“I’m drinking coffee in bed.” That was going to be the first line of my blog post today, a line that I landed on at 3 o’clock AM and then continued with for hours as I lay awake, composing. And the line was going to be true. I was going to drink coffee in bed, which I have never done before, because my husband was going to work out in my writing space (the living room) this morning, because his mom and our nephew are in his workout space, sleeping.
So I lay awake, thinking about what I’d write, propped up in bed with my composition book in my lap, pillows behind my back and smooth sheets over my legs, and my white porcelain cup sitting on a makeshift nightstand of a large stack of books. I imagined the inspiration I’d draw from my new writing position, not just because it would be a novel space, but because it would be private. With a door.
As I wrote, in my head in the dark, without keyboard or pen or paper, I thought of a million other things as well, as people will do when they lay awake at 3AM. I thought of the beans I need to cook today, and wondered if I make a pot of coffee at 6, will it still be fresh when my mother-in-law wakes up? I remembered all the things I need to squeeze in, and attempted to manage everyone’s wishes for the day – the boys want to go to the turtle pond by themselves, our daughter wants to go bowling, I need to cut tags off and launder some back to school clothes, Grandma would like to return and exchange others. The kids want to go to the toy store. Interspersed with those exciting thoughts were regrets about my writing practice, and how far it has fallen these past few weeks. Words crawled through my head like spiders as I lay there, trapping me in their webs, keeping me awake. I haven’t been sweeping them out, and I felt like I was going a little mad, like an injured athlete who cannot train at the level she wants, who paces, restless, waiting for the time when she can get back to it already.
And then I’d come back to “I’m drinking coffee in bed,” and long for the privacy, and think how I’m looking forward to the first day of school like a kid looks forward to Christmas. I counted the days (23) and told myself I can make it.
I didn’t drink my first cup in the sheets this morning, propped against pillows and lifting my cup from a stack of books next to the bed. I’m on the couch instead, composition book in my lap, my legs tucked underneath me and my coffee cup on its regular perch on a small wooden stool. I’m in the living room because my insomnia kept my husband up, too, and now he is catching up on sleep instead of working out. Of the six people in our home, I am the only one awake, so though I am in an open space, without a door, I am still able to sneak a few minutes of privacy.
Soon, life will get back to normal. Soon the kids will be back in school and I will have quiet, and routine, and freedom to listen to my podcasts without worry of listening ears, or constantly drying my hands to hit pause for endless interruptions – “Mommy, can I have a snack? Will you play a game with me? Where are my shorts? Will you cut me a peach?”
Soon I’ll have privacy and the solitude my sanity depends on, without having to hide in my room, drinking coffee in bed. Soon I will be writing again. I’ll get back into my practice and sweep out the words. Soon. 23 days.