Coconuts

There’s this liquid you can get in Hawaii, coconut syrup. It’s of a similar consistency to maple, looks a lot like watered-down glue, and tastes like a mountain of sugar. When poured on a waffle, especially one armored with bananas and macadamia nuts, it turns an ordinary breakfast experience into a tasting sensation close to Nirvana. Or at least what I imagine nirvana to be.

Writing should, theoretically, be an act that can occur on vacation. A beach should be a grand place to pound out ideas in rhythm with the surf. Problem is, unless you’ve resigned yourself to a sedate trip, there’s rarely the time to think about the scrivening. It’s as though a giant list of activities appears, desperate to be completed in the time that you’re not working. Daily routines fall apart, demolished by the pressure to be happy, to learn, to experience the other of wherever you are.

It might sound like I’m a little ungrateful for the opportunity to visit an island. And I think, to some degree, I am. There’s a pressure now that exists, pulsing behind every moment not spent pushing the writing forward, that prevents pure joy from happening. Unless I get lost in it – and powerful waves crashing over you are a good reason to focus on the moment.

Even so, the softer sides leave the door open for haunting thoughts to sneak through. Drives through windy roads, or moments left alone while the lady was using the restroom or on a quick mission to find more sunscreen give a percolating mind a chance to dwell on the words not being types, the stories not being told. I think this would be alleviated by finally publishing something. Like the stress of the upward climb of a roller coaster goes away after that first big drop.

I don’t know whether that’s going to be the case. Clicking the publish button might welcome a whole new swirl of chaos. The impulse to check the sales dashboard, to plot marketing schemes, all might twist the stress screws more. But I don’t think so. I’m hoping that the scary unknown will turn out to be not all that bad, and it’ll let me get into a groove that, right now, remains elusive.

We brought back a few bottles of the syrup. They’re sitting there, waiting to make a few breakfasts legendary. I’m not going to open them till I publish something. Just a little more incentive to get a story out there. That next morning’s going to be so good.

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