Are we so alone?

I think we all know that battered women exist. We know the stories of abused wives and girlfriends. We know of resources to help them. We're sad that so many women are abused on a regular basis. We tsk about why they don't press charges. We shake our heads about laws that allow the violent men in their lives to continue to target them. There is a shimmering bubble of outrage-lite that surfaces whenever there's a particularly horrible news story, and then that bubble sinks back into the morass of all the other outrage that exists when one considers how shitty humans can be to other humans. And so you watch that news story, or you read the article, or you skim the statistics, and then you focus on something else while you make your kids' lunches for the next day – while you move on to the next topic.

You do this until that abused woman, that nameless statistic, is standing on your front doorstep at 1:30 am, in the pouring rain, bleeding and shaking, and ringing your doorbell, crying uncontrollably. Until she manages to say, "Can I use your phone?" and then pauses to qualify her request in a heaving sob, "I'm your neighbor. I'm so, so sorry to bother you." Until she says, "I've been to three houses and you're the only one who answered the door. I know you have kids. I'm so, so sorry." And then she nearly collapses into you, sopping wet, staring at the phone you've handed her like it might be an alien device, the signs of shock so apparent you leave her there in the doorway so you can get towels that might work like some kind of swaddle so she can settle down and focus and tell you what has happened, what is happening.

Until THAT happens, domestic abuse is just A Bad Thing That Happens. Then suddenly, it's A Bad Thing That Happens Next Door To This Shivering WomanChild On My Porch.

You get her a glass of water, and wrap her in a towel. You ascertain that yes, someone needs to call 911, and she can't do it. So you call and try to get her to relay information through you to the dispatcher. You lock the front door, both the deadbolt and the button lock. You move away from the windows. And as the dispatcher asks about the abusive boyfriend's history of violence, whether he is suicidal, whether he has weapons, you begin to hate yourself for selfishly starting to feel terrified for your own family now. Because you opened the door. Because you're in this now. This woman – this girl, really. (She was born the year before you graduated high school!) – needs someone, anyone to hide her and calm her and get her help. And the person to do that? This person is weirdly, spontaneously, you. You, who are home alone with three sleeping children, you who almost didn't open the door because you thought it was some drunk person fooling around, you who saw the crying woman and thought, "what if it's a con? what if I open the door a crack and someone kicks it down so they can rob us?" You are not a person who always gives other people the benefit of the doubt. You are a person who keeps her distance, who observes and then acts. You do not invite strangers into your house in the middle of the night. 

Except when you do.

You keep her on your couch even though she wants to dart back out in the rain to see if he's coming for her. You distract her by asking her about her baby (who is with relatives for the night, thank God). She calms down enough to ask about your piano and whether you play. She manages a wistful glance through her shock to say that she has always preferred the piano to the guitar because it's so much more beautiful to play. She cries and cries and realizes her wrist might be broken. You get her ice and more water and you awkwardly one-arm hug her. 

As the responders arrive, the street lights up like a carnival. You go outside and wave down the firetruck. Then the ambulances, then the three police cars. She comes back out on the porch and is mortified by the scene. "I'm so, so sorry," she says over and over again. And you repeat to her over and over again that she has nothing to be sorry for. She is so smart for finding help. So brave for getting the hell out of there. She's done everything right. Everything. There is nothing to be sorry for. You are thankful to be able to help her. And then you offer to sing the COPS song and you almost get a smile.

The night spirals into questions and statements. Did he drag her by her hair before or after he broke the door in half? Did he kick her head and face or just her head? Awful, horrible questions the police have to ask, while other officers are next door questioning the person who did this to her. The person who, it turns out, had hurt himself as well which was the only way she was able to get away. 

And this whole time it's pouring down rain, just buckets of rain. And there's thunder and lightning, making the whole scene even more surreal. Three hulking police officers and two EMTs are in your living room, dripping on the floor. Two of your children have slept through the whole thing, and one needed some assurances before she fell back to sleep, door closed.

