I hit the send button and my manuscript is off to the editor. I glance to the lower right of the screen. 3:17 AM. Hmm. Finished. I hope he likes it. Oh well. I’m done for now.
Reflexively I tilt my head to the side, twisting the back of it forward and down at an angle toward my shoulder, hearing — no feeling — the subtle crunch of vertebrae — like cracking knuckles, but much more satisfying.
Only now, in this quiet moment, the clicking of the keys a faint memory…the deep abysmal silence of my own mind. The pressure in my temples. Could I not have felt that pressure before? An odd inward force, like my entire head has just now given up its role as a distraction sentry — keeping my eyes on the screen, my fingers on the keys, keeping all else at bay. I am still trapped inside my own mind. Conversation an impossibility as my head still clenches to not let go of its singular duty to maintain focus
Panic — no, milder — unreasoned concern — did I include that last reference, did I check the headings or just the text? Like having driven on a long roadtrip, arriving at my destination with only faint glimpses of memory of how I got there. Not going to check.
It’s good enough, for now. I’ll check in the morning. Right now I’m tired — and something else — my hands are freezing, I’m shivering almost uncontrollably. It feels sudden, but must have been building. How could I not have noticed? Tea — that’s it — I need tea — soothing warmth.
I stand and my knees complain, “how could you have kept us bent like that the whole time?” Sorry. Dropping the chamomile bag into the cup, draping the thin thread over the side, filling it with water from the filtered refrigerator spout. Walking, still stiff,to the microwave. I press the button, opening the door — and laugh. Another cup, oversteeped, cold, like me. No idea how it got there, but I must have gotten up sometime earlier in the writing siege. Don’t remember. I guess I was immersed.
Copyright © Thomas Ward 2017