I have a choice to make, peeps. It’s about whether to try something with my writing that could make me feel tiny, insecure, and on par with shooter vomit if I fail. (Or is that if I succeed? I kind of forget, because the sensations of euphoria and terror can feel surprisingly similar.) As a result, I’ve been stomping around the house, muttering platitudes like “Go big or go home”, all while feeling very much like a greenhorn facing a jump.
Do you know that sensation? You’ve got two thousand pounds of steaming horseflesh between your thighs, face a plank your horse already spooked at twice, and several hundred pairs of eyes taking your measure?
Nope. Me neither. I don’t ride at all, never mind jump. But I still stand by the metaphor.
So there I was, betwixt and between, needing something to tip me into a decision. Believe it or not, it’s our passive-aggressive vacuum cleaner that seems to have shown me the way.
To follow this story, you must understand that our built-in vacuum was fading. It had gotten to the point I could barely suck up a noodle before its whine:clean ratio would decline. Then we’d have to trek to the garage to swear empty its receptacle only to have the dang thing conk out after another five minutes. Finally, mercifully, after several months of this co-dependent, pitiful existence, it bit the dust this Sunday. (Pun intentional and even free for you nice people.)
No more than three hours later, courtesy of the ToolMaster, I had a brand new, purty machine. 🙂
I admit it. I went wild. You know my reputation for un-cleanliness? The one I brag about in that charming, self-deprecating way?
All because I’d been given an instrument with so much suction, it has the ability to realign planets.
Oh, you think I exaggerate, but the universe operates with a kind of synchronicity we cannot understand. One moment you have a vacuum hose in your hand, the next…courage to try something new with your writing.
In case you want to duplicate my success, let me detail the intervening babysteps:
1. Replace your now-defunct eighteen year-old vacuum cleaner with a new one.
2. While removing dust bunnies in the office, discover a cat no one precisely recalls seeing before; ergo, solve the mystery of the Lazarus-like cat boogers on the computer monitor.
3. Eject said cat.
4. Now there is a point to an intervention, clean the computer screen.
5. Since you already have a pail, disinfectant and wet cloth out, begin to wash the walls.
6. Decide the clean walls look empty and in your clean office, notice the old-fashioned tin art of your favorite cartoon character — the ones that make you forget life is so gosh-darn serious — that you bought three months ago and that leans on your bookshelf.
7. Mount said art on your clean office walls.
8. Sit in your chair with green chai tea at your elbow, a clean computer screen, and a catless office. Play Vivaldi and in your present mellow mood, let your gaze fall on your Betty Boop artwork. Remember you’ve always liked her because of her unabashed sexuality, femininity, and willingness to be different.
9. Decide to be the Boop.
10. Become one with the Boop.
11. Look really, really closely at the particular caption on one Betty Boop — the one eerily chosen before your vacuum breakdown, long before your present opportunity even manifested…
12. The step which really need not be articulated if you’ve been following the chain of events: Decide to follow in the Boop’s courageous footsteps. Tada!
I realize, in typical Tart fashion, I have not revealed the precise stumulus to this most recent bout of self-analysis. That’s okay. If it works, you’ll be among the first to hear.
If it doesn’t, you won’t. (What? You think I’m stupid or something?) But I’ll be fine. I’ve gotten in touch with my values, reconnected with a few simple pleasures that have filled me with abundance; and most important of all, am typing these words without cat butt filling my face.
What about you guys? Is cleanliness next to writerliness in your household? Do you have any secret cartoon crushes that might fuel your courage, even of the non-writing variety?