Until these men arrived on the scene, you and your neighbor have been sitting in near darkness, side-by-side on the couch, your knees turned in to face her, both of your voices quiet. She's calming down, opening up. This is the first time he's done anything like this, though he's threatened. He attacked her unprovoked, making the whole thing even more bewildering. You tell her that even if she had provoked him, that's no excuse for him to hurt her. You tell her that being drunk does not excuse beating the shit out of her. She has a quick reaction to not press charges and to dismiss the EMT guys who want to check her over. You tell her that pressing charges gets him out of the house tonight. Pressing charges starts a ball rolling where maybe he gets the help he needs. You feel like this part is a lie because you've read the articles and the stats, but you hold out hope anyway. She begins to nod. She begins to feel her injuries. She says yes to having the EMTs look her over.

But when the three hulking police officers and the two EMTs come inside, they begin to fill the room like parade floats, like caricatures from TV shows. They turn on all the lights. Their faces are stoic, dripping from the rain, all business. They shine flashlights in her hair, inspect down her shirt, up her shorts noting visible injuries. The scene becomes male-dominated, female subordinated. Even though the officers and EMTs are polite, they have absorbed the gentleness in the room and turned it on its end. Even with so many law enforcement officers, it begins to feel less safe. The dim, quiet murmuring – the nurturing moments of just sitting quietly and thinking mutual what the fuck thoughts – all of that is lost to booming voices and clipped tones, and mansplaining about photographing injuries in order to create a paper trail. Of course these guys are just doing their jobs, and they can't get emotionally involved in every incident or they wouldn't be able to do their jobs. You know this, but it's still hard feeling the lurching shift in this young woman's responses. Her transition from the first tiny inkling sparkles of empowerment to sudden yes and no answers, to crying again, to more apologies, it's frustrating and scary.

You know no one has any fucking money these days, but it doesn't stop you from wondering how things might be different if police departments had people they could send with the police to domestic abuse calls. What if there was time and means to sit quietly with a woman while she's in shock, rather than immediately asking if she's pressing charges and if she wants to go to the hospital, and where her ID is, and has she been drinking? What if there was a way to make her feel truly protected by the protectors? 

There is more questioning and you get her to agree to go to the hospital. She will be able to stay for the rest of the night. She'll be treated for her injuries. The mansplained paper trail will be started in case she decides to press charges. The police and EMTs are taking the boyfriend from the house next door to the hospital, and then to jail. They ask if, now that he is gone, the woman can accompany them into the house to find the boy's ID. She says yes, and that is the last you see of her.

The rain is still pouring when you run outside in your pajamas and wave at one of the policemen who is in his car, readying to follow her ambulance to the hospital. He rolls down the window and you hand him a crumpled and wet piece of paper. It has your name and phone number. "Will you be seeing her?" you ask. "Can you give this to her? In case she needs anything, in case they let her out and she can't or won't go home?" He nods and tells you that you've gone above and beyond. And that you should go inside because you're getting soaked.

You go inside. You mop up the mess on the floor from the police and EMT boots. You put the ice packs back in the freezer. You put the bloody towel in the laundry. You turn the lights off and sit on the couch. You cry. Because have you gone above and beyond? This girl has lived next door to you for three months. You didn't know her name. She didn't know your name. Unless she's gotten the slip of paper, she still doesn't know your name.

All you did was open the door.

Is opening the door going above and beyond these days? Are we all so insulated and alone even while living in ticky tacky houses that are zero lot lined? You could practically shake hands with her through your windows and you didn't even know her name until she showed up bleeding on your doorstep in the middle of the night. 

And so, after a harrowing night, this woman has become more than just a statistic. She's become a woman with a name. She's a musician who loves to play the piano. She's a mother who's so proud of her infant son that she has assured you he's a genius (a fact you do not doubt).

