At my final physical therapy session, I sat in the stationary bike to get my legs warmed up, and before I began biking, I asked if I could get the seat tilted to better support my back. The few seconds of me sitting there, getting loaded up, then readjusted, reminded me of “The Story.” That’s something I’ve tried reminding myself frequently about writing: look for inspiration everywhere, but take that inspiration, then make it original.
Spoilers?: Minor [load up inspiration]
The inspiration is for, specifically, Trishna and her wheelchair.
Before my recent health declination, the worst sort of health issues I’d overall experienced, long-term, amounted to me feeling more lethargic than normal. I remember I was at a fair of some sort and less spry than normal. I had dropped something and went to pick something up. Someone picked it up for me instead. I thanked them, they said not to worry about it, then left.
Now, I barely have the ability to walk around my apartment like I could a month ago.
Compared to when I first went to physical therapy, I barely have the energy to stay awake throughout the day. Today was the first day I had the energy in multiple days to write more than one essay in multiple days. I don’t know if this is the sort of general fatigue level that Trishna will experience. I know that she will do as much physical exercise as she can, whether it’s yoga or physical therapy-based stretches.
I don’t mean to imply that I have become disabled.
I did talk with one of my family members recently about my health and we talked about long-term disability, just based on how my condition is going, and it’s not going particularly well. While I never liked the idea of method writing to figure out Trishna’s limitations – I could generally assume, and if I figured that once I got to that point, I could rely on asking others, so I wouldn’t have to make assumptions, I could ask – but now I guess I can draw inspiration from my own experiences.
I’m looking at a bag of trash I need to take out to the dumpster.
It’s sat, ready to take to the dumpster, for a few days now. I could go, and while there is no inherent disadvantage for me to go down to the dumpster, and maybe even start my car to go to the grocery store, and maybe even go get some groceries, since today was the first day where I’ve had any energy whatsoever, I don’t want to push it more than necessary. I fully realized the point of no return when it came to my own energy levels when I was moving out of the old place and into this place. I feel that way… daily. I feel that way when I’m in the bathtub, or when I’m halfway through writing an essay.
It makes falling asleep much easier, but I’m starting to feel sick, too.
It’s sick in subtle ways, like one might feel like a bit of a runny nose that doesn’t quite go away. I don’t think it’s anything related to COVID-19 but it’s possible. Anything is possible, I suppose. Bringing this back to “The Story,” however, these aches and pains are tough to tolerate, so I’m not sure even I have the courage to want to give them to Trishna to tolerate, so unless that were part of her character – like this situation was part of what happened to me as part of this year of 2020 – then my only main inspiration would be from moments like sitting in that stationary exercise bike, waiting to be properly adjusted, before I could spin my legs around.
I could list myriad examples from there or even list them.
I think it’s more important to find those idle moments and reclaim them for your own use, whether it’s developing your own story ideas like I’m doing, or doing something else. I’ve always imagined that there are two parts to the process. The first part is the mind time, where you envision what’s going to happen. The second part is the execution time, where you do whatever it is you’re going to do. For these essays, I’ve done them enough to where if I get kickstarted with enough of an idea, I can usually jam on enough of an idea to fill in the rest, but even now, it takes time, and even in this exact moment here, I had to stop first to pick at a finger’s cuticle then think about how I’d phrase the rest of this sentence.
It’s not all automatic.
The more you can mentally prepare beforehand, however, the better. If you’re deciding some kind of picture to paint, digitally, you might not be able to do much more than mentally sketch out, say, the drawing of a person and some general colors that will appear in the picture, but if you know what shapes and palettes you might want to use, that can get you mentally prepared. That’s like overcoming some of the writer’s block sensation that happens when you sit at a blank canvas, blank document, or blank whatever. Sometimes, those ideas can take years to come across, you might think, but you can start to manufacture them, somewhat, by either asking about them from others or asking about them in yourself.
I don’t currently know anyone in a wheelchair.
Until I meet people that are empathetic toward “The Story” and willing to help with consulting, I would have to sit in situations where I might imagine how it might be like being in a wheelchair in hypothetical scenarios like waiting for elevators or realistic situations like the stationary bike. From that one brief experience, it didn’t feel overly dramatic or traumatic. It was only noteworthy because, as a writer, I note experiences like that.
Otherwise, for Trishna, she would have been happy being at PT then hanging out with John.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium.|
|Inspirations: See above.|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.” Because of the health stuff: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.|
|Written On: 2020 June 26 [1:45pm to 2:222222222pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 June 26 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|