You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
Writing is its own reward.
I am sure that the housekeepers here at my hotel think I am mad.
I have been out of the room, I promise. I take a constitutional walk twice a day, and sometimes while walking I top up my supplies. More post-it notes. More index cards. A few tubs of salad. A tube of cookies. A bucket of M and M’s (not for me). Toothpaste when I first arrived because for some odd reason when I was packing back at home I grabbed Dencorub accidentally and I can tell you, that is not a great way to clean your teeth.
I leave my room, I really do, but I always seem to be here when it’s time for my room to be serviced.
I answer the door weeping, wearing pyjamas at two in the afternoon, and assure them I am okay. I’m fine. I’m happy. Really. I’m just writing.
Or I answer the door at six in the morning to collect fresh towels because the day before I asked for my housekeepers to empty my bins but everything else was fine because I just wanted to hurry them out the door and keep writing uninterrupted but all my towels were already used and in piles on the floor, and then I was through that bit of writing and it was morning and I just needed to stand under warm water and breathe. So I accept my towels grinning like a fool. Me and my mad everyways hair – I look like a lunatic.
Or they come to clean my room and post-it notes and index cards cover the walls, there are two computers on my desk, a pile of books, and aren’t I wearing the same clothes I was in yesterday and eating muesli and yoghurt from a coffee mug while sitting cross-legged on the floor surrounded by notebooks and scribbled-on scraps of paper? Um, yes.
Here I say, take this bucket of M and M’s. They are for you. Thank you for your hard work. I am so grateful for your kindness and care. Because they are bringing me apples and extra water and asking, ‘Madam have you eaten today?’
I am eating. Not to a timetable, but food is being consumed.
The problem with food though is that I keep buying it on my walks and then I go back to my hotel walking past homeless people, and I give them the salad and the cookies, and so I have to go back to the shops again tomorrow. But that’s okay because I have apples and water and muesli and fruit and yogurt and cucumber and carrot snacks, and popcorn and cheese and crackers and isn’t that magnificent? Isn’t that enough?
Here in my tower (my hotel room on the top floor – a corner room with so many windows) I look out over the city and I think and watch the sky and then I lose myself in my writing, talking to myself, crying, laughing, making loud exclamations at sudden unexpected turns of events or breakthrough ideas, and maybe, just maybe, they are right and I am a bit mad, and if I am? Well, that’s okay.
And I am happy here in my tower, and I shall stay here til the work is done.
Love, hugs and endless gratitude to be deep in the world of my story, Nicole xx