“Writers are notorious for using any reason to keep from working: over-researching, retyping, going to meetings, waxing the floors–anything.”
I opened the door to my son’s classroom and an invisible claw grabbed the muscles in my right side and clenched. Twisted while clenching. Clenched as if my muscles were Playdough. Or my sad morning cinnamon waffles. I sank into a kiddie chair with a fixed smile on my face, repeating, ”Ha ha ha!”, as though I was laughing. A teacher hurried over. In soft (so as not to arouse kiddie suspicion), urgent tones and many run-ons, she said: “Are you all right? Should I call a doctor? What are you feeling do you want some water? Can you describe the pain is it your muscles kidneys? Have you experienced this before what day is it today? What planet are you on? When was the last time you studied Einstein’s theory of relativity? Is this a stunt to avoid your writing? Why did you tattle on that one girl when you were in the 2nd grade who’s your daddy?” Etc.
I wanted to primal scream in a roomful of four year olds. I wanted to rip my right side from my body and feed it to the classroom pet bunny. I wanted to run screaming into the playground and impale myself on a kiddie rake. Instead, I pretended I was fine and, because I couldn’t walk, stalked to the minivan, still smiling.
I screamed the entire five minutes back to my house. FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT, I pleaded into the phone as I writhed upon the bed. My husband was a professional masseuse in another life, but he couldn’t leave the office to come and save me. He spoke to me in polite fragments (because the whole office was listening): Hot shower. Breathe. Advil. Pillows. Under. Knees! Tennis ball. Below. Lower back. No screaming. Breathing. Forgive. Self. For not knowing. String Theory. Write. Write. Write.
I took 4 Advil, screamed into my favorite pillow and lay on the bed regretting skipping my yoga workouts since December 29th, when I got that stomach virus followed by the flu followed by a cold followed by insomnia. Were the yoga goddesses punishing me? Was I clenching up from lack of sleep? Was I feeling guilty for not understanding time/space continuums, therefore taking my ignorance out on the muscles on the right side of my body? Was I coming up with fresh and particularly horrifying ways to avoid my writing?
2 hours later I got off the bed like nothing had ever been eating me alive and drove to pick up my son. Currently, apart from a faint twinging if I reach out with my right arm, it’s like nothing happened. Yet……Tomorrow I will start with 10 sun salutations and ease back into Om. Right? Yes, of course. I can imagine myself doing sun salutations. In imagination lies hope (who said that???).
It’s supposed to rain tomorrow. My husband is taking our son to the library so I may experience some quiet writing time. I think a cat peed on the bathroom tile. The dog’s ears still need cleaning. The washed muffin tin has residue.
There’s just no escaping some things.