My morning pages have turned into evening pages, but the important thing is that I showed up.
I’ve been on a new drug I begged my GP for; Zoplicone. This was after months and months of having a fucked up sleep cycle. I now understand why some countries use sleep deprivation as a torture device. Anyway, I got the Zoplicone (highly addictive, I only get a week) and now I’m rested. The one down side is that I slept too late and by the time I got myself ready for the day, it was lunchtime. The morning pages took a back seat to a fruit and cream of wheat concoction I put together and that was that. Then Rear Window, my favourite film, was on TCM, so another delay.
The excuses can keep coming, as they often do. As a writer, there always seems to be something that it preventing you from writing. It’s too hot, too cold, the room isn’t tidy enough, you can’t find your favourite pen, the cat litter needs changing, the laundry needs doing, etc, etc…
The hard part is yanking yourself off the settee, turning off Masterchef US or Bridgerton and just writing something, anything. So here I am. The cat litter has been cleaned, the laundry is on the go, the film is over and I have just under an hour before I have a yoga session. So what if I fill that hour typing nonsense. If I keep typing nonsense, maybe, in time, if I’m lucky, it will start to mean something.
I look up at the tan, circular lampshade hanging from the ceiling in my study. It sways gently, though there’s no open window to provide a breeze. Then, it hits me, the slight draft is coming from the warm air blown from my electric fake fireplace. It’s just enough to make the lampshade sway. It reminds me of the Northridge earthquake in the late 90s. I was still living at home and it was early morning when it struck. We felt it all the way in Yucaipa, some 60 miles or more away. I was awakened by the tremor, then from getting hit by falling stuffed animals that were on the shelves that lined the room, a foot and a half from the ceiling. Care Bears were flying and I knew at once it was an earthquake. I went to the doorway and called to my parents, where were also awake and within a few seconds, it was over. Nothing broken, no harm done. So we thought. My brother was living in LA at the time. His possessions were not so lucky. Glasses and plates, knickknacks and books flew from his shelves and ended on the floor in a broken heap. His building had shifted a foot off its foundation and he was forced to move. A part of the freeway collapsed and a few people died. It was big, but we still haven’t had the Big One. When I lived in San Francisco in the mid-90s, I waited for it. We had a few tremors, and I chuckled at those who had never experienced an earthquake before, like my husband. Being English, storms and flooding is the worst they get. in any case, I’m sure California is due for one soon. The last catastrophic quake to hit San Francisco was in 1908, so one is well overdue. I wonder what will go when that happens? The bridge, Pier 39, the Marina, Coit Tower, The Transamerica pyramid, the Bay Bridge? I hope not. It still one of my favourite cities and though I will never lie anywhere but England again (really doubt I could be tempted elsewhere), it was one of the happiest times of my life. I was a student, I was a newlywed, everything was new and the city was full of possibilities. I wish I new how much those years would mean to me before I left. I would have paid more attention, dome a few things differently. But, isn’t that what everyone says in hindsight? Just the same, when this lockdown is over, I’m going back to California to see my family and I’m adding a few days to SF onto the trip.
See you tomorrow.