Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

Early Morning with the Enemy

Photo: Alan Bell (Creative Commons)

Photo: Alan Bell (Creative Commons)

The alarm sounds. My finger finds the snooze button. Sleep is sweet. Minutes later I am awakened again. This time I stumble out of my cocoon, not quite reborn.

The shower’s warm water peals open my eyelids and I feel conscious for the first time since head met pillow. The sun won’t peak its head over the mountains for another hour or so. Hopefully, by then, the words will already be flowing through my fingertips and onto the page.

Dressing quickly, I shuffle into the kitchen to brew some thinking juice and scrounge up a nutritional breakfast. Granola and yogurt will do. As sleep’s fog clears, a battle ensues to fill its vacancy.

The phone bill is due. Don’t forget! Last time I forgot they turned off the phones.
Why was she so upset yesterday? Did she have a point? Is it my fault?
Only two weeks until the big conference. What am I going to say? Are we ready? I have to write those talks today.
Am I doing a good job at work? It seems like we are sliding backwards not moving forwards.
Did I pay our rent yet?
Agh. I have to transfer the money today if it will arrive in time for next month.

Steam rises from the coffee as it streams from the French press into my mug. Add two spoons of sugar. Stir. I grab the bowl of granola and head into the office.

Only two hours until the day sweeps me up.

Opening my computer, I am greeted by beeps and dings and bouncing icons on my screen. The day is encroaching—an email from my boss requesting information, a facebook message from a friend, an article on the game last night. I close email, logout of facebook, and turn off my phone. This time is sacred and I will not let it be profaned.

Left open on my screen is yesterday’s work. I recall my fingers flying, the imagery budding onto the page like a forest in spring. I read back through.

How do those two ideas connect?
That metaphor doesn’t make any sense.

I look behind me to make sure no one crept into office and is reading over my shoulder.

How did I ever think this was good?

The voice changes.

You call yourself a writer. You’re not a writer; you’re a hacker and a poser.
Leave the writing to the professionals. What makes you think that you can write a book? Because you think you can? Because your dad said you could do anything you put your mind to? That’s a kid’s fairy tale. Grow up. This is the real world.

The voice is familiar although faceless—a conglomeration of life’s critics.  The din is deafening. It echoes through the synapses of my brain.

I glance up at the words hanging on my wall.

Be strong.
Be strong O Joshua.
Work, for I am with you.
My Spirit remains.
Fear not.

Placing my fingers on the keys, I silence the voice. I type. I write.

This morning, Resistance loses.

Tomorrow’s post: Meet your greatest enemy—Resistance.

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