The barista asks me how my coffee is from across the room. The mug is so small that the chill from my fingers has pulled the warmth of it in the time it took me to sit down, open my laptop, and connect to the wifi. I enthusiastically tell him that it is fantastic. He looks like he’s going to continue trying to talk to me from across the room so I put on my headphones. I down the coffee like a shot. The guy next to me stares. The guy across the room stares. I look down, wondering if there is something on my chest. I suppose it’s just my chest.
I’m listening to Childish Gambino and it makes me feel like a badass even though all I’m doing is sitting here, quietly, tapping my foot, entering numbers into an endless system of other numbers to make sure that the right numbers come out the other end. Accounting is the digestive system of the non-profit world.
My therapist tells me something that sounds a lot like “there is no way to write about sexuality without making yourself naked” and I laugh inside because that’s what I’m thinking, even though she says something a little more demure.
I ought to be a little more calculated.
I hear people write pitches or they make editorial calendars or they edit their posts before they post them or they have ideas and put them in idea journals. I can’t tell you the last time I read through and edited a blog before I hit submit. Usually what I do is write. I just kinda write. I have intentions about what I’d like to write on pieces of paper all around but they get pushed aside for whatevers hot in the myelin sheath.
Then I hit Publish, which is sort of self-congratulatory.
Oh, I’ve published a new blog post. I’m published. Then I go type my website into the address bar and click on the blog and read it there. Half the time I find a spelling error or a grammatical error or a word that’s used in completely the wrong context. I edit from there. (Sorry, email subscribers. You’re getting the unedited version all the time every of the times.)
I like to think this makes me more approachable or genuine but really it’s because, well, I’m lazy. I like to tell myself that if I went through proper channels, I would be a proper writer. Ah yes, I opened my WORD DOCUMENT today and I typed a DRAFT of a FINE PIECE OF WRITING hahahaha puff puff ERUDITE and now I’m going to SEND IT OFF TO MY REVIEW COMMITTEE before I publish it on my AWARD WINNING WEBSITE. Would anyone be fooled? Could I even fool myself? Who are these people who take themselves so seriously?
Experience shows that they’re the ones making money with their writing. Or, at least, they’re pretending they are. How much money did you get from your pitch that took twenty hours to write? I want to know because maybe I should be taking this more seriously.
I walk up to the counter and ask the barista if I can order more than one refill at a time. They look at me with pity. There’s a sign that says you can bring your own mug and I think that maybe I will. Like bring your own popcorn container day at the movie theater. Rotund families show up with garbage bags and shout FILL ER UP as butter flavoring seeps down their chins in a shimmery symbol of self-regret. That’s me, yeps. Yepperoni. My mug is my body and I’ve brought the main line, just plug-er-in.
It’s time to go. This cafe actually does turn into a bar at night and the list of beer is much too tempting. Halfway through my first pint I’d be too far gone to be of any use to myself.