Thoughts of Snoopy

The picture on my computer’s desktop is of Snoopy sitting on top of his doghouse with his typewriter. The doghouse is red, the sky a pale blue, the grass a pale green. Snoopy looks serious about his work, as serious as a cartoon beagle can look. I’m not sure why I picked this image as my new desktop, after a succession of vector-image pieces of women looking sad, but it strikes me every time I look at it. This, I want to say to myself, is how seriously you should take yourself.

On the one hand, you have a writer consumed by his work. On the other hand, you have a dog sitting at a typewriter, a truly ridiculous sight, if ever there was one. It’s good to be obsessed with whatever it is you do, but you should also be able to put it into perspective. In the grand scheme of things, my storytelling isn’t much more important in this world than whatever it is that Snoopy is concocting up on top of that doghouse.

This all, of course, has nothing to do with anything. Like most things I’ve been thinking about over the past couple of days, this train of thought is something I’ve come up with to serve as a diversion from the darker path my brain has been leading me along. I figure that, by making a silly, little comparison between my writing life and the picture on my desktop, I might emit a chuckle or two.

It didn’t work.

I can comfort myself with the knowledge that I made some progress on my 45 minute craft lecture today, that I re-read the Dubus story for the umpteenth time and read Robert Coover’s “The Babysitter” as well. But, inevitably, my brain will counter with the fact that I wasted a couple of hours playing my fucking video game when I should have been writing instead.

I had thought to simply give myself the leeway to not write anything new until after the semester was over. That would be a simple solution to the guilt I’m feeling. At least I think it would be. But, I can’t bring myself to do that. I’m so close to finishing the damn thing and it’s driving me insane that I can’t find the energy or the spirit to get it done.

So, as I try to get to sleep tonight without quivering in fear, I’ll try to think about Snoopy or babies or maybe getting a dog. I hope that it works. And I hope that the demons will relent sometime soon. I don’t know how much more I can take.