This place where I stand and wait for the bus every day is not my writing desk. I like this place where I stand and wait for the bus because I can just daydream while staring out into the incoming traffic and I get a good view of the bus coming so I can be ready when the bus is coming and I don’t have to look at any of the other people waiting for the bus. There are some good looking people waiting for the bus and I don’t want to look at them too much because I already fantasize in my head that they are thinking that I think that they are attractive and that I wish that our relationship could be more than just standing in silence while waiting for the bus and this is already enough of a meta-fantasy that I don’t need to tease it any further by giving the good looking people at the bus stop a reason to initiate anything in my fantasy, so I just look up San Pablo Avenue and daydream or I watch the crows as they squawk to each other from the street sign to a tree top overhead.
I am not writing and this is not my writing desk. This is where I stand outside in the sunshine in the morning right at the curb in front of the dry cleaners where I take my dry cleaning and sometimes I stand outside in the sunshine in the morning right at the curb in front of the abandoned storefront that used to be an internet cafe but also seemed like a underworld front mostly because it was an internet cafe with no cafe just a table of clunky old Dell desktop models and there is a sex shop next door called “Secrets” that sells whip-its, discounted dildos, and Halloween store quality lingerie.
This is where I stand at the curb to wait for the bus after I walk from my home several blocks away. This is where I pull my Clipper card from my wallet so I can pay my fare for the bus when it comes. This is where I think about putting my headphones on. This is where I like to stand because it’s not right in front of the bus stop where the other people like to stand which is also in the shade. I like to stand by the curb and off to the side directly in the sunshine and pretend I am being recharged like a battery or a crystal so that I have energy for the new work day before I get on the bus. I like to stand in the sunshine so I can absorb some vitamin D from the sun before I have to sit in an office for eight hours.
This is not my writing desk and I am not writing but I guess I am thinking about writing and I don’t think that should be counted against me or counted against the point of this essay. I am standing in the sunshine waiting for the bus and I am thinking about writing something really good. I am thinking about writing something I would want to read, or more accurately I am thinking about writing something I would want to read out loud to other people and not get bored with halfway through.
This is not my writing desk, I am waiting for the bus, and I am thinking about how often I think about writing without actually taking steps to start writing. I am standing outside in the sunshine near the curb on San Pablo Avenue and I am wondering if thinking about writing qualifies as writing practice or if I am trying to give myself too much credit for not getting any real work down on paper though I truly believe this marinating process is one of the most important parts of getting something together as a piece of writing, at least that’s what I keep telling myself. I like that word, marinate, and I use it often to describe my writing process, like I’m using time and space to season the beef of my idea.
This is not my writing desk and I am not writing, but I am marinating and I am doing other things and living my day to day life and I look forward to metaphorically getting the grill out and firing up the coals. I mean if I keep thinking about writing even if I am not writing I will eventually be writing if I think about it enough and just start.
Alexandra Naughton is a writer based in Richmond, California. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Be About It Press, established in 2010. She is the author of six poetry collections including You Could Never Objectify Me More Than I've Already Objectified Myself (Punk Hostage Press, 2015), I Will Always Be In Love (Paper Press, 2015), and I Wish You Never Emailed Me (Ghost City Press, 2016). Her first novel, American Mary, was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016.