A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. This creates a great problem, as it is now four in the morning and, after partaking in many a Dollarita Dollar Margarita, I have left my keys at a now-closed Applebee’s.
But, you may say, how could anyone believe your certainty in this impaired state? I will present the train of actions which has led me to this conclusion. I have laid bare my belongings on the floor of my dirty apartment hallway, loudly dumping the contents of my purse with cries of “Shyyiiit!” and “Where the FUCK are my stupid keys??” and, lastly, a mournful whine of “What is my LIIIIIIIFE?” I am, truly, locked out.
I phone my superintendent, calling to mind his hazy cast of grey hair, which never fails to mirror the swirling clouds above, whirling turbulently, like my stomach as I now struggle to digest my dinner of $1 drink specials, mozzarella sticks, and Applebee’s signature boneless wings.
I reach his voicemail and a full box at that. Of course. What respectful human specimen, wishing a productive day, would be awake this late? Morning is the gift God massages into our days, every twenty-four turns of the hourglass, beckoning us to greet the Dawn’s true herald, Al Roker.
And with that thought, my phone battery dies.
I run my fingers through my hair in frustration and meet a pin of bobby. Happy Hairpin! Hero! Savior! Assist me! I coax it into the deadbolt, hoping the famous lock-pick of folktales will succeed in unlocking my room of one’s own. Alas, I am too modern for such a tale, born too late for my time.
Here then am I, lying face-down in my building’s decrepit hallway, lost in despair, when I wonder, perhaps I left my window unbolted? My lone window, winking to the street from the fourth story. Now, I’m not used to climbing anything save my own intellect. But just as being a woman writer requires courage, so to does climbing a rickety fire escape at four in the morning.
Outside, I clamp my hands upon the ancient rungs, the metallic crumble of rust beneath my palms, slipping with the deluge of falling rain. I tentatively climb four stories, hoping not to fall, praying my tetanus shots are up to date.
At long last! I touch my window. Staring into my beautiful, sweet, warm home, I instantly think, “Oh man, I would die for some riblets right now.” I push up against the glass with all my might, but, as is the cruel fate of many women writers, I lack the upper body strength for it to budge.
As I bang helplessly against the window, I know I am at my end.
I am weary! I am snacky! And this fire escape does not feel structurally up to code!
It is then I spy a brick, this miracle of construction, precariously perched on the steps above my eye line. Darling brick! I reach for my salvation, grasping as I whirl this clay wonder at my window — darling window! With a shattering of glass, I watch all my empty LaCroix cans — MY DARLINGS! — as they are thrown from my desk to the floor, a cacophony of metal and sharp edges welcoming me back. My window’s jagged glass maw calls me to climb carefully through this portal and into my own haven.
At long last, my room of one’s own! Think of all the writing I can do now!
But instead, I fall, fully clothed and drenched from the rain, into my writerly four-poster bed (which is just an air mattress until I can afford a real one), ready to leave this night behind me. Before I slip into sleep, I hear pounding at my front door. “Police!” they call. “We’ve had reports of a break in. Open up!”
“Men.” I say to myself, closing my eyes to greet my incoming slumber as equals. “A woman writer must have access to a room of her own. Let her speak her mind, and break into her own property as she sees fit, and she will write a better book one of these days. That, or give her free Applebee’s home delivery.”