Ahhh, I’m so glad I made the effort to drive all the way to Yellowstone National Park to work on my memoir. This view is truly inspiring. The peaceful canyons, the quiet rivers, and sleeping elk. Nothing will distract me here. I can finally concentrate.

Wait. This view is actually crazy good. It really makes me appreciate everything I already have. What am I always striving for? Who am I trying to impress — Scott? Scott is on his own path. He and I are simply two specks of dust in one of those NASA videos on Facebook that Scott sometimes shares that zoom out and show the scale of the universe. I don’t need to compete. When do I allow myself to simply… be?

OK, hold on. This view is actually too inspiring. I can’t work here.

- - -

Ahhh. This is much better. That other view was too beautiful, too overwhelming. It’s actually better for me to just be here, at a picnic table beside the parking lot. The very mundanity means there’s nothing remarkable. Which is good, because I think the uniqueness of my memoir is, or will be, that, even though nothing really “interesting” has ever happened to me, I can still find subtle revelations in the placidity of the everyday. So, now, I can finally concentrate.

Wait. Is that the sound of a car? Are they coming this way? No, it’s too high-pitched… is it a motorcycle? I swear to GOD… Oh, it’s fading. I guess they’re just passing by. Still, though.

OK, hold on. I can’t work with the threat of a motorcycle guy riding up to me every other minute.

- - -

Ahhh, here we go. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before. There’s nothing more isolated than a stall in the public restroom in the parking lot of Yellowstone National Park. It’s kind of gross, but so is life. My memoir shouldn’t just be the beautiful placid moments, it should be about the nitty gritty placid moments — that’s what readers will really connect with. And who better than me to capture them?

Wait. Did someone in the next stall just flush? I thought I was alone! Oh my… the smell.

OK, hold on. I gotta get out of here… water tap sounds…. they’re washing their hands…. the sound of a chopper starting up… and they’re gone. Thank God.

- - -

Ahhh, OK. It wasn’t easy to scale the restroom’s outer wall and climb onto the roof, but it was definitely worth it. It’s unexpectedly beautiful up here, like my memoir. I’m finding insights in the unlikeliest of places. The average small-minded writer, the writer who goes for the obvious “gotcha” — I’m not saying Scott, necessarily, but that kind of writer — would stop at the stall, would turn back and try to find some other location, but I’m digging in my heels here, I’m committing to this concrete bunker, and the refreshingly offbeat revelations are their own reward, and the proof of what some reviewers could conceivably call “a startlingly original mind.”

Wait. It’s super uncomfortable up here. And really hot. My butt is actually sticking to the — what is this, tar? It’s all over my jeans. Fuck. And my laptop’s battery is at 18%. I hate that. It’s like, this amount that’s technically enough to write for a while, but it’s also just low enough that, if I really got into a good flow that lasted like, an hour, I’d have to pause in the middle of it and look for an outlet.

OK, hold on. I’m getting down.

- - -

Ahhh, this is where I should’ve been all along! The trunk of my own car. It’s so safe, so familiar, so few distractions. I’ll just write on my phone, which is so much less pressure than writing on that big laptop anyway. Airplane mode, check. Nice. Wow, it’s kind of hot in here. And it’s like, really uncomfortable bent over like this. I think my leg is bleeding. No biggie, though. Blood, sweat, and tears, right! Everyone thought Scott’s memoir was so good, because he fought in a war, but they haven’t seen the quiet suffering of my suburban malaise.

The quiet malaise of my suburban suffering.

The suburban malaise of my quiet suffering.

Fuck, I’m really bleeding. Hold on.

Wait, the — no! No! The little portal into the back seat’s stuck! I can’t — oh, it’s just the latch. Thank God.

Okay, hold on, just gonna get some air in here.

- - -

Ahhh. Perfect. Total darkness, a little breeze, a slight trickle of blood. I’ve never felt more slightly cramped and alive. In a way, you could say I’m fighting the war on quiet desperation, which is maybe the “real” war? Anyway, now I can finally concentrate.