“Man, you bug me!”
This comes at the apex of my focus and I pay it no mind. She has a history with me, sometimes special, sometimes maddening. The maddening part doesn’t involve anger. She just knows exactly how to drive me crazy.
But only if I am unfocused. As long as I stay focused, she is a mosquito, a lovely mosquito to be sure, but I can wave my frontal lobes at her and she flies off to circle where I cannot hear her.
She is hungry, though, and always comes back seeking blood. Sometimes she gets it without my noticing, until I have to itch the welt. But sometimes, she times it perfectly, with a Rolex precision, and flies straight into my ear. When this happens, the vacuum in my head sucks her straight to my hypothalamus and my focus shatters like plate glass in a hurricane.
She does not do this out of spite, she does it because of her obsession with me. When we are just regular people, we laugh, have fun, and lie abed until all hours of the day or night. We make love and then talk incessantly, our topics ranging from the origin and application of dopamine in our brains to early Twentieth Century literature. We are both insatiable, addicts to stimulation and to ideas that we’ve never before considered.
One of her favorite topics, as we lie wrapped in our pleasantly moist sheets, is Franz Kafka. At these times, she often calls me Gregor and laughs at my sudden frown.
“When you focus so deeply, writing whatever you write, you are like Kafka’s dung beetle, always running up the walls and across the ceiling. You are like the naked dreaming doctor on the back of an imaginary horse, flying away to who knows where. You are so far gone that I am compulsively compelled to bring you back to me. I can’t help it. And then we are like this and I am happy. Is my behavior so hard to understand?”
While she is telling me this, her soft hand is stroking my belly and I understand that it will be hours before I again work on my writing.
“But Gregor dies,” I say. “I don’t want to die, I’m not ready. I have too much to do.”
She stretches herself taut beside me until the bed quivers with her effort. I smile and suddenly understand that her obsession with me matches my obsession with what I have to do. We are balanced when we are in the same place. When I am off into deep focus on my work, she finds herself drifting toward the cavern of boredom, which terrifies her.
This epiphany lights me like the bright side of the moon. I roll to her side and kiss her nose.
“You can bug me all you like.”