As I do often when I'm feeling a great deal of pressure, I got in early this morning.
No one was in the office.
Even the rats, which run through the floor at night looking for half-eaten tuna salad sandwiches, had scurried off to the garage just below me where the Sabrett's guys store their rickety carts. There they feast. I imagine them like Roman Grandees gorging while the city falls.
This morning I was kept company by a common housefly. Musca domestica.
It would land on my screen as if to see what I was writing. I swatted at it unsuccessfully with my bear-sized mitts and then, as it flew off, I grabbed it out of mid-air and let it drop dead to the dirty carpet that shows no dirt.
Finally, I was all alone, the only other sound the rumble of an air-conditioning system that was designed with the care of a soviet era nuclear power plant.
When I need to concentrate, I put on my reading glasses--I need them more often now--they act as blinders, forcing my focus on the page.
I read what I had written last night before I left.
I knocked out a phrase and added a shorter one.
I untyped and retyped.
And there, as people began slowly to fill the $29 desks around me, I became happy with what I had done.
I've had a hard time of late. My serotonin seems to have gone missing. And even two fairly good runs this weekend have still left me with a shortage of endorphins.
But I read again what I wrote.