As I wrote the words “End of Act One” at the bottom of p.86, I looked at the computer clock. It was 6:45am.
No – I did not stay up all night. True, I got to work on time last night by the skin of my teeth. A phone call to announce I’d been searching for my missing keys seemed appropriate. Granted, the keys were only missing for about five seconds. But at least I didn’t lie about it.
Four hours of work was fine. I concentrated well on the job, when called for. I was unusually silent during dinner hour — and I’m sure you all know why.
As soon as I got home, I grabbed my laptop and headed to the Bagel Shop. There I remained until the first rush of drunken students arrived. I returned to my room, and wrote till midnight. As the clock struck twelve, I gave up. I had been belaboring the end of the Act for so long to no avail, I’m sure all the Muses were snoring in their sleep from boredom. Soon, I was snoring too.
And it’s a good thing. I got up at around 4am, took my thyroid medication, drank some water, did some reading, made some coffee, called a friend, and finally braved the unknown.
Then, what didn’t happen last night happened this morning. It was uncanny. It’s a rare experience, and very difficult to describe. The same experience occurred when I wrote the Siddhartha Monologue, and the lyrics to “Midnight Screams.” The rush of creative fire ripped through my bloodstream. It practically burned through my pores. As I wrote the “oracle” that my protagonist, Winston Greene, is supposed to be “receiving” at the end of the Act, it was as though I myself were receiving it — from somewhere. It couldn’t have happened last night, either. Last night all I did was stare brain-dead at the page. It must have happened when it was meant to happen; for this morning, I was on fire.
Honestly, I got so excited when the final verses of the song came about, I could barely focus to write. Mercifully, I was able to contain myself just long enough to finish the Act. At that, I heard the voice of my Theatre Arts mentor, the late Tom McKenzie, clearly saying what he no doubt would have said to me at that moment – God rest his soul.
“And now, it’s time for you to put it aside for a while.”
This calls for a glass of wine.