Self, Writing


For Not Getting Tapped In The Face With A Ping Pong Ball, Among Other Things.


Concentration. (clap clap clap)

Sixty four. (clap clap clap)

No repeats. (clap clap clap)

Or hesitations. (clap clap clap)

That hand game is what I think of when I hear the word concentration. However, it has nothing to do with what I’m about to write about (neither does that picture, though it does capture the face I make when thinking really hard.) According to Page After Page, the writing help book I’m reading/ feeling guilty about not reading enough, writers need to practice concentration more than anything else. So I’m supposed to write about one thing, focused on a single thing, for a number of minutes every day as a concentration skill-builder. Although that sounds positively anxiety-inducing, I’m taking a creative writing class next semester (last one ever!) and I figured I should probably practice. PAP’s author Karen Sellers recommends writing in all caps to turn the mind more sharply towards the ONE THING you’re writing about, but since I’m already ditching her recommendation to hand write (REBEL) I’ll take pity on your readers’ eyes.

10 minutes. In front of me is my computer, bought after the last one broke, small and with a tinny-sounding keyboard. There’s also my coffee in a jar I stole from my boyfriend’s cupboard and reheated twice. Behind my computer is my employer Noa’s computer that she usually uses for work, but which she may not have needed to day. And behind that is still another computer, or rather a monitor, which I’ve never seen turned on. The desk I’m sitting at seems borrowed, or bought from a thrift store. I think it’s real wood, and the leaf is extended, but it’s covered in lacquer and the extension isn’t really stable so when I push down it feels like it might snap off. The base has two shelves, and the right two legs actually end in large wagon-style wheels. The shelves are filled with large art and history books. The books on the desk surface where I’m working are for Noa’s classes. In the background I hear the faint rumble of cars and trucks cruising down the street and the whir of the refrigerator, plus an unplaceable, irregular dripping noise. The light from the widow is bright but gray, and the lights inside are a warm pinkish glow. Resting against the monitor are an index card and a post-it note with English words and their Hebrew translations. When I tuck my hair behind my ear, which I do often, it’s a terrible habit, I always twist it into knots that I then have to work out and I inevitably tear some hair out so that I now have a small bald spot just above my ear, it makes a swishing sound from the cornstarch I rubbed in this morning to soak up the oil that would have to remain since I didn’t feel like showering. I take a sip of my coffee that has already cooled to lukewarm. A slim eyeglasses case rests next to my computer, though I don’t know whose it is, Daniel’s or Noa’s, and I don’t know what’s inside, since both of them wear glasses that are much bigger than this case.

Ok! That wasn’t so bad. I did notice my mind wandering towards the end because I was running out of things to describe. Although I guess I could have gone with the feel of the table top, the notepad, the water bottle, the yellow computer pouch. Anyways I’m not supposed to re-read or judge what I wrote, because “Who wants to show up for daily judging?” That’s Karen Sellers again. But sorry, Karen, I did re-read it, and I kind of liked it, so, oops.


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