The clock read 2:00 a.m.   Two hours past yesterday.  Four hours before today would start.

Yesterday I had such big plans for my today.  Monumental plans, plans to write a piece that would rival the best of my work.  People would message me in every possible medium.

Blog comment: “Pamelot, you amaze me.”

Tweet: “Keep it up, Pamela, you’re the best.”

Facebook: “I want to be like you when I grow up, Mrs. Hutchins.”  [Because, to the horror of my teenagers, their friends have taken to “following me” and reading about my kids’ exploits on Road to Joy bwah ha ha ha…keeps them scared straight]

Email: “Will you be my new best friend?” or better yet, “Can I be your agent?”

Possibilities literally had screamed through my mind all that evening, just a few short hours before.  I got caught up in the maelström, words tornadoeing through my head:  should I be funny?  thought-provoking?  emotional?  inspiring?  educational?

I know — I’ll finish the post about fibromyalgia!  NO.  I’ll blog about our family betting pool; that would be hilarious.  Scratch that — the topic of today is Becoming {step} Momela, the redux.

So I sat down at the keyboard.  And y’all aren’t going to believe what happened next.


Not one damn thing.

ShiFt.  (I’m not allowed to use actual curse words in my writing, because my grandmothers both read it; use your imagination)

I stared at the keyboard with my death ray glare.  I stared so hard the screen sizzled, and I could smell the smoke as it rose in tiny curls and disappeared into the downdraft from the ceiling fan.

Appear, oh ye words of wisdom.  Blog, write thyself.

Yeah, that didn’t work either.

It’s publication day tomorrow, Pamela.  You’re supposed to be the psycho who thrives on deadlines, who gobbles up time management for a mid-morning snack.

I slugged cold coffee, which sucked.  I had just given up my hazelnut creamy yummy sweetener thingy because my thighs are “swole” as my friend the former NFL linebacker/personal trainer likes to say.  Wait, though: that’s what he says about muscles after a workout.   OK, whatever — my azz is getting big. Again. As it is wont to do, after I carbo-load for 45 straight days.

Ah, could I be PMSing?

The ugly possibility scared me.  I hadn’t padded my room yet for the monthly invasion of the body-and-mind snatcher.  I needed to warn the kids!  I counted the days on the calendar and sighed in relief.  Nope.  Not PMS.

My writer’s block tormented me through the night.  What could it be?  What rat bastard stole my mo-frickin-jo?

Note: bastard is a noun of common usage, not a curse word; for the record, damn falls in the same category, unless either of these words comes out of the mouth of one of my kids

Ding.  My iPhone interrupted the death spiral of my thoughts.  Thank God.  I was getting a headache, and I didn’t want to get out of the island of my bed and cross the vast ocean between my bedroom and the kitchen for a glass of water and Excedrin.

An email.  From my husband, in India.  Where he would be for two weeks, this time.

“Smile, beautiful.  I love you.”

A grapefruit-sized lump formed in my throat.  I jumped up from my nest of pillows and scrambled across the wood floors, searching in the dark.  My hands found the laundry hamper.

You’re a nut job.  Yes, I know.

I plunged my hand into the hamper and grabbed air.  What a night to catch up on the laundry.  What had I been thinking?  Eric would be gone for two weeks, and the first thing I did when I got home from the airport was wash every article of clothing, each towel, all the sheets and every last pillowcase in the house?

I knelt beside the hamper with my hands on the floor, each hand splayed outside a knee.  My right hand landed on something comfortingly soft.  Cotton.  A t-shirt.  I pulled it to my face.


The t-shirt Eric had worn early that morning, before we left for the airport-formerly-known-as-Intercontinental.  The black t-shirt with the gold letters, the St. Croix Private School Pirates Offensive Coach t-shirt, the one I always made fun of: “So, does that mean you were offensive, or that you were the coach of the offense?  Because it’s not quite clear to me…”

I made a frantic wardrobe change.  The scent memory of my husband hugged me.  I wished I’d showered after my earlier and uncharacteristically solo run and bike, because I suddenly knew that I would be wearing this shirt a lot in the next two weeks, no matter how it smelled come morning.  Sometimes when I’m sad, though, the shower is the last place I can force myself to face.

I want my mojo back. And my husband.

I crawled back into the bed made up with the brown sheets that Eric hated because they left flannel pill balls all over him.  The iPhone dinged again.

“All is well here.  Safe and sound.”

I pulled out my laptop and typed my answer in the dark.

Click.  Click.  Click.  Send.

It would have to do, for now.


p.s. Somebody bring me a Cinnabon and coffee filled with really rich creamy sugary hazelnutty butt-enlarging stuff, please.

p.p.s. With much love to my Marine brother and lovely sister-in-law, who endure separations longer than Eric and I do, all the time.