As much as I hate to write this out loud, I think I can smell the finish line. Yesterday, after some exhausting hours working on my manuscript, I shut down all of the computer files and immediately opened my calendar. I’m spending today with friends, and this weekend I’m playing tennis to raise money for Hospice of the Valley, and after that …. nothing. Nothing at all blocked out, not a single commitment for at least a month. I mapped out the days and marked my target. The last day of September falls on a Sunday — a day of rest, no? — and I figure if I haul ass and chain myself to my memoir I can
finish this fucker FTF by then.
I’ve had a headache for 3 days. I don’t get headaches. Instead of taking drugs, and instead of fighting through with more and more caffeine, I went to see Maureen. Maureen is a massage therapist, but I don’t see her for your standard, gentle, relaxing, soothing rub down; I see Maureen when I need someone to dig in deep and relieve the pressure. Maureen gave me the head and neck treatment I came for, but then her knuckles (and sharp elbows) traveled south. When she got to my calves I about came off the table — on the left side she said, in her soft Caribbean accent, “This is sadness. Have you been on an emotional journey the last couple of weeks?” and then on the right she said, “Ah, equally matched by your anger.” I told her I’d just gone home to Missouri to see my family and she said, “I have 6 sisters and 2 brothers. When we get together I call it “going out to sea. As in S.E.A.”
Sadness. Elation. Anger.
While I was working, much later in the afternoon, I realized that going home this last time was, among other revelations, a giant shove to get this book finished. A giant shove to move the fuck on. The instant I realized that, I gathered up all of the stray papers and old photographs laying around me and, without even bothering to organize them (so very unlike me) I shoved them in the drawer and slammed it shut.
My headache is gone. Maybe I’m no longer at sea. I shut the window by my desk and went down to the kitchen, followed by all three dogs with wagging tails, to get us some treats. Sweet potato and oatmeal biscuits for them. Chocolate for me.
I can smell the finish line. I’m going to have to lock myself in my room, and I’m sure there’s a headache (or 15) in there, but September, or rather the first of October, is looking good from here. Good, like mini graham crackers covered in rich milk chocolate.