I didn’t write a word once I reached the apartment yesterday evening. I don’t know what happens when I’m inside these narrow walls—crumbling brick on one side, grayish white on the other. All of my energy is sapped once I set a foot inside. The couch swallows me up like a sinking carpet. My brain buzzes along with the refrigerator. The TV bullies me into turning it on.
It’s quite awful. Truly, we need a bigger apartment so there is an extra room for writing. But we could never afford anything larger in this city. Truly, I need to shut off the cable and throw the TV out the window, but I get such pleasure from it numbing me at nights after long days at work. This is why I have to pay for a place to write—I’ve been doing it now for I guess almost seven years. I think that’s something someone would only do in Manhattan. I’ve heard of other cities with windowed apartments and extra rooms, but I know I’d be battling myself even there. Couches can be anywhere. My writing spot is so important because 1) it is quiet as a library, 2) there is no TV, 3) people cannot chat with you, 4) there is nothing really to look at, 5) other writers are writing around me so I feel the drive to do the same, and 6) I am shelling out hard-earned money to go there, so I must make my time worthwhile while there.
I’m heading to the writing spot now. Full disclosure: there are two couches there, but I don’t let myself sit on them. Sometimes I see other writers napping on the couches, so tempting… Still, I am a stronger, better person when outside of this apartment. I have to be. Even now, I am in my living room across from my couch and the fan is on my face and I am thinking “I’m sooo tired” and No! I’ve got to get out of here before it sucks me back in.