7 bodies

This is my life now. My pale skin burning in the sun, taking the train, strangers asking to borrow my cell phone, me declining; sweat, body odor, lovers, cancer survivors, drunks and trying to ignore them enough so they won’t talk to me, so I can watch them all in peace. I shuffle between journal, book, coffee. There’s a thrill of writing in public with people watching – like I’m mapping stars, like I hold some key to the universe. And of course, I don’t, but how would they know? I wrote that once – the mapping stars, key to the universe, how would they know? – in the Outerbanks of North Carolina 2 or 3 summers ago. And I’m still reminded every time I write and catch someone watching.
I hear people talk about writers block a lot. I don’t believe in it. Not in a high and mighty sort of way, but I believe there’s always something to write, even if it’s not what you originally set out to write. If you sit down, put a pen to paper, a key stroke to a page, the thing you were meant to write in that moment will come. And the thing you thought you were supposed to write will stay dormant until it’s ready. That’s how poems work for me. You can’t ever set out to write what you think you should write. Write what you do.

I’ve been working my ass off at work. Tired and coming home late. I’ve been here for 2 months – that’s it! – and Friday I got features designer of the month out of the entire studio. Damn. That might not seem like a big deal, but the studio has like 50 designers across 10 papers and it’s a big deal to me. I’m really proud of that.
If I could work this hard on my poems, I wonder where they would be? I wish I had infinite amounts of creative energy.

Last night, I saw a man running in the dark with 7 identical dogs attached to 7 identical leashes, 14 identical black ears bolting across Camelback and Central except one dog would have a spot on his back, the other his belly, the other his neck. It seemed like those dogs were all the creative things I want to do: same inertia, slightly different bodies pulling my arm while I’m sprinting behind, sweating.

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6 Responses to 7 bodies

  1. Ms. Moon says:

    Ah- what a wonderful honor! Isn’t it nice to prove yourself in a new place?

    • rachvb says:

      a great honor. I was hoping it would come someday, but not so soon. I’m very proud of myself =) Plus I got a gift card and the design mascot sock monkey to keep me company all month! His name is Rodgrigo and I get to tattoo him anyway I want.

  2. It is a big deal and congratulations. That is a large pool in which to have been recognized in such a short time. Would we be different as writers if we were being paid every day to show up and produce a version of our best? Instead we sit becalmed, the fresh water running low, or are trying to stop the cattle stampede in a thunderstorm. Find me a writer who describes the process as painless and reliable. xo

    • rachvb says:

      thank you thank you!
      I don’t know! Although, I doubt many writers are getting paid everyday – more in bulk and then have to pack it away like squirrels. Although anymore what’s the point of wondering what could be? I am not starving. I have a creative job that supports me and at some point I’ll stop complaining about time and make the best of it. I think I’m only complaining about time because I don’t use it well when I have it. I want to be lazy and read and watch Jeopardy and bitch about reality TV. xo

  3. It IS a big deal, Rach – and if you’re on the look-out for signs you’re in the right place for the Here & Now, this one’s as clear as if it were written on a billboard xoxox

    • rachvb says:

      Thanks for the reminder. Sometimes I feel like I’m in 5 million different places or could be in 5 million different places. For the here and now, I am here and now even if that feels wavering sometimes. I’m beginning to believe I’ll always be between destinations – but I think that’s normal. xo

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