Saturday, September 10, 2016


"When they put you on hold for a long time."

My housemate and soul bro Jose was put on hold while requesting information. We've all been there, many a time, too. And while we are listening to the crackly on-hold music or an advertisement for a Chase loan, our minds drift off to weird events that have yet to come, or a return to situations that were put to pasture, whether for the better or not. We go somewhere, because it would be weird to take a nap while on hold, right?

I don't know what Jose was thinking about while he was placed on hold, but he did share with us a pic that he took after the fact, upon reflection. 

I had to laugh and then think about it, because doodling on the Broad Ripple Gazette was both comical and revealing. I've done the doodling thing, too, and have not even given it a second thought of what I actually doodled. Faces...geometric symbols...cuss words; the evidence must be on a thousand scraps of paper littered throughout the house. But what makes me stop and think - and write a post about it - is not so much of what was doodled, but the metaphoric example the on-hold doodling represents: Me and my fiction writing.

While the day job is the biggest 'on-hold' distraction from writing that we part-time writers have to deal with, I think I have personally taken the day-job-hold to another level. When I come home from the lab, it's very difficult for me to stop thinking like a lab. I know that sounds strange, but when I open my laptop and find the Word doc of whatever I'm writing, I struggle to not think so 'logically' and in a time-managed frame of mind. I find it difficult to imagine fictional characters and settings, and I often have to distract myself and talk my brain out of thinking of the day's experiments and numbers/accounts and whatever my boss is expecting of me the next day and week. I can't just dive into the world of make-believe. I have to turn off the lights to the lab and lock the door.

And here's the metaphor that, unfortunately, is more like an analogy. It's almost as if the time I devote to writing is really just that time when I doodle while on hold. I really hate that thought, yet I can see how my day job and my art have battled for my time and my brain; and how it appears that my day job has won.

I feel a slight guilt in writing, because it's not work-related. It's not cancer research. It's not providing me a paycheck. 

And that's terrible thinking.

Yet, with perseverance and with a hell of a lot of mental breakdown and rebuilding, I do manage to get a few words in pretty much every day. So, the questions that I ask myself: Is what I doodle worthy of my time? Is it memorable? 

I hope so. 

Truth be told, the act of doodling is proof of an active mind that knows it wants to be doing something different, or be somewhere else. And isn't that why writers write? Doodling must be time well spent after all, despite a given protocol to do something other.

By the way... Does anyone know what "Yeezy" means?

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