Naked

Usually, when one’s morning starts with sprinting from the bathroom mid-shower, water still running and torrents of it dripping off one’s body and leaving a soggy trail through the apartment, it usually isn’t an omen that it’s going to be a very good day.

But that’s exactly what happened this morning, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

For months now, I’ve struggled a bit. Not to be too dramatic about it, but I’ve kind of lost my way. No, I’m not having a Santa Evita don’t-cry-for-me moment here; just bear with me, and let me explain.

Deep down at my core, I’m a writer. It might not be what I do, but it’s always been a large part of who I am. The me the world is presented with on a day-in, day-out basis is a slightly (okay, maybe not slightly) vapid guy with a devil-may-care attitude and a penchant for smirking, scoffing, and loudly broadcasting his every thought and opinion to the world 24/7. This persona, these cares and attitudes — well, those are just clothes, trappings, flashy accoutrements. Underneath it all is a simpler me. This mellower, gentler me is my introspective, pensive, quieter ( and probably better) self. That’s the me that doesn’t care what the world around him does or thinks, who is more obsessed with Florence + the Machine than Lady Gaga, who doesn’t have a snide comment for everyone around him, isn’t obsessed with perfect abs and bigger arms, and really is perfectly content to slow down and enjoy the more subtle, sublime minutiae of life. In non-name-brand, untrendy, scrubby pajamas, even.  This stripped, more essential me is the writer.

Bet you never knew you were getting a glimpse of me nekkid when you’re reading this blog, did you?

If the louder, more…clothed…me exists in the world, the deeper, more pensive, Naked Me me lives deep in my own headspace, in a little room filled with book-lined shelves, an old leather chair, and a writing desk next to a sunny window overlooking an overgrown garden. Yes, the inner me lives in a Victorian manor, apparently.

And that quiet little library is the secret refuge I mentally retreat to every now and then when I need a break from the outside world and when I need to re-center and remind myself that all that glitters, shimmers, or wears expensive trendy clothing, has a perfect tanline, and single-digit body fat is not necessarily gold.

Lately, though, that little room of mine has been locked, and I seem to have misplaced the key.

Call it lack of time, lack of inspiration, writer’s block…call it getting carried away with more immediate concerns, like griping about my job or waistline or the myriad problems of a superficial existence. Call it what you will, but the end result is the same: the typewriter – because I’m old-school and tweedy in that mental place, remember – is gathering cobwebs. Not just slim silvery strands of casual neglect, but the funky, nasty, sticky yarns of outright abandonment.

That bugs the hell out of me. It means I’m out of balance, and that the hundred million trivial concerns of Vapid, Shallow Me are suppressing the creativity of Inherently Good, Writer Me.

And that’s why it’s a very good thing that I was racing – stark naked and soaking wet, scattering water everywhere – across the apartment this morning in search of pen and paper. Because more than just scaring the holy living hell out of the cats – which is always a good, fun thing in and of itself – it meant that things are going well enough in this outer world for me to actually reach the inner one.   It means I’m in a good headspace. And that, my friends, might just mean the end of this pernicious little case of writer’s block.

Now, somebody wanna hand me my towel?