It would seem the sickness has come to Helltown, aka, my own little neck of the world. And I don’t mean sick like what I had last year about this time, but sick as in I feel the fever coming on, and not in a Bruce Springsteen sort of way.
It was like this for most of yesterday; the chills, the stuffy nose, the warm ears that are always a precursor to coming down with a fever. I medicated and even liquored up a bit last night, hoping to stop this sucker in it’s tracks. And I thought I had it licked–
Ah, but these viruses, they are crafty, they are. They will stick with you, and haunt your butt until you think they’re gone, that they’ve pulled up stakes and headed for the hinterlands. And then, WHAM! They have you, bwah hahahaha!
It plays hell with the writing gig, let me tell you. It’s already hard to concentrate, and now you need medication to help hold it down, and if that doesn’t make you spacier, then if you decided to have a margarita, or two, hoping it will do something for you at the same time–ha! You foolish person, you’re going to find yourself on the low spark of high heeled boys rather quickly.
Though I was doing this last night . . .
It was hard to type, and at one point I actually nodded off at the keyboard while thinking. Still, I managed four hundred sixty-five words, which isn’t a great shake by any means, but it’s wordage. And it’s almost five hundred words closer to the end than if I hadn’t written anything.
I know what you’re thinking: why? If you’re not feeling good, oh Little Cassie, why are you writing? Why are you trying to think and work on a story? Are you trying to impress us?
I’ll impress you when I put the stuff out there to read. As for the rest . . .
Writing while sick is a pain, and a huge crap shoot. When you’re falling asleep and feeling like you’ve been beaten half to death by Mjölnir, one could think that trying to do something worth while is a fool’s journey. Nothing good will come of it.
Unless . . .
Maybe years ago I read something by Stephen King. I know, that’s like saying, “One day I drove down this road,” but hang with me. He mentioned that one day, in the early 1980′s, he’d come down with the flu, and he was in very bad shape; he may have mentioned that he felt as if he were hallucinating at times, and I know that feeling. He has just picked up one of those new word processors (this is the early 1980′s, remember), and he starts playing with it, knowing he can’t write anything, but thinks he can get a feel for the machine.
So he’s typing some words, and then deleting them. And typing strings of works, and reworking them, and deleting them. In that moment it hits him: What if I typed in my wife’s name and hit delete? Would she vanish?
That story became The Word Processor, which was published in the January 1983 issue of Playboy (which I read, because I did read Playboy for the articles before I worked there), and was later published in one of his short story collections.
See? A cold is no reason to stay away from your craft. If nothing else, you can work on other things.
Though typing, “I so want Christina Hendricks’ body,” and hitting Enter doesn’t seem to be doing anything. Maybe if I try it again . . .