Writing in the time of Roomba

I just spent the majority of my day cleaning the main floor of my house so that I could sit down to write in an uncluttered space with an uncluttered mind. I was partially successfull. You can’t see my house so you’ll have to trust me on that.

While I was cleaning I made mental notes to myself of what I would like to write about, since I need something other than my play to work on which I am finding quite frustrating due to the fact that I don’t know how to write a play.

Today however, coming up with anything of substance is like trying to nail Jello to a wall. I have snippets of ideas; racism, public works projects like “wouldn’t it be great to have a Porta-Potty at the local boat launch?” (which really would have come in handy yesterday during my beach walk and it was actually from there that this idea was born), and, how inbreeding may be affecting U.S. politics…But today they all just seem too daunting in that they would require either diligent research or heart wrenching, embarrassing memories of my teenage years (not to mention yesterday’s walk), neither of which I feel like pursuing today.

Instead, I find myself checking my phone for messages. Texts, email, twitter, and instagram all have push alerts to make sure I’m not about to accomplish anything. They are on a mission to keep me from becoming fully engaged in my pursuit of authorship. Even the Roomba agrees, and is in on the whole evil plot.

I can hear him — I’ve gender assigned him — motoring along, bumping into various things and then I wonder what is going to be knocked over this time? (last week it was my guitar which is the most action it’s seen in months).

When he does bump into something he changes direction which leaves me trying to remember if I shut the door to the office because I left all those files on the floor right next to the printer cable which is always a fun treat for Roomba to swallow.

Once he swallows something or gets stuck under a piece of furniture he emits a plaintive “Bwap, bwap, bwaa…ERROR. MOVE ROOMBA TO A DIFFERENT LOCATION.”, causing me to feel like a terrible parent who has left my child unattended.

The good news is that when I bring him, apologetically, to his New and Improved location he gives me a virtual thumbs up by going “dup dup dup dup dah dah!” and then all is right in the world again.

When my little buddy’s battery is depleted, he (yes-he lives!) then takes himself back to his charging station where he plugs himself in and sings a little “doop doop doop doop doo doo!” which is a really happy sound because I know my floor is clean and I can stop writing because a fully charged Roomba lasts two hours and clearly that amounts to a substantial amount of words written.

And if not, there’s always Facebook.