The abused woman in the news stories, in the articles, in the statistics… she is a musician, a mother, she is your neighbor.

And now? Much to your own shame, now you know her name. You will never forget it. And you won't stop thinking about her for a very, very long time. 

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Emmy’s live blog!

It's happening, nerds. As soon as the football game is over, I guess. So go frantically have a snack and pound some alcoholic beverages of your choice.

7 pm CST.
CBS.
My living room.
Your living room.
This blog.
Go! 

6:59: PS. This is the ninth year I've been doing this. Can you believe that? [say this in your best Jeremy Piven voice] NINE YEARS. NINE YEARS, MAN. 

7:03: It seems like, in 9 years, I would have come up with a better way to spend a Sunday night. But no way. Sparkles and boobs and fancy shoes and drunk celebrities and self-congratulatory awards? Who would miss that? NOT ME OR MY FIVE BLOG READERS, THAT'S WHO.

7:06: In an interesting coincidence with the beginning of this show… I am also doing my own dance montage right now. It's called Ignore Your Family As They All Scream Around You And Get Pissed Off That You're Sitting On The Couch And Not Helping With Anything. 

7:14: Neil Patrick Harris. I love your eggplant-ish jacket and your skinny tie. But not more than Conan's Something About Mary hair. Everything else? Taking too long. Where are the dragons? Beheadings? 

7:17: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler save the day with their 3D glasses and twerking jokes. "Take your pants off!" they yell to NPH. "Like everyone at home who's watching!" (I added that last part in myself. It's true, right? Are YOU wearing pants?)

7:18: Anna Chlumsky! It's nice to see she's grown up despite being killed by bees and starring in movies with Macaulay Culkin. It's too bad she just now got beat by the girl I don't know and who didn't have a speech.

7:20: *adds Nurse Jackie to TV watching list*

7:22: *writes Merrit Wever's acceptance speech for her so she'll have something to recite in the shower tomorrow when she's like OH SHIT WHAT JUST HAPPENED?*

7:27: Yay lady writers! Winning awards! I think maybe I just saw Tina Fey's whole boob, which I know I shouldn't mention because that is a thing a good feminist should not mention, but it made me feel a little weird and so I'm mentioning it. But yay lady writers! 

7:28: Maybe we'll get to see Tony Hale's whole boob now!

7:30: I love it when the winners thank the people and places from which they came – instead of just their lawyers and acting coaches. An extra ten points to Tony Hale!

7:31: The crowd of conformists titters uncomfortably at the conformist joke.

7:34: I'm worried about Tina Fey and all the screen caps of her boob that are about to hit the internet. Let this be a lesson to us all – when worrying about your dress on stage, and hiking it around and fiddling with the bodice, just know that you are probably about to spill the EXACT secrets you were trying to prevent spilling. You are spilling these secrets BECAUSE OF YOUR FIDDLING, which means, of course, your mom is always right.

7:37: Jon Hamm is using facial hair to distract everyone from his freeballing. Fact.

7:39: Do two wins make a sweep? It's a Veep sweep! Also, I'd like Tony Hale to follow me around every single day, whispering in my ear the right things to say, and holding my stuff. I bet I'd fall down a lot less often if Tony Hale was there.

7:45: Another lady! Gail Mancuso wins for directing Modern Family. And there's another shout out to teachers (even with a rudely loud "get off the stage" song playing behind her).

7:49: Jim Parson's wins Emmys a LOT, doesn't he? He's adorable, but it definitely looks like he needs a cheeseburger. I would take him out for a cheeseburger. And we could flirt with our waiter in a kind of combination over who is most awkward.

7:50: I think Meathead just quoted Hyperbole and a Half in this Jean Stapleton tribute.   

7:53: Can I also point out that the best actress comedy nominees did not get little snippets like the best actor comedy nominees did? What's up with that?  

