So there is this blank page, a blank screen really—a screen's representation of a blank page, with a cursor, waiting, blinking, like a pen's sharp tap against teeth. Anything—any one thing—is better than this. Any job much more worth doing, much more pressing than putting words to a virtual page.
And there is this head cold, this one blocked ear, this pressure all down one side of a neck, as if the head would be more comfortable permanently stuck to the shoulder. A strong thumb in a pressure-point makes pain replace numbness.
And there is this job, a whirr of activity now without time for enjoyment, personality or pleasure: running out and filling up and sticking down. All these wonderful printed words that have been through so much to become captured and bound and then again expressed—they are simply sales blips, raw measurements of productivity.
But there's the hope, at least. There's always that. A page filled with workings out. That final sneeze that clears your head. A book, unknown, found floundering beneath the opiate publicity of others, picked up, with that flutter of excitement that arrives from a startling first line. And then a paragraph. And then a page. And then hope is here.