Waving Not Drowning

by jkatejohnston

8 September 2013

Dear Max,

Enzo’s not allowed to get up until 6:20 when his clock turns green. So in the mornings I’ll be racing to finish my diary before he gets up, and I hear him in there awake, whistling or talking. Then the green light comes on, “Yeah, Baby!” or sometimes, “Bakugan, Stand!” And he’s down the ladder of his bunk bed like a fireman down a pole. Thump! Feet on the floor. The day has begun.


When I was trying to cheer myself up about full-time employment and ended up even more depressed because all the working writers were men…how was this sentence supposed to end? Anyway, since then I thought of two women writers with jobs. Diana Athill (editor) Stevie Smith (secretary). But even the marvelous Diana Athill got a lot more done after she retired (and she worked for fifty years). And I see on Wikipedia that Stevie Smith worked as a secretary for thirty years and then retired after a nervous breakdown. And neither one had kids.

Still, it’s unbecoming for someone whose life is a cush as mine to complain. I have everything except time, and that’s a lot. I really am waving, not drowning.  (See http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/poetry/outloud/smith.shtml.)


Oh, and fuck the writing diet. As Enzo would say when told to clean up, “It’s not ma thing.”