First, I shuffle around the spare bedroom – moving small items from one place to another – to places that make sense to me, for now. Movie cases, books, other kinds of books, accoutrement of aging – eye drops, hearing aids, ointment for a cantankerous knee. An unwound pocket watch, spiritual texts, a planner.
Then, I put on my cans – the heavy-duty ear protection used by gun enthusiasts to muffle the loud cracks of handguns and rifles. (This is a trick I picked up in law school, during an end-of-semester exam, from a guy named Bryan.)
I light the incense cone. I look out the window into our backyard and yell at the kids to get off of the picnic table. They scatter, laughing. Then they run to my window, smushing their noses and lips on the glass. They run off together.
I sip my coffee. It’s warm. I’m cold. I put a blanket over my lap.
My blood is squeezing through my brain – I hear it squirting through my skull in pulses. My temples ache, my throat is scratchy, my eyes itch.
My arms go up, my back arches – an opposite sensation of my information-worker-forward-shouldered-slump my musculoskeletal system is used to. It is pleasing to stretch the body in a way contrary to the everyday experience. My body wants more of this kind of thing.
I frown at the computer and the keyboard and the mouse; and I frown at the notebook and fountain pen. Both choices are wrong to me.
My smartwatch frustrates me. I remove it from my wrist and place it out of sight. I put on my analog watch – it’s too tight on my wrist these days. I take it off and settle on my simple digital Casio F-91W. A classic. But also the only one that fits.
I choose the notebook and fountain pen. I sit in the chair and goosebumps pop up all over my arms. I shiver the comfortable shock that is the same to my body as the piss shiver.
It is unlikely that anyone will read anything my pen puts to the page today. It is my twenty-seventh year of regular writing.