This morning, on the subway platform waiting for the late train, I discovered a book resting on the arm of the worn bench. The cover was pink and the title was Pick it Up or something like that.
I picked it up…and then I put it down again. Not for me. Not for them either, the others waiting who picked it up and put it back down. Not for any of us. A thin novel. A thin plot. We leafed through, changed our minds, set it down on the arm of the bench.
The train took a very long time to come.
It’s cold and I have many ideas for projects. Just last night—-another idea, a chapbook, one that we can write together. But I don’t feel still enough to sit down and do them. In college, I discovered I would not, could not, sit down and write my paper until I had cleaned the entire room from top to bottom, until I had literally cleared off my desktop.
I have adjusted to living in another’s home, fitting in another’s life. I have some of my things with me now, favorites like the smooth blue rock, the Venetian mask, the autographed comic book. I have sweaters and boots and coats to see me through until we can pick up the rest. Now I have a corner, a small area with room for a few books and paper and envelopes and printer and stamps. Now I have a favorite place in the world to go out and write in this city. Now I have projects, ideas, time. Now I am sitting on the platform, watching every train go by but mine.
I am trying to decide what to pick up and what to put down. I am ready for home. I am ready for one life.