October 26, 2007 at 5:21 pm 1 comment

“God protects fools and babies.”
Julia, my mother(yes she’s still alive, but would kill me if I tell her age and still might for using her first name.)

Last night I was having a very insightful conversation with my mother. She thinks me strange, finds my humor even stranger, and at times has an expression that tells me she thinks there is a nice white jacket with straps waiting for me.

She still loves me.

My mother used to be a nurse. She’s heard and seen it all. This is the woman who I find endless amounts of characterization to draw from. She is one of a kind. She once said to me after I hit my elbow, (the funny bone) “Was it funny?” She doesn’t see where I get my sense of humor. I’ll let her stay in denial.

But I digress.

Last night she was telling me about the time she walked into a patient’s room and smelled shit. Being a nurse you know a patient can sometimes mess themselves. This particular patient looked like every thing was in working order. He didn’t have mood swings. He was coherent. Not long ago he asked for a newspaper. When my mother went in to check on him he was sitting up in the bed. He didn’t look pale or in distress, but still she smells shit. She checks the bed anyway. Nope, nothing. She walks further into the room and the smell gets stronger. She goes into the bathroom and finds the cause.

On the newspaper, this lucid man asked for not more than an hour ago, is shit. Now my mother pauses. There is no sign of dog. He hasn’t had any visitors in the past hour, but her mind still cannot wrap around the evidence leading her to the true culprit. She askes the man, “Did you have a dog in here?”

I’m guessing the man frowns at this point. “No.”

My mother doesn’t cuss so I’m paraphrasing the gist of conversation. “But there is shit in the bathroom. On the floor. On the newspaper I gave you.”

“Yes, my wife always cleans it up.”

It takes a moment for it to dawn on her. The man expects her to clean up his fecal matter that he intentionally put there. On the newspaper, in the corner of the bathroom, a few minor feet away from the working toilet.

My mother walks out of the room leaving the man and his shitty newspaper.

After having giggle fits for three hours I thought about the things you will and won’t do. For me since I’m so close to getting my paralegal certificate and my associates degree, I’m willing to take on hours of endless classes, staying up late to finish assignments, missing my kids and missing sleep. Just this morning when I couldn’t find my stapler and these papers had to be stapled, I got smart. I took a thumb tack and punched measured holes into my assignment then I took one staple and pushed it in the holes and squeezed the ends. Voila. Stapled.

That leads me to desperation. What am I willing to endure to get what I want? With writing it’s rejections, spending the little money I have on paper, ink,postage, and a website. Staying up late to finish my revisions, critiquing, staying up to finish those last 250 words just to have my word count goal for the day. Because if I’m going to be in this business that is what I have to do.

What I won’t do?

When I am absolutely spent picking going to school over sleeping when my kids aren’t home, picking writing over the one hour I get to see my kids on the weekday, ever allow myself to pick up a newspaper with human shit to get a paycheck.


Entry filed under: inspiration, publishing woes, writing woes.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mel  |  October 28, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    No one is touching this post with a ten foot pole.


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