Her Majesty, Lady Murasaki

It’s before dawn and my inhibitions are circling the drain, I’m high on sleep deprivation and a little drunk on words

—have I told you about the words? Man, they’re beautiful, aren’t they? When I was young I took a highlighter to one of my books. When mother saw the yellow-stained pages she asked why.

“I marked the words I like.”

“Happy words?”

“No, all of them, the sad and funny ones too.”

“Why do you like them?”

I shrugged.

Other writes will tell you they have stories waiting to burst out of them, ticking time bombs in their guts and so every time they finish a draft they can breath easy knowing that they saved the world, again. But me, I like the words. There are some words that transform stories into worlds—

and the words are orbiting like planets in my dark bedroom and the computer screen turns on like the sun and I’m blind.

“Well, hello your majesty,” I say, because it’s the witching hour and I’m convinced my computer has become sentient and a little pretentious with all its existential airs.

“Let me just—” I dim the screen and feel her majesty huff at my presumption.

How to appease this MacBook Air 11-inch, this Chihuahua of laptops?

“I dub you, Lady Murasaki.”

Lady Murasaki, author of The Tale of Genji, a contender for first novel ever written on planet Earth. She wrote about Japanese politics, poetry, and women so full of hate they become living ghosts when they fall asleep.

Lady Murasaki. A perfect incantation for predawn writing. A perfect name for her majesty, my computer, the universe that holds my worlds.

Both her majesty and I are a little pretentious, literary-wise, don’t you think?


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