It’s International Sloth Day, so I thought I’d say a few words about my writing buddy, Sloth. Yes, I named him Sloth. I borrowed the idea from my granddaughter who named her stuffies sensibly: Puppy, Teddy, Foxy, and Spidey, a stuffed spider I bought her when she was fascinated by spiders.
I bought Sloth in a small gift shop. When I met him, I fell for his smile, an adorable sweet grin that said, “Gee you’re wonderful, I’ll always be your friend.” He cost more than a sensible, mature person like me wanted to spend on a stuffed toy, but I bought him and tucked him in my purse, like I was Paris Hilton and Sloth was Tinkerbell the Chihuahua.
Sloth took up residence on my writing desk, sitting astride my electric pencil sharpener. After I moved my writing office from the living room into a spare bedroom, Sloth decided to sit on the bookshelf.
I used to joke I kept Sloth nearby when I wrote to remind myself there was someone even slower than me. Rather cheeky of me, still I pictured Sloth typing three words per minute. But recently my writing process from a rough draft to a finished piece is so slow that I make Sloth seem like a jaguar pouncing through the forests of South America.
Perhaps, I began to think, Sloth was mocking me with his sublime smile. That he always knew he was faster than me. That if he could get his three toes on my keyboard, he’d clack out prose at speeds much faster than me.
Then I looked at his smiling face again. Sloth doesn’t mock. He understands slow. He understands pacing. He understands conservation of energy. Sloth has his own international day, hoping to bring awareness to deforestation and loss of habitation for sloths.
Writers have an international day, too, on March 3. Sloth thinks I can finish writing something by then, especially if it’s flash. Cheeky fellow.