Another god damn morning.
Another...motel room? Hotel room? Somewhere.
Arm numb from passing out on it. Panic! Brain barely processing yet, so no words, just raw, animal fear. "Holy Jesus! Is my arm dead?! Is it dead!" He pounds it against the wall until he feels the pins and needles of feeling return. Panic oozes away, replaced by nausea and the aftertaste of gin and bile.
He's still in his suit.
Glasses. Glasses. Where are my fucking glasses? Across the room an empty bottle of midnight cheer is marooned on the colorless carpet. Terrible light scalds his eyes. Time. Time. Time. What is the time?
Holy. Shit. Late. So, so late. How did it get so fucking late? He would have that fucking night manager sacked for forgetting his wake up call. Hell, the whole staff should be shitcanned. And his god damn assistant. How dare he let this happen again.
Shitshitshit. It's tomorrow already. Column. Gotta squeeze out a column. Anything. Anything.
The sweats come. Management has already made it discretely clear to him that, after his "Marco Rubio Will Definitely Save Us" debacle, his leash has been shortened.
He implores the heavens for anything. Anything at all.
He has no stomach for what may be waiting for him on the idiot box and after he collides with the word "Trump" in 40 point font above the fold, he abandons the complimentary copy of USA Today which motel (hotel?) management slipped under his door in the night.
He notices the little red light on the room phone winking at him . Messages. His cell tells him that he has missed 22 calls and a lot of "Urgent" emails, including two from his editor. His laptop is where he left it: on the desk, parked on a PornHub video of a woman doing impossible things with a dildo the size of a Louisville Slugger.
Anything. Seriously God. I will take anything at all.
The room is so generic and featureless it smothers all adjectives in their cradles. And besides, he already wrote about hanging out in some hotel lobby and had been informed by management very politely to never, ever do that again.
Mounted on one wall (and positively on fire from the blasting, unholy morning light), a print of some dead leaves. Or, rather, the outline of dead leaves. Shit.
Nothing. Bupkis. Empty. Jesus, I am a dead man.
He staggers to the bathroom to throw up...and finds salvation. There, above the toilet, majestically framed, a glorious motivational poster.
He falls to his knees on the white!white!white! tile floor. "Thank you, Jesus," he whispers. "Thank you."
He stumbles back to his laptop, takes one last, long look at the PornHub lady and her giant, fake plastic penis, clears the page and goes to "work"...
What Is Inspiration?David Brooks APRIL 15, 2016...Dogged work is the prerequisite of success. Yet there are some moments — after much steady work and after the technical skills have been mastered — when the mind and spirit take flight. We call these moments of inspiration. They kind of steal upon you, longed for and unexpected.But what exactly is inspiration? What are we talking about when we use that term?Well, moments of inspiration don’t quite make sense by normal logic. They feel transcendent, uncontrollable and irresistible...The senses are amplified. There may be goose bumps or shivers down the spine, or a sense of being overawed by some beauty...Inspiration is always more active than mere appreciation. There’s a thrilling feeling of elevation, a burst of energy, an awareness of enlarged possibilities...Vladimir Nabokov believed...Inspired work stands apart from normal life...Inspiration is not earned...Inspiration is not something you can control...Inspiration does not happen to autonomous individuals. It’s a beautiful contagion that passes through individuals...Inspiration is not permanent and solid...The poet Christian Wiman wrote that inspiration is...Most important, inspiration demands a certain posture, the sort of posture people feel when they are overawed by something large and mysterious. They are both humbled and self-confident, surrendering and also powerful...Yes, hard work is really important for achievement. But life is more mysterious than just that.