Sometimes nothing’s there. You can force yourself to think about a thing, but the more you think about it the farther you are from a solution. Time to incubate. Only, incubation doesn’t come easy. The problem keeps popping in there. You turn on music. It’s Dave Matthews. You turn it to something else. XX might work. You get some water. It pops in your head again. Just the problem, no solution. It’s like a juicy housefly you can’t kill. You shower. Nothing. You forget deodorant. You masturbate. Ok, maybe you don’t. But you do something else equally distracting. The words that represent the problem keep pushing out visions of hot Venezuelan micro bikini model. You give up. You’re stuck. 


Until you decide that maybe you’re not supposed to solve this problem. Of course – that has to be it. It’s an unsolvable riddle. Then you step outside for a smoke. Or rather, a half-a-smoke. You’re trying to quit. You hate the smell, taste and tissue damage. You fight the urges all day long. You suck on the lozenges and wear the patches. You even tried Chantix, but two successive nights of terror chasing you around in your dreams was enough to make you want to gouge your eyes out.  And despite progress, you seem to have bottomed out at 5 a day. You want them to raise the price of cigarettes. Out of your range.  Or ban them period. You inhale. Deep. It fills your lungs for a micro second. You exhale, kill the cherry and save the butt. Even though you won’t come back to it as a weak justification you're ‘cutting down.’  

Suddenly, the smoke clears. Letters appear. Good letters. Useful letters that turn into the right words. 

You do some pushups to celebrate. Five, only.


Jim Mitchem/@smashadv

Posted via email from 300 Words

“Eat Like an Animal” – My concept for @jamie_oliver’s food challenge
"I'm Not Dead"

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.