Sunday, February 10, 2013

Waking With Words

I constantly woke up on the floor of my best friends dorm room.

Well, not exactly the floor - usually a bean bag chair that provided some comfort. Some times when I woke on the floor of their dorm room it was early morning after 4 hours of sleep. More often it was in late mornings or early afternoons when we all were recovering from late nights at house parties with TV and junk food. 

I'd wake up in my up lofted bed some time in early morning; face to face with both Bob Dylan and Ani Difranco. I'd fuss shortly and then feel lonely or bored or a combination of the two. I'd grab my writing book from its nest of covers, crawl down the bolted wooded ladder and shuffle next door to the room of my 18 year old comrades. 

It didn't matter if they were sleeping or not; we rarely locked our doors. 

I'd enter their room and we'd all offer greetings in our half awakeness. I'd lower myself onto the beanbag chair, open my tattered writing book to the most recent scribbles and review what I had documented in my inebriation.

Usually, what I wrote didn't fit the definition of "documented" although occasionally I did write down who said what, if it was funny enough. Most often what was scratched into those unlined pages was barely coherent, cryptic verse. I didn't write verse because I loved poetry, or even because I was good at it. I wrote verse because I was secretive and wanted to be sure to keep my real observations and emotions to myself. I wrote verse because I refused to journal. Journaling is for little girls who love horses.

I'd review my notes, and maybe I'd find a nugget of good writing, or an exceptionally funny quote from a drunk buddy. Then I'd work a little more. In those days I could just place my pen to the paper and there would be words. I'd write about everything and nothing; trying to harness and destroy all the fears and confusion that plagues young people. 

Usually, I was exhausted from the previous night's binge drinking or my constant nighttime insomnia and eventually I'd fall asleep, clutching my book protectively to my chest. I'd sleep until roused by my friends when they got hungry enough to pull their shoes on and make the journey to the cafeteria.

I still wake up with my book under my pillow. Sometimes its my iPad. Usually its at 6 am, and I'm getting up for the gym, not bemoaning a hangover, but the story is still the same. I just wish the words came as easily. Maybe I should invest in a beanbag chair.

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