Zipper

So here I am sitting in my morning writing spot. Sure, the tables were rearranged AGAIN and, sure, the new arrangement now has even fewer tables near outlets (question: do they not like writers coming here? I’ve noticed the group of screenwriters hasn’t been here in a while… Have they all sold their scripts, or have they found other, better places?), but I snagged a table and here I am sitting in it. I have an hour left before I have to leave for the subway. A whole hour. I’m feeling down, but I’m drawing myself up. It will be better today, I am saying, today will be better. I decide to get down my current ideas, the ones I’m warring against. Jade Park has inspired me yet again. So I begin. I am about to do it. Yes. This is it. Then, randomly, I happen to glance down and notice that the zipper on my pants is hanging open. Um, okay. I surreptitiously try to pull up the zipper—and realize it’s already up. It’s off-track, gaping open, completely broken. Which means I have to go home before getting on the subway, miraculously find a pair of clean pants that fit, and then go back out. Probably I lost at most 20 minutes. Nothing to worry about, right? Maybe for a normal person. But me—stupid me—if I know I have to do something in the near future I just cannot relax until that moment. I think about it. I look at the clock every thirty seconds. I can’t focus when I know I won’t be able to focus an hour from now. The time has been tainted by the future annoyance and I can’t get it back. It’s so frustrating. So I have to go home and change my pants, so what! I am here now, aren’t I? I am in a table near an outlet, aren’t I? But how can I sit comfortably in these pants? I cannot write a good sentence in these pants. I’m exposed. I’m an obvious mess; anyone could see if they looked. I am uncomfortable in my own skin. What literary brilliance can feel safe to emerge when you have broken your zipper? I mean, I didn’t expect any literary brilliance anyway, but surely even that slim possibility is RUINED while I am wearing these pants!

I’m taking a moment.

Perhaps… just perhaps… this is an excuse to keep from writing. Today a zipper; tomorrow a piano could fall on my head. I must write through broken zippers and all other catastrophic events—for instance, zombies. But first I must go home and change my pants.


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