My schedule has conspired to make writing “out” not so much possible – besides, I have the ultimate “out” in a few days: Paris. Hopefully there’s not some deep seated reason I need to be out beyond “writers are not equal to hermits.”
Places I have lived:
- Crown Point, Indiana – same house, 18 years
- Sheboygan/Howard’s Grove, Wisconsin – same dorm room, 2 years
- Mankato, Minnesota –
- Several different dorm rooms, but only subjected to two roommates that entire time. Hooray for great grades and a few civil liberties cases that preceded me.
- Devonshire apartment, first one side of the hallway, then another
- A fourplex in Le Hillier or whatever the hell that section outside of Mankato is supposed to be called
4. Minneapolis, Minnesota
- An apartment on 1st street in the warehouse district
- An apartment above a hardware store.
- An apartment just on the edge of Minneapolis, across the street from Minnehaha Falls and running next to the train line.
- A coop apartment right on Franklin Avenue.
- My current 1000 ft 2 bedroom on the 4th floor, right on Central Avenue in Minneapolis.
It is August of 2003, and around 4:30 Sunday morning. I pull my Ford Escort into its parallel slot outside the Creamette lofts and make my way into my pseduo-warehouse apartment building. I can hear the trucks from the Star Tribune Office pulling up on 1st street, and otherwise, downtown is quiet. My head is spinning, too full of inspiration to stop and feel creeped out by how quiet my middle-of-city residence gets in the wee hours. I am wearing a grey skirt and a red and whilte button-down blouse; I stumble out of the shoes I wore with it. I am always wearing shoes that hurt my feet.
I run into my one bedroom apartment; it’s about one foot to large to get the “efficiency” label. I drop my purse somewhere, and settle in at the child’s desk/laptop stand in my living room, open up my computer, and begin to write. The words fly out of me. The tapping is frenetic, and goes on until well past 8 am. Deadlines I worried I might miss become mere abstractions; the material is there, in raw form, needing nothing more than a few rewrites into coherence.
For the first time in months, I feel good. I don’t care about the welt climbing up my arm or the red splotches across my breasts. The constant searing itching of my skin doesn’t matter. The endless chatter of the Indian girls is pushed out of my head, as is the self-loathing that always visits me before and after I spend time with Mark or Lionboy. It is nothing but myself, the page, and the words.
I am out of my head. I am with the muse. I am, for the first time since my divorce, completely present and in the moment.
I hit save on the final document – 3000 words in four hours – and crash, fully dressed, on my bed in the adjoining room. I decide briefly before I space out not to change clothes even though I have plans with Mark in the evening.
He doesn’t matter anymore. I’m on the page.