in a cafe where no one knows me and I’m not a regular. Where I can just be with my thoughts for a while.
Once upon a time (an astonishingly stressful time) I lived on an island. My life was imploding. I was fighting an eviction from a previous landlord, trying to prove I didn’t live in that place, my partner had just gotten out of the hospital after being there for two months, I almost lost my job it was all going to hell.
There was all of that awfulness and then I had these nightly wonderful ferry rides. I loved them so much. I loved shivering outside with a group of old men talking shit while we smoked. I loved stretching out in a booth with my book and watching White people (I was one of 3 Black people my age on the island and I have a big metal ring in my face, everyone knew me) watch me. I loved walking a mile home in the pitch black dark.
I loved that the one time I fell down on my walk a cop stopped his car and used his light not to spotlight me and blind me like Seattle PD but to shine on the ground to make sure I hadn’t lost anything. He even offered me a ride home.
I loved the tiny deer and terrifying giant raccoons.
Once on the way to work I saw a pod of whales and I burst into tears. I don’t cry often and can count on one hand how often in public but nobody laughed. One of the older guys just put his arm around me and kind of chuckled, said his wife had done the same thing when she saw whales for the first time.
Only one person on that commute knew my name. It was the cute bald tattooed boy at the cafe. If he saw I hadn’t made the earlier ferry he would save me a cheese plate and a Heineken. I would sit outside cold or not and just be in my own tiny bit of darkness and silence and aloneness.
These days I still have a long commute but it’s not peaceful. I don’t live in the most awesome neighborhood and my travels are noisy. Lots of dealing with drunks and insane people who apparently set each other off.
I don’t know what my point is exactly.
I’ve been feeling wound up and distant from my writing in a weird way. I was feeling a lot of anxiety about the essay project and writing in general. I talked to my friend Sarah (who in addition to being a cherished friend is a damn fine author in her own right) and I feel better.
Despite the cavalcade of rejections lately I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. I have to write my words and that’s all I can really do about anything.
That feels good.
I want to sit with that alone for a while. I need to go be anonymous and be alone.
In actual literary news here are my Duotrope stats give or take a couple of non fiction pieces that are out in the wild.
Note: These statistics only include fiction and poetry submissions sent within the last 12 months.
Pending responses for last 12 months: 9
Submissions sent last 12 months: 42
Submissions sent this month: 3
Acceptance ratio for the past 12 months: 25.71 %
Now how about some links?
Roxane posted this at HTMLGIANT the other day and it is really good. Good things to think about.
Ted Wilson Reviews The World at the Rumpus and today he reviewed Eyeballs. Ted Wilson delights me.
And that’s all I have time for right now.