Cornmeal Griddle Cakes with Wild Blueberry Sauce
My journals are all filled with intelligible-to-only-me scribbles; I need new ones. All I have left are a couple of pocket-size notebooks with kitschy donuts on the front because who doesn’t need pocket-size notebooks with kitschy donuts on the front? The headspace between lines is cramped. The notebooks are good depositories for tested then retested then axed then recovered recipes, but they lack the wide open spaces needed for my overworked mind and my overactive pen. I’ve delayed buying new ones. I haven’t written. I haven’t written when I might need to write most. It’s okay; I’m not a writer. I make a living bitching about other folks’ writing. Writing and editing use two different sides of the brain, I think. My craft won’t suffer. Why should I write when I have a to-do list that never ends? Why write when I can read and temporarily obscure my story by burrowing myself in the stories of others.
This morning—just like the last, and the one before that, and almost every morning for the past 5 weeks—I awoke to bright artificial light shining from behind swollen eyelids. The lids don’t lift; the heat of that light glues them shut and I have to make my brain move my forehead to force them open. My thick-framed glasses, folded fortunately, are wedged between the mattress and the small of my back. My comforter is on the ground, my bottle of prescription eye drops on my belly, held in place by a heavy, lifeless hand. In fact, neither of my hands, or arms or legs, can move for a good minute. My brain sends the signal; I concentrate hard, imagining the creaky bending of a robot’s joints. But the arms can’t keep up with these mental efforts. My cell phone is my sorry bedmate, sharing the pillow with me and threatening to die. “Low battery. 10% of battery remaining,” it passive-aggressively announces. The alarms on it are not set. I’m lucky I wake up without its buzzer.