I’m Sorry I Don’t Have a Story – an essay

Writers Block

I’m sorry I don’t have a story for you.

See, things started off going downhill when I pulled into Starbucks and realized I forgot my headphones. Okay, so no tunes. Fine. No. Not fine. I walk inside and am confronted by a completely full store. So not only am I cut off from music, but I am shudder forced to sit directly by a person at a high-top table. I don’t hate people, I’m just a normal introvert who likes my six feet of space.

My first interaction with a person today is with the barista. At 6:30pm. Normal. (no judgment please in the six foot bubble)

Here’s why I feel the pressure to write. I got a text from a dear friend:
“Just wanted to tell you that I appreciate you so much . . . I read your writing sometimes, and wanted you to know how deeply it touches me . . . I appreciate your honesty, and you’re a great writer. The one about the coffee shop, and being free, really affected me.
Trying to deal with pain from the past and [I’ve] been so emotional recently . . . even being emotional, sometimes I can’t cry and let it out. I started crying when I read that . . . I’m struggling with anger and numbness . . .”

With a message like that I’m all fired up to knock another one out of my literary ballpark. Okay maybe I’m overreaching, but a double at least would be nice.

Images of a follow-up to my coffee shop story materialize, vanish: rainswept mountainsides; dying caresses; traumatic secrets divulged and forgiven. I crack my knuckles and set to it, except nothing happens. My creativity’s at home with my earbuds. The cursor sits there blink blink blink while my brain stays blank blank blank and all I can think about is if the joker across from me hacks and clears his throat one more time I’m gonna climb on top of this bloody table and reenact the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

HACK

I will him into anaphylactic shock.

He does not die.

An elderly woman to my right sips her drink and bobs slightly to the beat of her own music. I consider walking over and stealing her headphones. I doubt she’ll notice. She doesn’t look like she’s noticed anything since Y2K.

This is getting me nowhere nearer the elusive goal of “story” — something sweet, engaging, beautiful. I am irritated. Scraps of poetry crawl across my screen, are deleted, reappear. Scraps of nobility, fragments about “scars, lost roads, love . . .” Writing is generally peaceful, cathartic. I now see that music factors into my writing WAY too much. This is not a problem EXCEPT WHEN YOU FORGET YOUR FLIPPIN HEADPHONES. Bleh, I’m feeling zero levels of creativity and romanticism right now. I don’t care if it is National Kiss a Ginger Day.

Even a creative double is looking like a stretch; heck, I’ll take a bunt.

Screw it, GET THE T-BALL STAND.

HACK

I give up. I have to get out of here before I show up on the next season of Making A Murderer.

I really wanted to write something. I really did.

***

Why does my soul call for the ocean?
What is it in the cacophony of windswept beaches kissed by northern lights that I crave?
I’ll take you away
I’ll take you there
Far away where our universe realigns
Where the pain leaks from our bodies in the newness of spring.

-ijs

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