As the school year comes to the final days, lots of work with deadlines has piled. I took lots home this weekend. I didn’t see any other way. However, halfway into the weekend, I still hadn’t done anything with it. So I decided to let myself do something else, and maybe that would get things in motion. There was a writing workshop that sounded good on paper. I was allowed to register up until an hour before it would start. It was free. I told myself to get up and do something. The discouraging part was getting there. Either two buses or a train and a bus.
I took the train first and that went quickly. It would be great if there were a more direct route. When I got off the train, I was in a neighborhood adjacent to the one I grew up in. It had been a long time since I’d been walking around there and I was no longer familiar with the layout. I walked downtown when I needed to walk uptown to the bus stop. In those minutes, I missed the bus. By the time I got on the next one, I was definitely going to be late. Then there were wheelchair ramp problems, and the ride took much longer than normal. I was 45 minutes late. I went in hungry and with a headache.
The first main exercise already happened. People were sharing what they wrote and receiving feedback. The workshop leader winked at me. From a distance, my sight is a little blurry, so it took a couple of minutes to realize that I knew the woman leading the workshop. And as a person, I didn’t like her. This is where Googling would have been a time-saver. If I’d seen who she was in pictures, I’d have recognized her. We briefly had once worked at the same job. I remember wanting to like her initially. Seeing who she was felt disappointing. I was glad she left or was asked to (not sure how that went).
So now it is years later. People grow. I figured if she was doing this, she has something to offer. The topic clearly had to do with our mothers. Everyone was reading about theirs. I felt like I wouldn’t have been able to or wanted to share about my mother in front of someone I knew as a mean person. I don’t need to feel any worse than I tend to walk around feeling.
If it were walking distance from my house, I might have left. I did step out to get a coffee and donut in hopes of easing the hunger and headache (assuming the headache was from the hunger). I brought the stuff back in with me, so I hadn’t missed but a few more minutes. She was assigning the next exercise. It was built on the first one and used the mother as a character, but this would be in a fictional situation. It was timed and very little time was given. I write nonfiction and poetry. Very rarely is my stuff fiction (though names are often changed), so I needed more time. I also wasn’t feeling like having my mother be a character. This is not light stuff for me. Then she began singing during our writing time which I found very annoying. In some ways, it felt more about her than it should be. I wrote a few shitty lines. No direction because I hadn’t made the decisions one makes before writing, so it was nothing.
The last exercise was to write a Haiku. The specific moment she asked for in the life of our mothers was not accessible to me. I think they were valuable assignments, but they seemed more centered around where she’s at than where we are. So, no poem either. There was a general announcement asking people to join the workshop leader and the one who runs the place to eat at a nearby restaurant. Before anyone could zoom in on me, I darted out of there.
It was not a day I had patience for the bus ride. It crawls in traffic and stops at lights and bus stops and just felt so long. The day and I were just not compatible it seemed. I felt like I wasted time and carfare. I wanted to do something to make myself feel treated. I stopped off at Fordham Road. I bought myself a dress for the beach. As I got closer to home, I picked up food, wine, and coffee. Enjoyed being back home, but still didn’t do my work.