I should be writing

I should be writing, but I spent the day with my girls. Between making the meals, playing the games, going on our adventures, and running and laughing, there simply wasn’t the time or the interest. I could have begun while they were still asleep, but I decided to sit with my coffee and read, listening for the first sound of their rustling awake. I could have begun while they were watching their shows, but I took that time to clean up so that their bursts of laughter and occasional bickering would not interrupt anything too urgent or absorbing. Instead, we took a trip to the arcade, where I learned new games older than the youngest, hit a businessman with a vacuum cleaner in one of my childhood favorites, and got accidentally blown up by my daughter driving a tank in a game I am certain she is too young to play.

I should be writing, but I dropped them off at their mom’s a little while ago and have to find dinner. It’s hard to cook for one when you’ve grown accustomed to cooking for four. I used to plan ahead: thaw the meet, run to the grocery store, carve out the time to cook, eat, and clean up. But now it’s a box or a bill and either a pan in the sink or some room in the fridge. There’s no dinnertime conversation or arguments, no after-dinner scattering; it’s just me with the occasional heartburn (Is that the right word?) and leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

I should be writing, but the house is haunted. The turned-off television set, the empty chair and stool, the unmade beds needing folded up for the next visit, the promise of quiet and undisturbed time. The house is empty and still; it would be a perfect time to set to writing. There is no laughter from the other room, no requests for a late-night snack or glass of milk, no need to mobilize reluctant bodies to their respective toothbrushes, no delays before bedtime or acquiescences to goodnight smooches. No I love you’s and good-nights – just peace and quite and time to write.

I should be writing, but I think I’ll turn in for the night before I start writing something really truly true.

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