I have been drinking caffeine all day long. It’s great, it’s good; it makes me feel like a writer. I envision a writer (the kind I ‘d like to be) as a cigarette smoking, coffee drinking, alcoholic who can’t keep a steady hand and pours their emotions out over a typewriter. Something about it seems so tragically glamorous and if I didn’t have a job and bills, I’d surely sell myself to the life in a heartbeat. I’d listen to jazz, soul, psychedelic and R&B records all day and fall asleep with a scotch glass in my hand. Everyone has some idea of the person they secretly wish they could be and mine is the tragic writer that eventually becomes a southern lush on a wrap-around porch. Whispering about the neighbors and then waving at them.
I’ve fallen in love with this sort of Allen Ginsberg/Jack Kerouac hybrid but, you know, with a vagina. I’d love some secret log cabin buried deep in the woods with a small town up the way and a wrinkled clerk at the general store who asks me questions like “think it’ll rain today” and nothing more personal.
I would dine with my misery and sleep with the ghosts of bad decisions and somehow, I wouldn’t be affected by the frowns of society because I wouldn’t have to face their judgmental stares and I would have a secret life that only greeted holidays and family functions. I could invite one of the five friends I’d still have over and they wouldn’t mention the stench of failure because somehow, my name would circulate among the avid readers and any royalties I received from my paperbacks would be enough to get by on.
Maybe, somehow along the way, I acquired musician friends who would stop by to get away from whatever “fame” they felt they were tortured by and we could record songs in my cabin. And then, somehow, those songs would surface (maybe like a Gary Higgins sort of thing without the 30+ year gap between recording the music and other people hearing it) or perhaps the song(s) might make it to an album of these friends and I could develop some obscure, cult following that wanted to hear what my emotions could really do. Thus would begin my music-recording career, no tours or anything like that, unquestionably. I’d, of course, want to be some folksy woman like Vashti Bunyun or Sibylle Baier (minus her acting career and belated recognition) but with no face to put to the name, only a voice.
Perhaps somewhere in my late thirties, I’d meet a man and decide I wouldn’t mind his company and we’d decide to have children so we’d have to move somewhere closer to civilization, but wouldn’t, under any circumstances, sell the cabin.
We’d have to live close to a big city because I wouldn’t want to deny my children of a “normal” life and I’ve known too many people who grew up in small towns to know that it keeps you out of touch with the sad reality of what’s going on in the world. As much as I’d like to raise children in some creepy cabin in the woods, it’s not fair to push my agenda on to them — they deserve the options. I have no doubt that motherhood would change me and force me to socialize, which I’d do and eventually my writing would reflect whatever happiness I would be feeling which would create all sorts of conflicts in my mind. But whatever, right? I’d have a very comfortable and happy life with plenty of love. So eventually, the children would grow up and I imagine I’d be somewhere in my sixties which would mean I’d start reflecting on my life and realize I didn’t do all the things I wanted to and spent too many years drinking alone and writing in cabin, so I’d travel with my husband/life partner (not too keen on marriage yet), if he’s still living, and maybe do a bit of sky-diving or go on a few luxurious cruises and drink Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas.
Eventually, I’d get too tired to travel or do much more than sit and look at pictures, so I’d take up some hobby or maybe start writing again until my mind shut down or I got too old to take care of myself. But damn that, I’m dying in my own home with my own things. And that’d be it.
That is the life I want and fantasize about when I can’t handle the reality of my real life. It’s pretty simple, uneventful and quiet. I guess it’s pretty attainable, however, I have to write a book that sells first to even reach the cusp of it’s possibilities.
I know how awful and miserable and unglamorous it may seem, but sincerely; it’s the life I covet.