Lately I have been having trouble staying awake, staying up in this world. A good friend is trying to convince me to switch to green tea.
Coffee gives me energy, I said.
Yes, but it's borrowed energy, he said. It's energy from somewhere else in your body.
I thought about that idea, the idea of borrowed energy. That, after all, is what I'm doing right now. I'm writing this instead of writing a letter. I sort the laundry instead of sorting through characters. We will go to the mountains today and not the store. Writing is about choices, but so it seems, is not writing.
I think of my mother. She teaches elementary school full-time. She has for over twenty years. She also keeps a rambling, white-shuttered farmhouse impeccable clean, cooks breakfast and dinner for her son and husband, packs her own lunch, exercises, reads novels, calls her daughters, swims.
And I don't have to look after anyone else but myself. A few animals. Those that I love but am not bound to. I have no ring. I have no child. I have nothing to do but to be in this world, and even that is overwhelming. A friend said recently, at the age of twenty-eight, he supposes he will not be a rock star, that he's only just figured this out. And though he is a teacher, and wonderful at it, I said No way. You can still be a rock star.
There is still time.
Yesterday was a small party in the afternoon, the garage doors flung wide, deserts cut into squares. The night before was a big dinner with friends, a table set out on the brick patio, pate, sausage, wine as yellow as a girl's hair. I wrote nothing these two days.
There is still time. Time for singing, time for novels, time for dinner, time for children, time to not count, not yet, at least for a while.