Up All Night and Missing Electrons

I stayed up all night last night, or almost all night. I tried to stop working at 4 a.m., but the document I left on the big iMac followed me around as I tried to nod off. I had taken on this project pro bono, as we used to say in law firms, for a friend of mine who paid all this money to get her book edited, and the editor had left the formatting in complete, total, disarray. So I’d offered to help, knowing it would take at least a few hours. And once I got into it time lost meaning. I couldn’t, wouldn’t stop working. It’s always like that when I take on technical work, or mechanical jobs, like formatting a Word doc.

            So I lay there, cuddled up against William, and I tried to absorb myself into his calm, steady heartbeat. I wanted to slow down, and rest, just like he was. But . . .

What if I moved the stuff from the front, like the Acknowledgments, the Dedication, and the infernal Table of Contents, to the back of the book? That would solve my pagination problems. Maybe T_____ won’t mind. I really should move the TOC. I should get up and move it now. No. No. I shouldn’t do that.


I close my eyes, and the words from her book run across my mind’s eye, kind of like a newsreel. I can slow it down if I try really hard. But nothing’s moving slow right now. Hell. I can’t slow it down, so I just let the pages race past me. Sometimes I spot a misspelled word, or what would my editor call it? A predicate? A fucking predicate? Damnit, predicates are about as interesting as gerunds. I don’t like them either. I wonder what page she is on, or was on, when she went to bed. At what? Midnight?vbsd0157_ntsc

            Man, I should just get out of bed and fix it. But what if I have a seizure? My synapses are bugging out right now. Like, zing. Ping. It’s like my head is filled with some of Jim’s missing electrons. Carbon’s missing four electrons. Sodium has one extra. And one you combine that with chlorine, which has one extra electron, they get stable.

            “Oh,” I’d cracked to Jim, “So that’s why they call it table salt. Because the salt is stable.”

            He’d laughed out loud at my first and only chemistry joke.


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2 comments on “Up All Night and Missing Electrons
  1. Those times when my mind is racing are scary. And seductive. Seductive because I get a LOT done in them. Things that I don’t achieve when I am operating below warp speed.
    Not all of the things I get achieved are positive though – which is where the scary bit comes in.
    Sending hugs and hopes for regained equilibrium for you.

  2. These are the times when you have to slow yourself down hard is it might be. The only person pushing you to do more is you, usually for no reason other than some internal voice telling you, ‘you promised’. In fact you likely didn’t.

    Our need to be better, faster, more perfect. It is what we bludgeon ourselves with. We do more harm than good.

    From my blue space…sending love and hugs. Be better to yourself.

Please tell me how you feel!

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