So I wake up from a nightmare in which I’m perched on the hood on a 1978 blue Grand Am, and a fly enters my ear, and I can’t reach it to remove it, while its wings beat furiously against my eardrum.
Then I let the dog out in a pouring rain, make some espresso and open the New York Times, immediately getting drawn into an article about whether the newly discovered portrait of Shakespeare is idealized and if, in reality, he looked more like Wallace Shawn. I suddenly realize the dog isn’t scratching at the door, so I go to check on her, and, since she’s blind, she’s managed to get herself lost in the yard and is stumbling somewhere out among the wilds of the garden border. And looking puzzled. After multiple whistles, she makes it in, after running into a couple of solid objects. Luckily, her head seems to be her least vulnerable spot.
So I rescue her, make it through a couple articles about subprimes and derivatives and the history of economic downturns (yeah, I actually read that stuff), until it’s time to delve into the New York Times book review section for relief and to find out what my fellow writers are up to. The main article is basically about what a huge alcoholic twat John Cheever was, while being an abundantly talented writer, and I’m still never going to look as dashing as he did in the article’s photograph, in which he looks very depressed indeed. By the time I’m at the end of it, I feel oddly like I need a Scotch on the rocks. Single malt, thank you. Followed up by a review of a new spy novel that makes me think the new piece I’m working on is complete junk and that I’m fooling myself that it’ll actually make a play, and it’ll end up being another one of those goddamn things you write until a real idea comes along.
Then I manage to get down another espresso, shower, and dress in the clothes I wore yesterday, and I’m sitting on the couch, putting on my socks and shoes (noting both socks have holes), and thinking: Christ, some mornings, simply waking up is a heroic act.