I am sitting at my desk looking towards the door because I have family that will sneak up on you and laugh as you clutch your chest, not to mention erase the one great thought that you were nurturing for just the right moment to BOOM! So, I boot up the laptop and open the project that has been consuming me. I reread what has been written and get back into the story. Thoughts are whirling around so I close my eyes while I type to shut out any visual distractions. I capture the word marquis that moves through my mind with racing strokes and...the door squeaks open.
I try to keep my eyes shut but the fear of being pranked is too great. I open my eyes and try to pause the flow while glaring at the intruder. My husband stares until he realizes that I'm focusing the death ray vision at him. He walks in like he has an invisibility cloak and riffles through the drawers for some papers. All the time I stare at him over the laptop screen. He thinks that by not looking at me that he hasn't actually 'bothered' me or the writing process, but the cinema of words so carefully crafted in brain vision is now gone...forever. He walks out without looking at me and closes the door. He doesn't actually take anything except my laser beam focus. He will suffer later, I promise.
I tell myself to let it go and move forward. If after forty-three years of obsessive reading I can't come up with another idea or some visionary phrases, I should call it quits anyway. I tap out another tune, and I'm getting a whole new groove on in a new direction. Suddenly a tantalizing twist turns through my thoughts, I try to capture it like a bubbling floating upward when my daughter barges through the door.
She twirls around in the middle of the carpet, goes out, comes in, and then stands before me with her hands on her hips. "I'm bored," she says. I keep tap, tap, tapping. She gets closer and waves her hand in front of my face. "Hello?" she demands. My fingers freeze and I try to capture the twisting turning bubble as it slips away from conscientiousness. "You're not even writing!" she screams. "Go away," I say. "How rude!" she stomps out. I yell to close the door. I bellow two more times. I try to ignore the open door, drone of music, and incessant TV chatter.
I can't recapture any semblance of pace so I take a break from the aforementioned text and switch to editing a poem that is half begun. I read it through until the thoughts, rhymes, and connections zoom through my mind and my fingers, and SPLAT onto the screen. As I muster up the middling climax, my 'tween son pushes his body through the door and flops on the sofa (okay it's really a bed) with his arm dramatically flung over his face. I look at him...the screen...him. This too shall pass. He has to learn to figure out his own problems. Right?
Growing up among girls, I didn't know how dramatic boys could be until this past year. His storms are not episodic like my sisters or daughters, quick and explosive. His are epic with a beginning that builds to a massive middle and ends as a novella with a possible sequel. He quakes and boils, holding back tears. His voice cracks as he tries to man up and put his tragedy into words and grunts. Can empathy emanate from my pores while I continue to write? What was I writing? Will he notice? He will surge for hours, brew deeper injustices, and plot strategic solutions or revenge. It breaks my heart as he starts to gasp for air and his body trembles. It's hopeless, I must batten down the laptop hatches before I throw it through the window and weather the storm to shelter my musings for calmer conditions , like maybe a class five rapids.
What distractions are disasters that keep you from capturing the fragile flight of ideas and drive you mad?