I have the sort of personality where if I get deeply contemplative people ask me, “What’s wrong?” It’s always been strange to me. Wifesy looked at a photo of me on the fridge this morning from when I ran the NYC marathon years ago. I was skinner and in my running shorts and gleefully holding up the frying pan that I would make that morning’s eggs in. She asked me, “Have you always been happy?”
The answer is more or less, “Yes.” I’m, for the most part, a happy person. That doesn’t mean I don’t get moody or deep or thoughtful. I do and when I do, people ask, “What’s wrong?” Nothing is wrong. I’m just thinking. To me, thinking is a luxury. I’ve had many jobs and moments in life where you can’t think, you can only do. It’s why I like writing so much. There’s a lot of thought in it. It’s thought and then more thought. The thoughts come directly out of your brain and are communicated through fingers hitting a keyboard. It’s even more interesting than conversation because, well, you guessed it, because it’s more thoughtful. You’ve got that backspace button so you can revise and revise and revise.
I read somewhere then when you write with a pen to paper it’s different then writing on a laptop or keyboard. Your thoughts are communicated more deliberately. More slowly, more thought out. I do not know if this is true or not. I do know that if you are an author who achieves any kind of notoriety, if you write your book in a notebook first, that notebook will eventually sell for a lot of money.
“What time is it, baby?” Wifesy keeps interrupting me as I write. So, I get going on a train of thought and then it gets derailed. Poodles (Well, Wifesy, but I’m thinking of her as Poodles right now – it’s fitting because it feels like she’s licking my shins and vying for my attention…) is laying across from me on the couch with her legs splayed as she talks loudly on the phone trying to make plans with an old friend.
If I look to the far right of my keyboard, I can see Poodle’s little platypi feet. That’s what I call them. They are long and thin planks with little thin sausages on the end of them. She’s just crossed her leg from one side of the keyboard to the other and now I can only see her knees above the top. Now, the little vienna sausages are to the left of my screen, one gently crossed over the other.
I took this acting class years ago where one of the exercises involved interruption. You’d be type, type, typing something away on a computer, but it had to be for an important deadline. For example, you were $300 short of the rent and it was due tomorrow and if you got this article in tonight, you’d get paid and then tomorrow you could make your payment. If you didn’t, you would be evicted. As you were working towards your deadline with only minutes to go, a knock, knock, knock would sound at the door. You’d say, “come in” and the person at the other side would be of some important relation to you – a friend, a brother, a lover, etc. They would have a problem. You would have the solution to their problem. They would need to get it from you. But, you were under deadline and not to be disturbed. Usually, the problem was very extreme. They had a brain tumor and one hour to get to the hospital or something like that. Needless to say, with that much tension brewing and two different goals to accomplish, a fight would erupt and drama would ensue. This was the intended course of the exercise.
But, today I’m not under such constraints, nothing is life or death. So, Wifesy/ Poodle’s interruptions are amusing me. She’s quiet now. Focused on something on her computer. I can see her little head peeking above the laptop screen, as three of her vienna sausages seem to smile to the left of my keyboard.
I could almost fall asleep right now because I’m happy and thoughtful and, thankfully, no one has a brain tumor or a deadline.
Maybe that’s the key to happiness – less drama and more prozac-esque equilibrium. It seems to work for me.
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