Of course the phrase itself is a paradox. If it can be done, it’s not nothing.
But here we are, trying anyways. Chris and I, on our laptops. I’ve done my final proofread on the first twenty pages of Chris’ novel. He’s finished his own final edits on it and has just submitted them to a big contest. While I edited, he went off and wrote yet another short story.
The man is a writing machine.
“I just have so many ideas I have to get out of my head!” he tells me.
Meanwhile, I’m just getting my writing gears going again. Oiling the cogs. Dusting off the factory sign. Plugging things in to see if they still work. It’s been almost two years since this thing has run smoothly. All the workers quit. I have to hire new ones.
I keep trying to imagine my dream job. It entails me working as a poetry and short story editor. It involves paper manuscripts and wearing glasses instead of contacts and having long hair. It involves an office of passionate thinkers. No exact set schedule. Lots of hard workers, but hard workers who work for things they believe in, who are chased and motivated by images and sounds and shapes and fragments before they have become thoughts. Little tiny true traces of being. Truer to the ideas themselves and any mediums that can express them, than to the writing itself. Just accurate expression in all its forms.
Till then, I futz around on my new little favorite site, She Writes, and find new friends and interests. Add myself to groups, write a 6-word memoir (The microscopic rhythm of threads bound- six words that came to me about four years ago and have since continued to repeat themselves in my head for no apparent reason). I open up a bazillion tabs of new blogs from fellow writers and slowly work my way through them all.
We do a pizza run. We do a coffee run. Then we’re back in the living room in front of the air conditioner. Somehow, six hours have managed to slip by. Since we didn’t wake up till noon, this means the sun is beginning to dim and slide down. And we haven’t even washed our faces yet.
I feel kinda guilty doing all this something-nothing, but I’ve been determined to keep the guilt at bay. This kinda thing doesn’t happen often enough. With Chris and I both working a lot (and by a lot I mean going hard from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. M-F) we barely have time to have a lunch break in the middle of the day, which we usually spend sleeping.
While it makes more sense to seize his last few weeks in the country by traveling through Korea on some more crazy adventures, it’s nice and necessary to work on leisure for a little while. It’s nice to catch up on social media stuffs. It’s nice to read the papers, though they are delivered in cyberspace and come packed with bad news this morning.
It’s nice to write down a thought as soon as it comes into my head, and then to have Chris look up with his bright blue eyes with a thought of his own. Then, to have an impromptu discussion on said thought.
It’s nice to entertain the nonsense in our heads. This is how creativity starts, after all. This is the realm of humanity that makes us so human- the realm of nonsense and play. and nothing.