Conveyor Salesman Freewrite



My brain doesn’t want to work on a story, or a novel. Not even a poem. My brain wants my heart and my gut to be in charge. They want bad stuff—food, alcohol, and sex. It’s interesting how we’re hardwired. How base we can be when we’re alone. Miles away from family. I suppose that’s why most men roam. Why men leave. Run. Find new ways to operate and believe. But me, I’ll stay stuck. I’ll remain in the place I am, no matter where I go. I’ve made commitments that cannot be taken lightly. I’ve got people depending on me. And even though I have to reinvent the ways in which I find happiness, I am in it for the long haul.

My appetite has grown. So has my waist, my belly, my chin.

I can’t make enough time to write, be intimate, or exercise.

And so, I sin.

If sin is a distraction. Eating too much, drinking too much, or masturbation.

Sometimes I envision my wife with other men.

Sometimes I imagine hiring a hooker, or signing up for Tinder.

Then I remember my kids.

I wouldn’t want them to treat someone poorly. To cheat and steal and stomp on a heart.

But I wouldn’t want them to be unhappy either.

Life’s always too short and it’s always getting shorter every day.

I visited with about a dozen people today. Most of them didn’t want to see me. That’s the joy of selling things people don’t need.

I wrote this morning, tried hard to finish a story I start months ago, but had to stop so I could work. After all my visits, I sat down and tried working on the story again. It didn’t work. I revised and added and subtracted and now I’m so into it that I can’t make any of the good hard decisions that are necessary for it to be alive.  

All I want to do is go to bed. But it’s early and I worry that I won’t wake from sleep.

I think of death every day. Many times. Not because I want to die, but because I want to live and thinking of the end makes me want to make new beginnings. Every moment I can.

I miss my wife and kids tonight. I miss my dog.

I wonder if I’ll ever make it as a writer when I spend so much of my time selling conveyors. It’s possible, but all I ever feel like is that I’m cutting my own rope. That there’s less and less of it and that sooner or later someone’s going to kick the chair out from under me and I’ll be left hanging. Waiting. For the end.

~ K.J.


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