I’ve regained my ability to write fiction. Here’s how you do it: you lie about the truth.
Mornings like this it’s like the sun never left. The weather is warm upon waking, a phenomenon that never occurs in the cooler months. Especially because wake-up time is before 6, right at the tail end of blue-time when everything begins to recover the color it was drained of when the sun went down.
But really, if you want the truth, wake-up time is actually around 7:30, after I’ve hit the snooze button on my alarm clock a few times. I try every morning to wake up before sunrise, because being up to greet the day seems like a romantic notion to me, like a thing that people do when they have their lives together and know what they want, and I would like to have my life together and know what I want, so maybe getting up before the sun will get me there somehow.
I used to think fiction had to come from your head entirely. That you had to create characters and give them suitable names. That you had to weave together intricate plots with big themes that would resound in readers’ heads for years to come.
Recently I’ve been using it as a form of wishful thinking.
People get up early here. Earlier than me. I live on a semi-major street and from my bed I can hear the cars zooming past even before the birds start chirping.
My windows are enormous, one of the major selling points for me of the apartment. One window faces Mount Tom, along with the busy street beneath it.
I read Amy Hempel inside and Annie Dillard outside. Bourbon, water, and lemon juice in a curvy souvenir glass accompany Hempel in my sunny bedroom, and for Dillard I walk to the lake down the street and suck down a clove or two.
I’ve actually never been to the lake. I keep meaning to go, but I never seem to have enough time.
No, I have plenty of time. The thing I’m lacking is energy.
Here’s the truth, if the truth is what interests you:
My roommates have company over for spiced rum and hits off a seldom-washed gravity bong; they talk loudly and laugh loudly until 4 in the morning. The girl who lives in the basement, which is messy and unfinished, breeds snakes, works as an exotic dancer and leaves the front door unlocked. The kitchen sink is always overcrowded with used dishes, the bathroom is covered in hair, and the litter box is tended to only when the ammonia-like smell of cat piss becomes unbearable. They keep bacon grease for cooking in a container underneath the sink, and one of their cats is missing half of its tail. Needless to say, I’m looking at other places.
I am considering living on a small farm and healing arts center with some hippies and a transgendered MTF named Debbie.
Debbie is a major selling point for me. Think of the stories.