I’ve been writing a lot recently. Like a lot. Even while I’m doing other things, part of my mind is secretly working on a piece or calculating exactly when I’ll be able to get back to my table.
One night recently, I stayed up late doing another read-through and edit of an essay. At 4:45am, I woke with the acute knowledge that what I thought was the ending was definitely not; I had the actual ending begging to be recorded. I laid in the dark, anxiously trying to tuck the words into the little mind-pocket that allows re-entry in the morning.
But I know how that goes. What was that brilliant thought I had in the middle of the night? Frantically trying to grasp at wisps, make the ephemeral concrete; it rarely works.
So I reached for my phone (which I feel tethered to because I use audiobooks when my insomnia keeps me awake) and started typing on my note screen. The damn thing is so bright, even on the dimmest setting. I knew it would bother my sleeping husband. I tried to shield him from it, angling the phone just so. But he starting shifting, repositioning his head, adjusting his shoulders. Each time he moved, my heart leapt and I instinctively thrust the phone face-down on the mattress.
Me? I’m not doing anything. Instantly 11-years-old again, furtively sneaking reading in bed. The ticking knowledge of nefarious action, my own tell-tale heart, but feeling in its beat the pulsing demand of the moment. I must know what happens next.
Harrumphing his displeasure, my husband finally rolled dramatically to the far edge of the bed. And I recalled with a start the 101 Basic Rules of hiding after-bedtime activities. If you need me, I’ll be under the covers.