A lone poet in a cabin on a hill, draped in an oversized men’s dress shirt, bare feet on rungs of the black stool in her writing room. Occasionally, she glances out at the blue ridges of the Catskill mountains on the horizon. Hair a mess, she won’t shower until she finishes a piece. It’s been three days, 12 cups of coffee, and four cigarettes. Birds and crickets are her music, and lush green woods are the backdrop. She has scribbled into all hours of the morning and sleeps on a pallet in the corner of a room that is bare of furnishing except for the writing desk. She hardly leaves home, except for a few days that she spends in an old bookstore in Hudson, studying poetry and reading Hemingway to take a break from her own words.
Take the sexy out of my time in the mountains and understand that artists have been romanticizing the Catskill mountains since New York city began to bustle. Convincing city folk that the Catskills are comparable with the Swiss Alps despite the 10,000 feet difference in elevation and grandeur. That they need to venture just two hours north to be refreshed and rested in the “forever wild” forests of the Hudson Valley. I have been romanticizing my life since I can remember. Convincing myself that the slow of home is romantic, and that coming for a visit will give my writing new direction. The dress shirt is my father’s because I have run out of clean clothes, and the writing room is my mother’s. It used to be my bedroom, but when I moved out, she made it her office. I’m visiting my parents for a few weeks to save money on rent, and because I convinced myself it would be good for me. Good for the family. I’m losing my mind. The four cigarettes were smoked out of the bathroom window late at night after everyone went to sleep, and I haven’t been able to write shit since I’ve been home. My inability to think in a linear way is driving my mother up the walls and my mess is intolerable in such a perfect home. I haven’t showered because I am terrified of how clean things are here. The room is unfurnished, so my clothes are scattered on the floor. I haven’t left home because my parents only have one car, so if I’m not awake to drive my mother to work in the morning, my sister and I are stuck at home until 6 pm with a chore list and satellite television. When I’m frustrated with writing I sit in front of the tv and watch Desperate Housewives. For hours. The sun shines through the trees right outside, but I’ve been bitten by so many ticks and am bored of the same trails that I don’t move. The Catskills have been in the horizon since we lived in this house. I take them, and my family, and the cabin for granted.
Take the sexy out of my life and I am twenty-two years old and afraid of getting stuck in a 9 to 5 job. So I wait tables and run away whenever I want. Ride a bike to save money and throw away my things because I don’t know how to be organized. I visit home to find myself and leave when I don’t like what I find. I’ll be moving back to the city soon. I won’t make plans or promises that I think will interfere with my writing, and I will procrastinate with my writing until I get busy and stressed out with an unexpectedly full schedule. Words come fastest when I am working hard, stressed out, and don’t have time to write.