Little Laments for Our Limited Times
This counts as a short work of fiction, because the author wrote it in the third-person-past-peculiar, and changed some or more personal details.
The Woman sat at her desk, piled high with desk and non-desk things, herself atop a well-aged exercise-ball/chair, and altogether in her favourite, biggest pyjamas. It happened also to be a dark and stormy night (beyond her shuttered window panes, it pounded) – but that was neither-here-nor-there, as it were.
This story is not about storms.
This woman’s pyjamas were of a so-soft & fine-fuzzy polyester, with colours making sense (mostly) only in the context of pyjamas very much like hers did then, now recently warmed from the dryer. As you might well imagine, she had also upon her – from nearly her own knees down and all around her feet and of course all of her ten toes too – two great-and-cozy quite-big-for-you socks… and all of this ensemble wonderfully and warmly unmatched, in theirs and her own very fashion.
She scrunched and relaxed those, her glad-warm toes, within their quite-big-for-you socks, she all a-wonder that even her tea, too, was just-so hot-at-hand, and now at her lips… and guess what? Her glasses? Atop her own nose, can you even suppose! Un-lost (as they most often were not), among the cluttered cozy cloister she had all but come to call home.
Every single thing, in other words, was almost entirely at hand for her now to begin her newly-now-working-again.
Aside from the Cat and the Rat, of course (and no surprise): One no doubt out and about on a hunt in and around her garden and then some others, and the other asleep atop a pleated pillowcase, quite alone with his cage, contented in his advancing age. At times, these were her working companions… but more often, astray (each in their own way).
Of indeterminate age was Our Mouse and Her cage…., was what the Woman had already just written, in freshly unspoken and hardly finished fiction. [The author has forgotten to mention, She (the Woman) had had on her person – in addition and in extension to her self-coddle-some clothing – some additional implements of writing-in-person: her paper and pen, and also – as well – a Form of Submission, so far effectively ignored].
She stopped (did the Woman). No – I shan’t start another of my assorted stories – yet one more Tall Tale to then never leave completely unfinished… With every started thought not soon rightly brought to some fruitful conclusion, her accomplishments in her own Woman’s mind perceptibly diminished.
There was a story at her one hand, as often-always – and a paperwork of some sort at her other – each unproven work in cool conflict with the other. To play or to work, or to not bother for either: Her Three-Doored, Constant Conundrum.
She needed one win, right then. It had been for too long that her heart, out of saddle, had faltered so fully before her very own things. Her twin plans: the Book and the Van.
Dear Desk, She began to then write, again:
I have meant for some time to sit at you and to work, but instead have just piled high this debris of half-hearted hope in layers upon your firm, flat face, and left you I suppose to wonder at wherever I’ve gone, and then when or whether I might ever return to our twin tasks – those you hold up for me in good patience and wooden grace. A sad shame for a desk with such pride in his work, such as the kind that you are.
The Woman paused to en-tea herself, and scratch an itch, then three. Her form lay waiting, un-filled and never yet sent. A business idea: Food on the Run, her PandemicMobile. All that remained was the insurance. Her partners: in place! This form: her nemesis! Papers both plying in hope and a fear of failing, like a vertigo.
Just an off-kilter notion that her head had once set to motion, before things became so constantly tiresome to her spirited body.
I am tired though now most days, and I feel that I need to sleep. I am sorry I haven’t pulled through this quite yet, Dear Desk. I don’t know what direction to read or to write in, right now – your surface is too hard. The road forward is too hard.
I have too many plans laid partially upon you, and all un-gathered around, in my head and my heart and elsewhere, in dreams and some promises. You aren’t at all tidy, and I need you to be that for now, and for some time. I want to be a tidier Woman, and make tidy choices – to make greater decisions.
But I do so want to sleep, before we continue. I feel that I must. I hope you understand. Stand firm in your faith in me – I will return.
And so the Woman then did sleep, for a right amount of time, her tea cooling completely as she went away in her head, itself upon the shuffled paper plates of her plans arrayed upon the desk – the one that spoke not one word about what it might think… and each of its Woman’s hands at once upon either a fanciful story or a grown-up plan they had started together, all in a current and silent repose atop its patiently waiting spine.
Their insurance unclaimed for once again, she dreamed, as did the desk.
They had always needed a good deal of dreaming.