7:57: There's a joke full of irony I could make here. It has something to do with playing Liberace and getting throat cancer from cunnilingus and maybe it's not a joke but some kind of poingant statement about acting and stereotypes and whatever. But now I'm distracted by Elton John, who is wearing bright blue just like Tina Fey, and that's making me worried about the screen caps of her boob again. 

7:58: I'm licking a wrecking ball right now, but it's not making this song go any faster.

8:01: I just grew Jon Hamm's beard and this song is still on.

8:03: There are weird giant red blood cells skating across the screen behind Matt Damon.

8:06: Does anyone else need a link to explain the Jon Hamm freeballing joke, or are we good?

8:09: Nevermind. You can find your own link. You might want to use the incognito part of your browser, though.

8:12: OMG THIS EXCESSIVE HOSTING THING IS THE WORST. That was a lot of time to spend not looking at Connie Britton's shiny, shiny hair. Thanks a lot, assholes.

8:13: And while I'm feeling cranky, why in seven hells is Julian Fellows nominated for best writing for Downton? I mean, yes, we all love that show, but this season? The writing? I would get in so much trouble for writing crappy plots like that. Who could get away with that? No one! No one except Julian Fellows.

8:16: I'm going to take a moment to liveblog my dog.
    8:16:30: sleeping
    8:16:40: sleeping
    8:16:50: sleeping 

8:20: Now the dog is going to liveblog me.
    8:20:40: dsfquwt;fb;jfbvouqe'u'ogqb'ogpi
    8:20:50: buwgo'    hpwrih'087467777777777777777777777
    8:21:00: n,nxcnln;owi[[[pp[odjsqbivutctqctt681dddd1dddxxxxx 

8:25: Oh, yay! More songs and dancing with and about NPH. If this is going to be NPH Night can he please do it as Dr. Horrible? MORE DR. HORRIBLE, LESS BORING STUFF.

8:26: Nathan Fillion is RIGHT THERE! COME ON.

8:28: *wanders off* *rummages for snack* *shaves off Jon Hamm beard*

8:29: *makes Project Runway dress out of Jon Hamm beard*

8:33: *reinvents kitty litter*

8:37: Dianne Carroll ogles the men actors. Jon Hamm's beard yells, "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE."

8:38: Bobby Cannavale beats Peter Dinklage for best supporting actor in a drama. [Lannisters pay their debts joke goes here]

8:41: This year's Emmy's are off the rails, no? Nonsensical music number! Assasination video! 

8:45: The Beatles! Carrie Underwood warbling classics! I just can't even.

8:47: *writhes on the floor, stuffs Wavy Lays into bleeding ears*

8:51: Luckily, we have ten minutes of commercials for every 4 minutes of show so the torture is somehow both slow AND energetic. Curse you, CBS. CURSE YOU.

8:54: I love it when Claire Danes wins Emmys because I feel like she's my best friend from high school and I'm so happy for her. It doesn't matter that we don't actually know each other, and that the person I think she is is actually a character on a TV show. DOESN'T MATTER. I love you, Claire Danes, and I'm so glad that you've won another Emmy and that you married someone who is nicer to you than Jordan Catalano ever was.

9:00: Netflix takes its first Emmy! Well, technically David Fincher wins for directing an episode of House of Cards, but you know what I mean. Did the earth just shake? Did you feel a rumble in the Force? Is anyone even still watching this disasterous Emmy presentation? 

9:04: I hope my husband wins an award some day so he can thank me for being cruel and sexy.

9:07: Bob Newhart looks fantastic for being 175 years old.

9:08: I'm starting to feel really bad for alienating my family so that I could watch this show tonight. 

9:12: Every time the 11yo comes in the room, the TV goes haywire. His magnetism is too much for the Leaf antenna. Watch out, middle school girls! If you're anything like a leaf antenna, you'll be pixelating yourself when this kid comes near you.

9:19: Because what we need is another singing/dancing/show montage right now. We totally need this. My life wouldn't be complete without this. 

9:20: Hedi Klum is rocking the "I've just been staked" look tonight.

