I have a fresh story out, “The Secret Life of Johnny Cool.” It was a lot of fun to write, er, maybe too much. It’s over at Almost Five Quarterly if yer interested.
As summer winds down I find myself becoming more and more spent, as a mother and a writer. I wake up in the morning with every intention to create the best day possible, get things done, motivate my kids, keep the house tidy, write great stuff, and then at the end of the day maybe I’ll have read a chapter of some book, or perhaps caught an episode of Charlie Rose. But it’s damn hard. I tell you. Life is a beast. I can’t get my breath anymore. These kids, they’re wearing me out. This house. This book. I need a break. One day is all I ask. And if I had that one day, here’s what I’d do:
Get up and take a leisurely shower. Not one of those quick ones where I drag a razor up my leg while conditioning my hair, only to end up with greasy roots and stubble on the knee. I’ll enjoy a cup of gourmet coffee, and some kind of crispy, yet gooey on the inside, Dutch cookie. Then it’s time for yoga. Not the hard, strenuous yoga. Not that. Instead it’ll be an awesome new yoga that brings revelations about a person’s body, mind and spirit. The kind that centers my breath with my soul. The kind that makes me look awesome in my jeans. Then I’ll watch an artsy movie, and I won’t stop to pause it once to fold the laundry or take the dog out. And then I’ll write for hours—some of the best stuff I got in me—until dinner rolls around and I sink into an exotic platter of sushi, and later, chocolate cake. Lastly, I’ll read one of them important books everyone’s talking about but which I can’t seem to get through because I’m usually too tired and fall asleep on the first page—always the first page.
But see, if I did score a dream day like that, it’d screw up my schedule. It’d raise my expectations to an exorbitant and dangerously toxic level. I can’t handle that. I gotta stick with what I got: hectic and crazy, but dammit, I’m used to it.
My compromise comes in two weeks when school starts. Oh, those lovely Autumn days of a quiet house and time stretched out ahead like the Nile. Those lonely, sad, horrible days of motherhood, where her children are gone, like an empty nest and no shells to sit on.