On getting stuck

Getting stuck isn’t quite like writer’s block. The thoughts are there and coherent, yet uncooperative like the feet of a drunk trying to stagger into bed after a racing a shot home. If you try to rush the process of getting unstuck you end up falling on your ass while fishing your keys out of a filthy, nearly-frozen puddle in the corner of a dark parking lot. Letting those words be your guide back to the safety of a warm bed in a dark room. Only then, in the stillness interrupted by the occasional rattle of the windows from the storm trying to get in, can you talk about the creature that ceases to leave you alone.

The emptiness of the room listens with silent attention as you continue with growing unease. It everything you say and knows everything you want to tell it. As you finish, not knowing if the tears running down your cheeks are from relief or terror, you feel the weight of a hand on your back. A gentle reassurance.

Late morning sunlight is the first thing to assault your senses. Closing your eyes tighter, you reach for the bottle of aspirin on the nightstand. While working up enough saliva to swallow them you start to remember the bizarre bourbon-fueled dream. Unable to deal with the visual assault of a screen, you pull out a pen and notebook from the top drawer of the nightstand. An old bible, worn from multiple generations of owners, sits forgotten since the accident. A reminder of happiness and innocence.

“You’ll never be able to walk again without a limp” the doctors told me. It’s been over a decade since I mistook my ex-wife’s request to use toys in the bedroom but I can still feel the Mr. Potato Head rattling around as I roll out of bed.

My limp is more pronounced than usual today.

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