When it is time to write, I go downstairs. Down the steep, narrow staircase into the cool, dark basement. It is quiet down there. Things are still. They have their places. And there are places enough where no things belong. I sit at my desk and fill those not belonging places with imagined things. Impossible, beautiful things. I populate the basement with people who do not exist doing things they ought not do. I spill ideas onto the carpet, heedless of the mess. Sometimes the ideas flood out of me like buckets of bleach, caustic and bitter. Sometimes the ideas spill out like an ocean of ink, tainting everything they touch, rendering a new kind of darkness.

And sometimes I just sit down here and admire the words, how they stack so neatly from floor to ceiling and I am careful to lay them out in neat rows so I do not trap myself in like those poor, sad souls you sometimes see on television who were crushed under reams of unread newspaper. And, in those times I think, how like a hoarder, afraid to release or let go for fear of losing something precious.

And in those times, I can turn out the lights or dim them to the point of near blindness and feel myself digesting inside the belly of the world.

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