A day or so ago I was walking through the living room when I saw a brown spot on the carpet. I thought that maybe Junior had started throwing up again, only this time in perfect circles. But, no, upon close examination it was the center of his scratching pad. You may remember that I wrote about how I couldn’t find the other replacement pad I bought. I never did find it, but I did learn that my friend Ivy had teleported from New Jersey to my kitchen, bending time and space to her will, for the sole purpose of nicking my salt shaker.
This morning I slept most of the day, again. Ultimately, I woke up around 3pm. I was up a couple of times before that, but my eye-bones just wouldn’t stay open. One of those times I woke up because it looked like Junior was having a battle with the biggest caterpillar I had ever seen. Millennia of genetic conditioning allowed me to do what generations of men have been able to do when something scary occurs and there are no women present: I leapt out of bed with a shrill shriek. When my feet hit the floor I spun around, hands raised and cocked into fists, encouraging Junior to “git the bastard!” Leaping out of bed had, however, distracted him and he lay there on the bed staring at me, holding a long piece of brown cardboard torn from his scratching pad. It seems to me that he had gotten tired of waiting for me to replace his pad and brought the cardboard into my bed to remind me, gently, that I had something to do today.
So I went back to sleep and slept until 3pm. Then I got up, got showered and dressed, shaved, brush my teeth, fed the cat, fed the birds and then went out to get another pair of scratching pads. Then I decided I would bung off to the bookstore and see if they had any books I wanted. They did. Then I figured, I was up I may as well go to the other book store a few miles away. Then I decided I was tired again, so I went to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I was thinking of taking the weekend off for writing. Especially since I had slept through most of the day and there wouldn’t be much to write about. But while I was drinking my coffee I started reading A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (three names! Pulitzer prize winner! Dead by suicide!) and realized that taking a weekend off would be a bad idea.
What you may not know about me is that I spend time in front of my computer, gazing at a blank window wishing, wishing, that an idea would pop into my head. A story that I could write. Something that I could put down on my screen and claim as my own. But it never happens. Like a constipated old man I try to squeeze and push an idea out of my noggin and onto the screen.
Then I get desperate. I think, “Real authors probably don’t write on a computer. They probably write on a typewriter or a notepad.” Did Tolstoy write on a computer? No! Did Hemingway tap away on a luggable Osborne II? No! Did Thoreau write on an Apple MacBook in the local Starbucks? Possibly, but I bet he wouldn’t admit to it.
So I grab a notepad and pen. I gaze at a blank page wishing, wishing, that an idea would pop into my head. A story I could write. Something original that I hadn’t just written a paragraph ago. Like a desperate man with no toothpaste left in the tube I try to squeeze and push an idea out of my brain pan and onto the page.
But it never happens. I begin to believe that the problem is with me. I’m too normal. I’ve had a somewhat normal life, I grew up in a loving household, I never really wanted for anything. I’m not crazy. I’m not a drug addict. I’m not an alcoholic. I’ve got nothing going for me to be an author.
I’ve got three names, though. You’d think that would be good for something.
So, what else do I have besides my daily blogs? But don’t be surprised if I do take a day off here and there. Sometimes my mind is just as blank as my page.