9:21: And Jeff Daniels wins for Best Choreography!

9:24: You know what would make this show better? If a body was found in the bathroom and Jane Rizzoli had to show up to investigate the murder. Then Dr. Isles would have to be there, too, in her peekaboo heels, and we would all laugh at their banter and then Stephen Colbert could be the red herring suspect until Jon Hamm's beard finally confesses to the crime.

9:25: Edie Falco seems seconds away from either bursting into hysterics, or yelling "This is bullshit!" and then riffing on her own.

9:32: I can't even make any more jokes about how many commercials there are. Just. So. Many. At least I've had plenty of opportunities to go to the bathroom and find a snack and ponder the future of network TV and wonder if I should go to Target to buy some clothes.

9:35: That'll do, pig. That'll do. (This is my requisite quote every time I see James Cromwell)

9:37: Kevin Spacey hits the camera, just like all of the rest of us have been wanting to do for the past one million hours.

9:41: I don't like the popularity contest clapping during the In Memoriam montage. And also, who decided who got special In Memoriam shout outs? It does not soothe me to think high school continues after you are gone. but mayeb I'm just cranky because this show is SO AWFUL.

9:43: The Grey Poupon commercial wins the night. We should just all go to bed now.

9:44: Let that sentence above speak for itself re: the quality of tonight's awards show.

9:49: Ellen Burstyn is bringing some Dorothy Zbornak to the stage tonight. Looking good, E.

9:52: No, Allstate, do not tell my kids to play outside in thunderstorms. That is a bad idea, I promise. 

9:55: There hasn't been enough swearing in this liveblog. Nor has there been enough shenanigans. I apologize. No wait. I apologize. Goddammit. *shoots off confetti cannon*

9:59: Michael Douglas saves the day with sexy jokes. Well, he saves this five minutes. Where's Catherine, by the way? Was there a rehab situation? Did they split up? I don't really care that much, except I like that she had a trach when she was little, and so I worry about her throat sometimes.

10:02: Officially over time now, so… let's go to commercial! CBS. No. 

10:03: But I forgive you because there was a Jordan Catalano reference.

10:06: Will Ferrell is acting out my life on that stage right now. You think it's funny, until it's actually happening to you. Mmm hmm.

10:07: "No you can't play Angry Birds!" [pause] "OK, 30 second turns on the tablet."

10:08: Modern Family wins for Best Comedy! Will Ferrell's kids have to go to the bathroom. Don't we all.

10:09: Breaking Bad wins for Best Drama. And I have to say, Vince Gilligan, you've done your fans proud. You kicked ass on the X-Files, and you continue to kick ass now. What does not kick ass, though? This show. This show is the opposite of kicking ass. And it has given me a headache. And NPH looks pissed as he says good-night.

10:10: What? No singing and dancing number to end the show? No song and dance about NPH and how he loves singing and dancing at the end of award presentations? Show, I am disappoint.

10:11: And I am OUT. Sorry for the torture, friends. Let's all blame Jon Hamm's beard and Tina Fey's boob. This show was a wreck from the beginning.

I’m falling in love with too many things

People of the Internet, I don't know what's happening to me. Has turning 37 shaken something loose inside of me? Am I having some kind of delightful crisis? Has my brain finally had enough with all of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things in the world and instead decided to focus all of its energy on the tiny lovely things? Am I finally taking enough probiotics that my microbiome is spilling over and filling in all of the tributaries of woe that have heretofore made up my alterna-circulatory system? Do you need a reason to suddenly realize that for a long time when you thought you were smelling flowers you were only smelling their shadows, because now… NOW… you can smell the flowers and they smell about 10,000 better than they ever smelled before?

What is happening to me?

