Or maybe stalling.
I’m *still* not back into writing my winter novel. I think the main problem is I let my expectations get out of control – I wind myself up thinking this needs to be perfect, forgetting or ignoring the fact that perfection is not an achievable goal.
No matter how good I can make anything I write, it *will not be perfect!*
But it can be fun…
I just have to keep reminding myself of that fact.
“Excuse me, miss. Do you know which cities have a ferry that goes to Europe?”
It was a beautiful day, she was enjoying good food and a good seat in the square, and what’s more, she was taking a ferry herself later. It took a moment to call her research to mind, but then she regaled the nervous man with lists of cities and ferry services.
He bowed and said thank you several times, then walked away just as she was starting to explain the time tables.
Hmm, she thought. I should check what time my ferry leaves today.
She pulled out her ticket and read the time. 3:00pm. Then she checked her watch. 2:00pm.
Instant panic set in – her ferry left in an hour from a city at least an hour and a half away by train. Why didn’t I check it earlier? she wondered, struggling to get her shoes back on, then switching to a different pair when she realized one had gone missing. OK, stay calm. Stay calm. I need to call the ferry company, switch my ticket to a later ferry, and then see if I can change my flight. No, don’t think about that yet – ferry first.
She dialed the ferry company and got a recording that referred her to another number. She hung up and dialed the other number, but there was no sound. She looked at her phone and realized the connection had suddenly gone from four bars to zero. She tried to stay calm, but couldn’t stop herself from button-mashing, trying the call over and over. Her phone cycled through service icons as she pushed the button over and over, and one came up with the caption “override signal failure.” She hit the button again, focusing all her will on getting the signal through…
She opened her eyes, recognizing her bedroom at home. A dream, she observed. Which was swiftly turning into a frustration dream. She closed her eyes again, feeling intense relief. The pillow was soft, the bed was warm, but if she knew that if she went back to sleep the cycle of frustrations would start again, and could go on for hours.
“Right,” she said, sliding reluctantly out of bed. “Time to get up.”
The girl’s stare was unnerving. Finally, Kelly got up and waved his hand in front of her eyes. No response. “What’s with her?” he asked his host.
“She says it’s like drowning,” the older woman said, walking over with two cups of tea.
Kelly took his gratefully, taking a moment to inhale the steam before looking back at the girl. “Doesn’t look like drowning to me,” he said.
“Real drowning is quiet, not like that thrashing about you see on TV. The person drowning just bobs along, trying to get their mouth above water. The body takes over, trying to save itself, but it’s not smart; it didn’t evolve to call for help, or swim, or even float. Unless someone else notices and helps… Well, I suppose in rare situations you might bob into shallow enough water to touch bottom and save yourself, but most of the time you just die.”
“So what’s she drowning in?”
His host paused, bending down to look into the girl’s eyes before shaking her head. “If I knew that, maybe I could help her. For now, though, all I can do is keep her body safe, and hope she bobs back to it in time.”
This morning I slept late, tonight I’m tired and feeling lazy, but I thought I’d share a little bit of lovely weirdness with you.
“Come on, Magenta, time to wake up!”
“Nnnng. Too dark outside. Sleep time.”
Her words were just barely coherent. If Jakey hadn’t been well-used to her by now, he wouldn’t have been able to make out anything but mumbles. “It’s light in here. That means its time to wake up. Come on, you need to get up for your shift so that I can go to sleep. That’s what bunk sharing is all about, right?”
She squinted at him, scowling and obviously still having trouble waking up.
“Here, how about some coffee? Smell that? Mmm…” He flipped the scent-diffuser open and wafted the bottle under her nose. “If you don’t get up soon, it’ll go cold.”
She grabbed the bottle and took a long draw from the bite-cap before leaning her head back and sighing. Finally, then, she pulled herself out of the cocoon-like bunk, making way for Jakey to change the liner and climb in. He settled in quickly, his eyes drifting shut while she was still contemplating her second mouthful of coffee.
“The further we get from Sol, the harder it gets,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting that. Were you?”
Jakey’s only reply was a gentle snore.
What do you think? I wonder who else is around, and where they’re going to, and why…