Desk with cup, phone, keyboard

The Flying Monkey: Clarity, Questions, Imperfections

I sit here at my desk, a rarity in the late evening, my Beloved downstairs with headphones on for TV watching. The house is that small, open to both floors, but I crave a change in routine. I can’t credit the Pandemic or having completed six decades outside the womb, or autumn, or any of these things exclusively. I am in the mood to change again, map out a new routine, knowing the experts do say consistency is the key. Others say consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. I agree with them all.

On Tuesday I had three cups of coffee, another rarity, including some devilish brew called, “Ahab’s Revenge.” My stomach churned on Wednesday. I skipped all coffee, and dragged myself through the workday, even sneaking a nap between calls. Today I was closer to functional and got in a quick walk at lunchtime. I had half a homemade brownies in addition to the thoughtful supplies I’d brought with me from home. One mini Kit Kat tonight missed by trick-or-treaters.

I started Dr. Neal’s new podcast series about healthy lifestyles, mistakes, and food as fuel. All the things to do that I haven’t done. Not with any consistency. But I am in a changing mood. Over the last few months, I’ve attempted to address the nagging physical issues that I’ve ignored or tried to wish away up till now. Two months of PT, recommended by the doctor who’s grown absent and vague during our visits, improved nothing. One visit to my friend the goddess of bone pops and my sacrum is back in place. My knees have not healed magically, but seem more cooperative.

I am coldly sifting through routines I’ve only aspired to, imagining them to be the key to “productivity.” I get up at 6:00 a.m. with the illusion that I am a morning writer. That it’s quiet, private time. In fact, it merely gives me more time to surf the Internet, another source of stomach upset. I plan for a walk at lunchtime once I’ve migrated back to working from home. I imagine it dangerous to walk in the morning, as I had been since sunrise comes later and leaves me less time to get out the door. I take the half brownie believing my acknowledgment of feeding my seasonal sorrow will nullify the sugar and white flour within that will do my body no good.

I apologize now for the grand creations that will never be completed. When I take a week off, promise myself to spend whole days writing, make copious notes that I’ll never look at again, I believe perfection is within my reach. I believe I’ll be the genius my First Grade teacher, Mrs. Montesano, must have assumed I’d become. The great artist, the great writer, the great thinker. The very idea of all that creativity now exhausts me. I forgive myself for choosing TV, sleep, companionship. I’m too old for alcoholism, too crippled for nymphomania. I peck at the keyboard from time to time, surprised by great bursts of formation that produce a complete poem. That memoir I keep hinting at, soon to be a novel, may prove to be a mere oddity among my papers.

Yoga is returning, as is winter. Sleep comes before writing. There must be a place for Kit Kats in all this. Else, what’s Halloween for?