Finding myself in the Middle East

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writer's Block

My writer’s block is small, cold to the touch and has an ominous black cloud and other clichéd truisms hanging over it. I hesitantly knock on its single entrance. “Enter!” A single bark. It is impossible to identify the voice’s owner. There is no handle on the door. I try banging my head against it, and it swings open.

Inside, I am surrounded by shapes, colors, sounds, pressing bodies and pulsing lights. I hear fragments of conversation.

“Oh yes, it was yesterday, while washing dishes—“

“Old, and poor, and she was still smiling, and life would never be the same—“

“He keeps thanking me for the fish, and I didn’t give him any fish. He has a feeding tube—“

“A mother and a writer and just no patience this morning—“

“Am I fat or sad? Sometimes I can’t tell the difference—“

“Whose idea was it, anyway? I think that Society—“

I recognize everyone. It is my party. “Oh!” I say joyfully. “Here’s where you’ve all been hiding!” I decide to get to work at once. I roll up my sleeves, open my laptop, pour myself a cup of coffee. “Now!” I clap my hands together, and the noise and lights stop. Everyone stops talking, looks at me.“Good! Now, you, you and you, over there. You taught me about humility, and in a sort of fresh way, too. You! Excellent! You make an ironic entrance, especially if I take off your hat. Can you take off your hat? You don’t mind, do you? It’ll make a better story.” The being I addressed rolls its eyes, but complies. Excellent. Things are getting along swimmingly. I rubmy hands together and open up a new document.

That’s when the mumbling starts. I looked up. “Listen,” I say sternly. “Please don’t make noise while I am writing.” The mumbling only gets louder. The lights start again, and someone starts in on an electric guitar. An electric guitar? How did that get in here? The noise gets louder and louder and the lights get brighter and brighter and everyone starts pushing and I cannot breathe. It is all too much, too much, and I open my mouth to scream, and then it’s all gone. I am alone with my own shadow.

The computer in front of me beams a slow blue light. I blink at it. There are some words there. “The essence of humility is knowing what your talents are and knowing why you have them and where they come from. Just the other day, I saw a man. He had no hat.”

I have no idea where I was going with this.

“Where was I going with this?—“

I hear my own echo for a moment, and then nothing.

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