I exhibit several inappropriate responses to stress: laughing, peeing, falling down, suffering shooting pains in my head. One of the most annoying ones is falling asleep. This usually strikes when I’m writing. While I’m laboring to get some words down on the damn page, I get freaked that what I’m writing is no good, that it will never be any good, that I’m incapable of putting together a sentence that anyone would give a damn about. And then my eyelids clamp shut and I’m drooling on my shirt. This feeling can overtake me while I’m writing just about anything, but at least these days I manage to stay awake while composing thank-you notes or a shopping list. But writing a book, just to use a hypothetical sort of example with no basis in reality, will immediately catapult me into unconsciousness. This is infuriating, and yet even my rage doesn’t seem to perk me up. I can be railing against my useless defense mechanisms and then before I finish my sentence I’m kayaking with my dead grandmother and she’s hucking Stella D’Oro Breakfast Treats at me.
Wow, that’s a dream I wish I’d had. I made that up, right there. But probably I could have come up with something better, crap, what if I wrote, hmm, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.