Granted, I'm not floating around like Rose in Big Business, using my scarves to make leashes for rescue dogs. I mean, I'm still cranky a lot of the time. And the kids drive me fucking insane everyday from 4 to whenever they decide to go to sleep which some days feels like never plus infinity. I'm also filled with angst over writing projects and perfectionism and never knowing what to cook for dinner, and then burning whatever it is I finally decide to cook because I can't stop thinking about the writing projects that are not as perfect as I want them to be.

I mean, these newfound moments of glee haven't totally replaced me wanting to scream into my fist whenever Texas politics comes on the news, or wanting to toss a handful of sharpened golf balls at the cars that use turn lanes as their own personal "just driving down the middle of the road to get to Walgreens" lanes. BUT. BUT. For the time being, I am not overwhelmed by these things. And that is huge.

I'm going to attribute this surprising sense of general feeling good-ness to a handful of things.

1) All three kids are in school so I actually have quiet time in the day to work and think and eat and go to the bathroom with the door shut and take an uninterrupted shower and on some days, DO ALL OF THOSE THINGS IN A ROW.

2) I'm writing a lot. A lot of it is terrible. Most of it doesn't live up to what I want it to be. Some of it does. But I'm doing it. I'm doing it because I like it and because other people like it, too, and they've asked me to do it (with nice words and with money sometimes). That makes me feel good.

3) I'm reading a lot. Specifically, I'm reading things I don't always read, or only sometimes read. I've broken out of the "this is what I always like so I will always read it" mold and am trying new things. I've also gone back to some old favorites to re-read over and over. I'm reading a lot more poetry. And before you scoff, you should try it. Poetry makes me so fucking happy, I can't even. Look at this:

"And I love trailing my hand
over the smooth membrane bond

the intelligent little trinity
of my fingers gripping the neck of the pencil

while the other two dangle below
like the fleshy legs of a tiny swimmer."

That's from Billy Collins' poem Drawing Class. Little snippets like that… they just take my breath away. They make me want to be a better writer. They make me want to stare at small moments until the beauty of those moments shoots out of my fingertips in blinding light. They make me want to stare at a discarded lego on the sidewalk and write a poem about where it came from or where it might go. They make me burn dinner.

4) Exercise. People say it makes you feel better. These, I thought, were always crazy people. But I guess it turns out they're right. Forty-five minutes on the treadmill everyday, and I feel like an entirely different person sometimes. A sweaty person, but a somewhat more fulfilled person. 

5) Bad television. It gets hard to be a snob, you know? It's tiring to be trendy. Not that I don't love a well-written TV show or movie, because I do. But sometimes, you just need to give in to not thinking anymore. You just need 42 minutes to watch beautiful people do ridiculous things because a writer who no longer gives any fucks has put those ridiculous things into a script. The whole thing is just so… brainless… that I love it and want to write fanfiction about it and think about it all day because WHAT. WHO VETS THIS? THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER DOES NOT SMELL A DECOMPOSING HAND ON HER VERY OWN DESK, BUT CAN SMELL A BODY HIDDEN IN A STATUE FROM TWENTY FEET AWAY? I say again – WHAT. And yet, this is all OK! None of the details of the story matter at all because the chief medical examiner is wearing a gorgeous Herve Leger dress and that's all I care about.

6) New music. And old music that seems new again. Bob Schneider's song The Effect gets played about 150 times a day around here right now. That and Tarantula. And, yes, even Katy Perry's Roar is getting a lot of airtime in the kitchen. I am over being a snob about these things. If it makes my butt shake, and it gives me a little burst of "let's stand up and dance and write at the same time" then I am all for it. If it makes the kids stop fighting long enough to wrestle-dance, then awesome. Thank you, Matt the Electrician and Celia Cruz and the Good Lovelies and Ida Corr and Swedish House Mafia, and sometimes even the fighting robot noise of Skrillex.

7) It's month two of taking a beta blocker so that I don't feel like a hamster having a heart attack all the time. I guess maybe when your heart rate is normal you calm down a little? Shocking revelation!

