I’m still not 100% well, this virus has been nasty and debilitating, sapping energy, making me snorfle unpleasantly and hearing myself bark and cackle and hack into callers' ears. Food has lost any taste. I had to cancel a whole week of client and social appointments and commitments. We only miss hale and hearty when our health crouches in a corner.
Last night I went out, aimlessly, in a snow storm in the car. I don’t know why. I’m stupid that way. I ate at a Chinese food place, ate is too kind a word, I sampled a plate of fish, peking duck and cold unidentifiable things that were meant to be hot, I left most of it and came home within 45 minutes. I couldn’t stand the excitement.
Then my nose opened up. A massive nasty nosebleed that took hours to stop and then opened up again an hour later after I forgetfully blew my nose. I lay in bed thinking of the headline :
Grandmother dies in bed asphyxiating on her own blood.
It kept me awake for hours. I tossed and turned. Cuddled with the dog. Went down and made cocoa at 3 o’clock in the morning. Snow fell. Ploughs thundered by. My nose is all clogged and I am now mouth breathing, terrified the dam will burst again. I must have fallen asleep at dawn, light was seeping in under the blind. I like being tired enough that I don’t care if I drown in blood in my sleep.
My last thought was: Why are you so afraid of working on your novel?
I got up at eight and called my client. I apologized. I said anything I told him about why I couldn’t work for him today would be TMI (too much information). He was fine. We changed the date to tomorrow. No one wants to hear about blood. No matter what the source.
I went back to bed, still mouth breathing. Slept until 10. Made breakfast of mueslix and pineapple.
I wrote in my journal: Why are you so afraid of working on your novel?
Answer: The muse is gone, writer’s block is major, it is a stupid crappy novel anyway and you can’t really write.
OK. We’re glad that’s out of the way. Now can you make one promise? Just one?
Can you not go into email, go into the web, go into blogs until you’ve sat for four hours at the keyboard reading some of the novel and maybe, huh, writing?
OK. Alright. But it won’t work.
4.00 p.m. I tear myself away from the keyboard. I am crying my eyes out. I’ve written the back story of one of the main character’s parents. Completely. How they met in Auschwitz. How they suffered. How they shaped him, their only child. How they live and breathe on my pages.
I can write.
And blow my nose again.