No, that’s not a pretty picture. Yes, I know that food blogs are supposed to be fairly busting out of their posts with succulent, juicy, fantastic pictures. Hell, that’s not even food. But that is a picture of my mind this afternoon and how antsy, a bit manic, and certainly ADD-ish I’m feeling as I’m trying to avoid writing my book.
Okay, one giant step backwards. Earlier today, I was in the middle of answering comments on my post about being depressed and baking bread. (I’m no longer depressed, but I’m still baking bread.) Then I heard the honk of the mail carrier. She pulls into our driveway whenever she has packages, and that honk is a heads up to get my ass out there and pick up my mail. “Holy go to war,” I say aloud to no one. It’s pouring here today—for the past two days, actually–and the last thing I wanted to do (besides writing) was slosh through the stream that’s carving its way along our driveway. Still, out I ran, barefoot, with my shoulders somewhere up around the top of my ears, as if that would prevent me from getting soaked.
Back inside the kitchen, I flip through the stack of mail while Devil Cat figure-eights between my legs. Then I see it: A padded envelope. And here’s how my thinking went: Padded envelope = great compost material = I-must-rip-this-open-right-this-freaking-second-and-shred-it = another reprieve from writing.
As I tear the envelope into pieces, I’m assaulted by a cloud of fine lint-like dust. I sneeze. I think asbestos: Asbestos = cancer. Can I get cancer from shredding an envelope? There’s got to be a better way. I consider the obvious: The shredder in my office. But I know the envelope is too thick and will jam the machine. (I’ve tried sawing through those gibberish-filled prospectuses I get from Morgan Stanley only to have the shredder cough and dry heave as I flip the button back and forth between “auto” and “reverse.”)
Then it leaps out, fully formed like Athena from Zeus’s forehead: The Vitamix. This is going to be a blast. I feel like I’m seven again, discovering everything I can suck up with the wand of my mother’s new Hoover vacuum cleaner—our dog’s tail, my lips (sorry, kids, but I was doing this long before Kylie Jenner and her challenge were even born), the hem of my mother’s dress, the tinsel on the Christmas tree, a fish from my aquarium.
I half hope it doesn’t work. I’m more interested in seeing things screw up. Badly. All that drama could keep me procrastinating and out of my writing studio all day. So I stuff the Vitamix canister with chunks of envelope and let it rip. To my surprise, it chews through everything—and in record time. On the one hand: Shit! No explosions, smoking, or bloody fingers. (Yes, I’d even take mangled digits over writing.) On the other hand: Wicked cool! I think what a great off-label use for the Vitamix. Perhaps I should call the Vitamix scion and share my discovery. I can see the commercial now: “HELLO! You, too, can make a smoothie and then blitz the almond milk container into a million little pieces that are perfect for your compost pile!”
No, no. I have a better idea. I’ll manufacture it myself. I’ll call it The E-Leite-Inator.
Suddenly, I’m restless again. That took up, what, maybe five minutes of my day? I’m itching for a diversion. Working in our brand-new garden beds is out of the question thanks to the downpour. I worry that I’ll look outside and see two of every animal—along with our tomato, kale, broccoli, watermelon, pepper, cucumber, basil, thyme, cilantro, chive, parsley, and oregano plants—swirling by on a turgid rapid that comes up to the sills of the windows in my studio. I consider hunkering down over my memoir, but no, absolutely not. Today it’s just too damn hard. Instead of writing my book, I write this post. But now that it’s finished, what?
I know. Dinner. And then Antiques Roadshow.
And as far as writing goes, Scarlett said it best: