Purposeful Distractions

Pee Wee Herman and his DoI got a haircut on Wednesday. Previously, my hair had been rather unruly. I had chopped it off with a buzzer in a fit of frustration. (At whom? Good question.) What remained was a short and rather uneven mess. The hairdresser made comments like, “My God” and “Oh boy” as she cut my hair. Now it is super short. She tried to give me one of those Pee-Wee Herman-Back-Street-Boys-Front-Hair-Curls-Up cuts. I spontaneously shook out my hair upon leaving. One never wants to insult the hairdresser. She is a woman with a sharp object in her hands.

I like coffee, but coffee doesn’t like me. It makes me shaky, irritable, and I skip meals like a Calvin Klein model on amphetamines. Tea suits me fine, doesn’t have that edge that coffee does. But tea stains my teeth like cave wall paintings. These stains seem to last the span of ice ages, and no amount of whitening gel, strips, or toothpaste seems to get rid of them all. Even my glasses have stains that deep-scrubbing is unable to remove. When one doesn’t have a dishwasher, there is only so much scrubbing you are willing to do on one glass.

I bought a box of four-grain cereal on Wednesday too. A bit like cream-of-wheat meets wheatena meets rye bread. “Cook for 8-10 minutes” the instructions read. My Quaker oatmeal says “Quick 1-Minute.” I cooked the four-grain for what I thought was enough time. It tasted a bit like undercooked pasta meets brick mortar, but with a nice cereal-like aftertaste. Today I cooked myself veggie bacon slices, ready in one minute. Even my cat enjoyed them.

These are just petty distractions, though. In reality, I’m so close to finishing my novel that I have anxiety about it, and I’m subconsciously procrastinating because I’m afraid of what completion means for me. Finish a novel? My God, now someone has to read this thing. What if they hate it? What if they ask me to rewrite this thing I spent the better part of 16 months hacking away at, that devoured my morning hours for months, that insinuated itself into my thoughts while showering and while sleeping and even, dare we say, while blogging? 140,000 words and on the cusp of infinity. I am afraid to leap off.

3 Replies to “Purposeful Distractions”

  1. Go on, take the leap and finish it. The heart tearing criticism isn’t that bad (at least that’s what my therapist tells me).

    -Devin

  2. Uhhh, Matt? The hairdresser wasn’t the only one making those comments….:)

    Ditto on the leaping. (Not to worry, Altered Fluid’s here to catch you.)

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