I did not do any writing today–my friend ditched a class, and I ditched my plans to do some fiction writing. We did absolutely nothing, avoiding our obligations with the pepper of chatter. Highly disfunctional at first glance–but if you were to look more closely, realize that we were fulfilling a need to….relaaaax.
What did we do? We ate lunch, walked up and down an avenue, browsing in the multiple shops. Our pitstops at a cafe and two bookstores absorbed most of our attention. We discovered gems like a signed first edition copy of Michael Chabon’s Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, shrieking amidst the tomes.
I bought her a copy of Murakami’s Wind Up Bird Chronicle and a Yasunari Kawabata novel. She bought me a copy of Flannery O’Connor’s short stories. I pointed to an alphabetical point in the bookshelf and said, “When I’m feeling low, I like to imagine my book sitting right there. That’s where my last name would be, and that’s where my book would be.” She clapped her hands, and we determined where HER book would be.
We carted our books back home and sat under the budding maple tree with hot mugs of rooibos tea. We gossiped (did a Famous Writer (not currently a writing professor anywhere) really call an MFA peer for a booty call? Or was the MFA peer insane? WE determined she might be insane). We encouraged each other. We philosophized. I dreamt of reading for miles again, and writing fiction again.
Yes, we were avoiding things–I know that I was avoiding the confrontation of writing fiction. I’m afraid I can’t do it, I’m afraid of what will come out, I’m afraid to face my fiction for the first time since my stroke. Whatever–I substituted like for like: I had a good day, just hanging out, on a beautiful Spring day.