distractions / fiction / first-drafting / novels

Fumbling in the Dark

Every morning—on mornings I am a good writer and not a bad writer—I wake up while it’s still dark and while my other half is still sleeping. I climb out of the loft bed to turn off the alarm—every morning expecting to fall off the ladder, and every morning somehow just inches short of falling off the ladder. After I shower I sneak back into the bedroom for clothes. Imagine a dark box lined with soft loose objects, some hanging, some on the floor, some on chairs. Imagine moving through that box naked, trying to find something. The barest peek of light comes through the window so all you can see are the faintest hint of colors. And, of course, most of the clothes you and your husband own are black. This is your clean laundry, this blind mass of fabrics. Now imagine trying to search through the dark, in the piles of dark things, through the hanging eaves of dark things, seeking some wearable object that will not get you laughed out of work. I am lucky if I find my own pants. It is a near miracle to find two of the same socks.

Every morning I fumble through the dark looking for something to wear. I don’t turn the lights on because E is sleeping. And I can never find a working flashlight when I need it. This is my life. You would think I’d have learned by now. You know, to, I don’t know, sort the clean laundry so all pants and socks are in one particular place I can find in the dark. Or, huh, pick out an outfit the night before? Buy batteries for the flashlight? But no. Every morning I go through this. Every morning I say it’ll be different tomorrow and every new morning it is the same as it was yesterday.

That’s how I feel about this novel right now. Fumbling in the dark looking for that bright, solid idea that’ll help me make it to the end. But I’m getting somewhere. I think. I see a hint of colors. I’ve found one sock. I can’t wait till I can see where I’m going with this. What a day that will be.

2 thoughts on “Fumbling in the Dark

  1. Oh, are we related or something?

    This sounds like my mornings, minus the cat har on the the dark clothing that I can’t see until I am nearly out the door. Or the fact that all too often, I am missing the first three alarms that would enable me to get out and write before work.

    Plus, there is no ladder on our loft bed, so the first motion I get to make each day is a hesitant semi-controlled falling slide. I think this is a symbolically BAD way to start my mornings and am working on it.

  2. It’s great. the whole early morning ritual. And that both of you have black clothes makes it sweet (in a good way) and hilarious. (ah, and so new york! I miss it.) Anyway, glad you’re one sock farther with your book. Ever onward .. despite the light.

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