Monday, November 05, 2012

back to life, back to reality

My actual lunch basket. Ridiculous, I know.
I’m leaving MacDowell in a few hours. I turned in my key and paid my tab for laundry and postcards. I said goodbye to people, which was the suckiest part—I’m really going to miss the friends I’ve made here, and although we can say things like “I’ll totally come visit you in Berlin!” we all know there’s no substitute for living in the same half-mile radius and eating dinner together every night.

There’s a writer who was trapped in New York for a week because of the hurricane, whom I didn’t get to know very well. He said sarcastically, “Wow, it was great to get to know you so well. All those late-night chats.” That was not the best kickoff to my last day. I always felt like I was boring him when we did talk, and I sort of wanted to say, “Late night chats with me are awesome, dude. Your loss.”

I had a little meltdown last night in the privacy of my studio. As most of you guys know, I’ve had a hard couple of years. Not catastrophic, not even bad in many ways. Just hard, at a time when so many of my peers seem to really be getting their shit together. Many times, I thought, I just want someone to take care of me. And someone did—multiple someones, multiples times—but what I really wanted was the total cared-for-ness of childhood.

Here, I sort of got that for three weeks. I didn’t have to report to work or cook food or even buy food. I didn’t have to wonder who I was going to hang out with. I just had to write. Writing isn’t easy—there were days I wrote scenes that made me break down sobbing and days I had no idea how to fix structural problems—but for once everything else was conspiring to make the writing as easy as possible. When there were problems, it was someone else’s job to come up with a solution. Hurricane? Why don’t you just stay in this beautiful old mansion for the night. Here are some clean towels and a Wi-Fi password.

Now it’s back to solving my own problems—with help, of course, albeit help from people who have plenty of their own problems. That’s how the world works, and how it should be, and I’m dying to cuddle with AK and Team Gato and see my friends and family. But the part where my only problems were the ones my characters were having? The part where I got to be my best, most carefree self instead of my real self? That I’m going to miss for a long time.


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