Nothing to Write About

by

So I’m sitting here in the café, trying to write something, anything. But it’s not going very well.

I came in a little while ago and plopped down in my favorite seat right by the window. That’s when I first noticed the young couple next to me—he, looking uncomfortable in his business suit, and she, clearly expecting, in the throes of a tense and only slightly muffled debate. That’s when I noticed just how quiet it was in here.

When I went up to order my coffee, they told me something was wrong with the radio and they couldn’t play music. So, back at my table, I planned on drowning out the quarreling lovers with a little Radiohead or maybe some Beck. Unfortunately I forgot my earbuds at home.

Still not sure what I wanted to write, I pulled Annie Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk from my bag and hoped to escape within the book, a skill I’ve taught myself to be able to do, whether I’m inside a crowded cafe or at home with two or three crazy kids running around me, Nerf bullets whizzing past my head.

Alas, I found myself reading the same sentences and paragraphs over and over again, while the expecting mother, her chair pulled purposefully close to her baby’s soon-to-be father (I assume), went on and on about wanting to finish the roof before the baby comes, and that she was planning on making salmon for dinner tonight, and about advising a friend to give it a couple of days until the swelling goes down, and her other friend’s pregnancy, which wasn’t planned, but which she (her friend) is hoping will be a boy. He sat quietly in his corporate attire, looking slightly annoyed, and never once taking his eyes off from his oversized iPad in front of him.

Meanwhile, I sat there sipping my mild blend (Mexican) and eating a mega-sized cookie (ginger molasses), my fingers at the ready on my keyboard as I tried, unsuccessfully, to channel the muse for some sort of inspiration.

So that’s why I’m writing about this young couple behind me. I know it’s not polite to eavesdrop, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Now I’m off into this dreary January day to pick up the kids from school.

Oh well. Sometimes in life all you have to write about is life.

The lesson here: writers write.

Also, be careful: you never know when you’re sitting next to a writer. ~

_____

Copyright © 2017 Valentine J. Brkich

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