“I’m not feeling that great, but I’ve got lots of ideas for writing.”
“That’s what you’re supposed to be doing. Writing your book. It’s what you love to do. It’s good that you’re working on it. You seem to be excited about it.”
I don’t respond, but I am excited. Denny can tell.
“I’m thinking of going to the writers’ conference in the summer and pitching my book. Scary.”
“Why is that scary?”
“I think I’m afraid of success.”
“What’s success? Somebody liking your book. What’s scary about that?”
I am tossing the delicate clothes I took out of the dryer onto the bed. I left the towels in for more time.
“I am so tired. I don’t seem to have the energy to keep writing. That’s another reason why I’ve been so tired lately. I’ve been trying to write a book,” Denny can hear me from the living room as I sort and fold.
“Do what you can. If you don’t have enough energy today then work on it another day. You don’t have to wear yourself out. Just keep at it.”
I’m thinking, in addition to going for doctors’ appointments and medical tests and dealing with stress at work, I feel like I’m on trial. All I did was request more hours and now my request has to go before the board of directors and the budget team and the investors.
These are people I know. They will be casting their vote.
I don’t like this process. I am hoping they don’t resent me for it, for stretching a budget which was slashed this year.
Here I am trying to convince them that they need a good administrator. They need someone to turn this ship around. And I’m thinking now that if I get those hours then a lot will be resting on my shoulders. They will be looking to me to hold up my end of the bargain.
I’m afraid more hours will equal more work and I will end up still putting in just as much overtime, while the whole idea was to get paid for the work I was doing.
The dryer has stopped. There is nothing as comforting as carrying an armful of warm towels. I fold them while they are still warm and I remember the warm blanket that was placed on me just before I had my surgery. I was cold and anxious. It was the kindest thing they did for me while I was on the stretcher, waiting in the hallway, before being rolled into the O.R.
“What kind of surgery did you have?” Nobody had asked me this question. I presumed most people figured I would volunteer the information if I wanted to. Well, I hadn’t. I hadn’t even told our children exactly what I had done. I just explained that when you get older some things don’t work as well so you have to get them fixed.
I named my two surgeries. There was silence. Not surprising. The wife of the regional director of a previous organization I worked for was the one who asked me. We would go for Mexican food with them from time to time. The director liked Denny. They got each other, somehow.
So, now they knew. I considered my secret relatively safe with them. I mean who would want to share this kind of information? I certainly didn’t.
I finished folding the towels. I put them away, and then I picked up my laptop and sat down across from Denny in the living room and began to write.