I work all week, 9-7, 9-8, even 9-9. I wake early in the morning, glance at my phone, delete things I don’t need, tell myself I'm getting ahead of the work day, which is about helping other people tell stories.
Then today I rented a little car. I got a Mazda this time. I went out to the desert, out past the wind farms, out past the FM band, to look up at red cliffs. I walked a state park trail, then drove through the campground loop, where people set up tents and campers in the shadows of buttes. I envy them their relaxation in nature.
I plugged in my phone, listened to Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, whoever. Singer-songwriters who tell stories.
I work and work, but sometimes I go out into the desert and spot myself in the shadow of a red butte. I remember what my life intended itself to be. I think about people with their pandemic hobbies, their breadmaking and their skating and their projects.
All that time I should have been finishing a book. No. Starting a book.
Sometimes I think everyone is writing but me.