So hereâ€™s a little project thatâ€™s meant to help me break through a bit of…something. I would call it a creative block, if that were fitting â€“ if I had that One Great Story in me, blocked only by an unfortunate convergence of words. Or perhaps a failed convergence. (Would â€œdivergenceâ€ be better? No matter.)
A reconnection, maybe. Hopefully. 500 words, semi-regularly, about…anything I can manage to muster 500 words about. To see what happens if I try it. To see if anything happens if I try it.
To see if I can even DO it. I’ve tried before, with less ambitious goals.
And so, blank page, here we are. How is it that we can have had so many first dates and yet it is still as awkward as ever?
Somehow I didnâ€™t get rained on en route home today, despite it being the sort of weather one sees described in books as â€œleaden.â€ Thick, gray clouds heaving water down onto earth too lethargic to groan under the weight; damp heat creeping up and in and under your clothes and into your lungs until lying down and choking under it starts to seem like a viable option.
Not that I did; instead I walked home past the squirrels busily ferrying walnuts to parts unknown and the sodden playground and the incongruous, hilarious â€œThug Lyfeâ€ someone has written with a stick, or a finger, in the pavement â€“ printed letters in a schoolroom-tidy hand that is about as far removed from said Thug Lyfe as I am from ancient Phoenicia.
Though I guess Phoenicia did give us our alphabet, after a fashion, so perhaps itâ€™s not as far as all that, if you look at it a certain way?
And now weâ€™ve talked about the weather. Might as well tick off all the awkward-date boxes.
…So. How about those sportsball scores?
Somewhere behind me, out in the dark, a little colony of rabbits is getting on about its business. I see one every so often, loping across the garden path in the twilight â€“ though only the one. There must be more, but where? I wonder whose shed they live behind, or under; I wonder if they live a kind of urban Watership Down life, telling and retelling stories of El-ahrairah as burlesque or beat poetry to one another so that the generations of rabbits after them will at least know the tales of those stars the streetlamps are too bright to let them see.
Theyâ€™re just rabbits, I hear in my head as I write that. Itâ€™s a sensible, practical voice, the same one that reminds me that I need to buy milk and that I forgot to finish that thing at the office and didnâ€™t the dryer beep about, oh, thirty minutes ago?
Perhaps thatâ€™s where all the creativity has gone â€“ drowned in an ocean of to-do lists and sensible shoes, weighed down by a five-pound bag of flour and old clothes that never fit and yet wore through and about eighteen billion lost pens.
Perhaps this is foolish. It certainly feels that way. Like an excellent way of saying something stupid, of making someone angry with me, of bringing down on my head wrath or scorn or shame.
Maybe there is nothing to find?
If there were, would I know it if I found it?
Alea iacta est.