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The Sandman is a Story Thief

June 27, 2010

Last night, I changed my sheets to the nice, soft blue ones, and packed up the duvet till autumn. I threw the summer-weight quilt over the bed, then tucked myself in like a letter folded into an envelope. I would like to describe getting into bed like folding a letter into a blanket-envelope and mailing myself off to sleep, but am fairly certain I’d be stealing that line. I think it was something the goofy-sister character, Deedee, tells her ultra-smart brother, Dexter, on a cartoon I used to love called Dexter’s Laboratory. Even the word “wackadoodle” is a theft. A small-time crime, but nonetheless taken from an email K. wrote me, about the men with whom she’d been “enjoying” blind dates.

Never one for petty crime, and squarely opposed to stealing stories and good lines and using them without attribution, I instead muttered to myself aboutall the best lines are taken, then came clean: sure, I mailed myself off to sleep, but a cartoon character did it first.

This should earn me some story-karma, I think. A few good sentences flowing from brain to finger to keyboard to blog. An end to the writer’s block that’s been hounding me for weeks and causing me to settle for writing short, mediocre posts about nothing at all. But no. Instead, along came the sandman who stole my next story right out of my head as fast as I composed it.

I was lying there this morning listening to birds and slowly waking up, and piecing together a really great idea, one I’ve been bashing around awhile now but which remained shapeless, like those fucking pancake-boob-pregnant-belly sundresses all the ladies are wearing in Toronto this season. Darn those dresses to heck! Even perfectly pretty-looking women with knockout figures are magically transformed to saggy-chested, bloat-bellied shlubs once they pull those dresses over their heads. But, I digress…

…so, I’m lying there and the story is doing a bit of this and a bit of that and is finally FINALLY becoming something concrete…and then, I drop off to sleep again. It bears noting that I also sleep like pure hell, so the coupling of a good sleep, a successful round of mentally composing a story then more sleep, this is like some sort of freaky phenomenon, a creative and snoozy blue moon. But it seems that while I napped and the birds continued to chirp and the sun rose higher in the sky and ladies cruised around Toronto dressed in a bunch of hideous summer frocks, the Sandman was hard at work, chiseling my story from my memory. Snapped that piece off cleanly and made his get-away, my words in his pocket or perhaps since there were a lot of them and I imagine he’s a little guy, he lugged the story in a sack.

All I know is, it’s gone. But whoa, that was a delicious and dreamy sleep.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 2:52 pm

    Are you sure it was a good story? I don’t want to piss on your chips, but usually when I write ideas down between naps and read it back later it’s total drek – here are some examples:

    * tiger clouds
    * my dad’s really funny
    * what if we had hands for feet?

    Seriously – don’t beat yourself up. It might have been a pants story.

    • welltailored permalink*
      June 27, 2010 2:55 pm

      Awesome. I like tiger clouds. And I bet your dad *is* a funny man. Actually, my sleepy stories are pretty great, it’s the notes I make while slightly drunk that ultimately prove troubling later on, heh heh.

      • June 27, 2010 2:57 pm

        Yeah – I make loads of notes between 11pm and 1am while drinking sangria and watching TCM – material for new jokes that gets progressively less funny, less coherent and more nonsensical and illegible as the night draws on…..

  2. Shivs permalink
    June 27, 2010 3:11 pm

    Send me a photo of these dresses so I can laugh out loud. I always love to see what the “toronto uniform de jour” is. Silly ladies.

    And your description of your bed makes me want to share it with you, very soon. Not a come-on to anyone who knows us, but we can add this to our collection of good lines. And you can tell your grandmother that I’m trying to weasel my way back in there.

  3. Kim permalink
    June 29, 2010 9:55 pm

    I’m with Marilla: don’t beat yourself up. I’m pretty sure wackadoodle seeped in from somewhere else too.

    Thieves theiving from thieves …

    (Say that three times fast!)


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