So. I know this post is probably going to have some kind of tsunami bad luck effect on me and cause all of life's terrible things to crash onto my head. Before the end of next week I'm sure there will be wrecks and mayhem and illness and injuries and maybe a tumor and all of the most horrible things you can think about when you worry that admitting you feel good will bring about some kind of karmic retribution. Kind of like that swelling feeling of "oh wow, I feel so much better" that sometimes happens a minute before you puke all over the backseat of a car. Well, fine.

It's just that people don't always blog or write Facebook statuses or whatever about how good they're feeling, you know? It's always, OMG, terrible this and can you believe that, and ARE YOU AWARE OF [horrifying thing that you want to not be aware of, but are aware of, and feel incredibly guilty for trying to not think about], etc. So I just wanted to say, you know what? Sometimes, even when people are grouchy and feeling mildly panic attacky for no discernible reason, they are still kind of happy about things. They are finding beauty in the backyard bird noises even while the neighbor spits loogies and the mosquitoes exanguinate their toes. Sometimes, feeling good is… good.

I feel good.

I feel extremely weird, and now worried, about admitting it, but there you have it.

Now I am going to eat a piece of chocolate and write a poem about bad television.

So there.

I keep doing these things….

Writing can be difficult.

Duh.

For me, though, much of the difficulty is not in the actual getting words on paper part (though that's not always easy). My troubles come from thinking, thinking, thinking about the words that are about to go on the page. I think, think, think about the characters and the settings and what plot points need to go here versus there, or there versus here. I think, think, think about things happening in my life that can be used in the book. I think about things in my life that should never, ever be used in the book. I am in a constant state of day dreaming and wondering and pondering and ruminating. I can't turn it off. I can't compartmentalize.

This means I leave the house to pick up the kids from school – and I sit in the car wondering why it's not turning on. What's wrong with the car? Is it broken? What's happening? Then I remember, oh, yeah, KEYS. So I go back inside to find them.

It means I cook a pot of pasta – for 45 minutes too long.

It means I burst into tears (at maybe, say, the grocery store) when a sad but necessary scene occurs to me.

For three days in a row I forgot to eat breakfast. And lunch.

Last night, I grabbed a glass of water to swallow a pill – and it was actually my husband's gin and tonic. Nothing like a little booze to wash down those beta blockers. *faceplant*

There are bruises all over my legs from slamming into chairs and walls because I don't always see where I'm going.

This morning, the dog whined to go out back so I opened the door to shoo him into the yard. Ah, I thought. The breeze is so refreshing this morning. It must be a touch of autumn in the air! How nice! Only, no.  The breeze seemed extra refreshing because I was topless and had been on my way to get a shirt out of the dryer. But it wasn't the breeze that alerted me to this fact – not right away. It was the quick, shared, "Oh shit!" eye contact with the neighbor that alerted me to my state of partial dress. Then, and only then, my brain went "Oh, yeah. You were going to find a shirt. Oh, crap, is that the neighbor? Hey, this is a great scene for a book."  (DAMN YOU, zero lot lines. DAMN YOU, my brain.) 

So now I'm finally settled into my morning writing space, trying to recover from yet another lost-in-my-head-omg-what-just-happened moment, and knowing that when I get back into the place I need to be to write I'll just be inviting even more screwball adventures my way.

This is the life of a writer, though, yes? I can't be the only one doing these things. Right? RIGHT?! 

Maybe I should put warning signs around the outside perimeter of the house. You know, like the ones that warn of natural gas pipelines? WARNING: WRITER RESIDENCE. BEWARE. CALL BEFORE ACCESS. 

I guess it's the being a writer part that's more difficult than actually writing, then, huh? Hmm.

Being aware that you need food. 
Being able to find your keys. 
Being a person who can swallow a pill without accidentally roofie-ing herself. 
Being dressed.

I'm going to go think about that while I burn a grilled cheese sandwich. But first, I'm going to finish this chapter. And I'm going to find some pants.