I woke up looking like I had wrestled with tornado and lost. Nightclothes every which-a-way and hair way beyond the bedhead hashtag. I woke up feeling thoroughly exhausted, too, because I was. Normally I don’t sleep through an early morning text. Ears ever on alert for that first smile from an intriguing soul or those too-few words from that child o’ mine. But I missed that first smile at the moment it appeared; I still smiled nonetheless but lost my chance to reply in a timely fashion. But I did reply and promptly found myself lured back into that sleep beyond knowing I was falling asleep, beyond any sort of subconscious awareness of being in this world. Then…pop goes the weasel…suddenly awake and wondering how two hours could pass without my knowing.
The fatigue came from that pesky subconscious of mine, usually just close enough to the surface of reality that I can solve the world’s problems if not my own. But that night it would not let me sleep because it had taken my dissatisfaction with an article I had written and blown it up into an all-out war with words and the alphabet that supports them. So there I was sitting at my desk with the laptop humming at 3 in the morning. (Oh, perhaps if it had been the ever-powerful 4 in the morning, I might have had quicker resolution to the conflict).
When I closed the laptop I thought I had won that battle. Back to snuggle under the covers to sleep peacefully through the rest of the darkness. No, not to happen. I had failed to include the latest example of synchronicity that makes me think I am walking around with a perennial ‘deer in the headlights’ look. That was the whole reason the piece had needed revision, to make that inclusion seem fitting. To clarify…this is simply a blog post that may or may not appear in my column in my small town’s local weekly. It is not profound or outlandish, would not win any literary acclaim, but it is a piece that is significant enough to me the writer that I want to make sure the few who do read it sense that wonder.
So there I was sitting cross-legged on the bed so I could enjoy the little bit of warmth I had captured since still chilled from my post at the desk at 3 am. My phone would suffice. Mind and fingers clicking, I ‘finished’ my war with words, until I read my words aloud, that is. Proofing aloud has always served me well. It seems my ears are better at that than are my eyes. So, determined to stop and regroup after each reading, I plodded along. The ultimate sign of ‘perfection’ (writers get that idiocy – revision never ends) would be having read it through three consecutive times without fixing even a comma. I read and edited, read and edited, read and edited. I suppose it is a good thing that all the needed edits didn’t surface simultaneously. I might have surrendered, despairingly waving the top sheet that no one thinks we need anyway.
Three hours later I declared a truce. I had read it through only twice without changing a syllable. Ta-DA! I may never read it again, but it has been sent to the powers that print. It has been duly copied and pasted into my blog though I can’t recall the status – post or draft – and I am not going to look at it long enough to know for maybe another century. I have now had my morning coffee, finished just in time for lunch. I will NOT be reading this aloud even once. It’s a trap.
March one, here I come!