Driving on the wrong side of the road

I’m hitting that stage in “Bethena” where one starts denting one’s shins against the music out of excessive, unwarranted familiarity.

It’s like driving on the left side of the road. Americans go to the UK, and for about a week or so, we’re safe drivers. We’re aware that things are off-kilter, so we’re hypervigilant and go cross-eyed paying extreme amounts of attention to everything when we’re behind the wheel. We’re probably safer drivers than the Brits at that early stage.

The problems start after that first week, when we start to relax. Then, we do stupid things like turning into the wrong side of the road, looking the wrong direction, and jumping curbs. (I almost gave a bus driver a heart attack in north Wales.) The vigilance starts to ratchet down with familiarity before real knowledge has ramped upwards, and the convolution of these two functions creates a dip in the performance curve at a predictable time. It’s maddening.

And it’s also coming at a time when I’m antsy to get back to writing, so it’s extremely easy for me to abandon this piece that I love so much right now. I can even justify it to myself by saying that, since I’ll be writing again as of next Sunday anyway, “Bethena” is going to decay anyway. Why not let the decay process get started now?


This is idiot reasoning. I’m going to decay someday as well, but I’m at least slightly invested in putting off the process for as long as possible.

I’m going to keep working on “Bethena” this weekend and next Saturday. Sunday May 15, I wake up ready to write.