Maybe it’s the stress of this new financial hardship or the prospect of finding a new apartment or roommate (if you know of anyone looking, or know of an apartment, kindly let me know).
Or maybe not. Perhaps, quite simply, I’m making excuses.
But of late, the past week or so, work on the novel has slowed. I don’t worry though. That was the old me, once awash in the fretful, onerous musings of a man without peace, or sense of self. That old me, I say proudly, is no longer.
While the novel is on its torpid climb back to fruition, here’s a bit of writing I did yesterday (please do note that this, while surely speaking volumes of my personal neuroses, is indicative of Alasdair’s also; for those of you who have been following along, this should be no secret).
I like the cold. Fingers chilled, like the defrosting state of popsicles. On my arms, hair stands at attention, awaiting, what some may call, the toasty layer of a long-sleeved sweatshirt or coat. But it never comes. In the Southern California climate, this only comes a few months out of the year, and in-between, in bouts of driving with the windows down, on cold spring or autumn evenings.
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I wonder what this says about me. I wonder why I like to be cold. Is it because I am most comfortable with it, the state of just chilled being the place my physical self is most prominently at ease? Or is it that I am comfortable with an ever-present form of discomfort?
The answer, it seems, is yes to both.
As my family and friends can attest to, I prefer a room, apartment or space that is always colder than they would like. Typically, it’s five or ten degrees less than they’d have it, or call mildly comfortable; a place where one can rest peacefully, without need of furry coat, wool socks or long underwear.
Perhaps it is to do with my genetic make-up. My mother, for instance, loves a cold house. Come Christmas she strolls through her Arroyo Grande home unfettered by all the traditional garb of an invited guest: the binding coats, twice-wrapped scarves and flap-eared winter caps. I mean, considering the sub-zero temperature of the tile in the kitchen, I can’t blame them, for lack of a certain “manliness,” resiliency or otherwise.
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In regards to the discomfort, I sense that has to do with my penchant for productivity. Comfort, to me, isn’t routinely wanted or welcomed. This may be a neurotic or counterintuitive way to look at it, but I don’t have time to pay much attention to what may- to you, to them, to most everyone- be considered wack. The comfort I know, or perceive, is some form or state of being lazy, complacent and unproductive. Comfort, you see, is intrinsically linked to the volitional act of not being productive, active or both.
And I don’t want to be in comfort. I am, forever, comfortable with discomfort. The perfect setting, it stands to reason, is one that is just out of comfort’s mushy-handed reach; a world in which movies on the television aren’t viewed without the menial – yet productive! – task of laundry folding; a world in which the act of organizing is more or less a second-hand natured form of breathing; a world, above all, in which things need to be done, jobs completed, chores finished and surfaces cleaned.