EXPRESS YOURSELF

Brian Cox Books a Bikini Wax

On sickness, health, and creative frustration

Sara Benincasa
Human Parts
Published in
12 min readDec 20, 2022

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Brian Cox/Author

Are you tired today, too? Are you, like me, having trouble focusing on your job, on the emails or spreadsheets or cash register or fuel pump or customers or vendors or students or patients or clients or jackhammer or snowplow or the fucking malfunctioning drive-through speaker? Good! What a perfect day for us to talk about creative productivity.

I had plenty of trouble sleeping in 2020, and 2021, and throughout the first 11 months of 2022. Somebody coined the term “coronasomnia,” and I even wrote a freelance trend piece about it at some point. The research was enjoyable, and the fee was nice.

I used to churn out books and scripts, but not since the pandemic started. Mostly I have written essays. Mostly everything I have written in these years has been meditative and sad and lonely and slightly hopeful, which is exactly how I myself have mostly been.

At last, I actually have Covid-19, our most petite and virulent global celebrity, which has made it easier to sleep, at least during the day. At night, I woke up choking on my own phlegm a few times, which is not sexy, exactly, but is also not boring when it’s happening to you.

I can’t smell or taste most things. On Day 11 of this sickness, I do feel a good bit better. After losing my sense of smell and taste altogether for a few days, I can now smell eucalyptus, lemon, and orange at about 25% strength, which is extremely exciting. I cannot smell human sweat, piss, shit or vomit, which is also thrilling.

My heart is acting up, a little, in a way that is probably nothing much (benign early repolarization or casual heart murmur, both run in the family) but could be something much, so I’m headed for tests later this week. In addition, Covid-19 has really enhanced my menstrual cramps. But here is what I find more upsetting at present: In the past few years, I have not been able to write a script I or my agents like, or any book proposal, much less a novel.

My agent doesn’t think we can sell another nonfiction book by me right now, and I believe him even though I don’t want to believe him. The effort, then, has been to come up with a novel, but to muster…

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Sara Benincasa
Human Parts

Author, REAL ARTISTS HAVE DAY JOBS & other books. Writer of scripts. Host of WELL, THIS ISN’T NORMAL podcast. Patreon.com/SaraBenincasa