Today I have nothing to say. As a writer, this is a problem.
But it isn’t just a problem for writers. We’re all afflicted with blank mind-itis from time to time. Moments when we want to be interesting and charming, but can’t think of a single interesting or charming thing we’ve done in our entire lives.
Blank mind-itis can strike at any time, but most frequently during work Christmas parties, blind dates, and any event with the word “networking” in the title. It also hits when you’re trying to catch up with a beloved friend you haven’t talked to in ages. You’ve got months or years of history to report on, and yet you’re blank. (Why do we have more to say to the people we talk to every day than the people we don’t see for months?)
Blank mind-itis hits hardest when you’re talking to people who have a lot to say. Let’s say you’re catching up with an old acquaintance at your high school reunion and find out she opened her law practice to fight for underpaid women, raises three kids with approximately fifteen extracurricular activities each, volunteers at a homeless shelter, is married to a neurosurgeon who runs marathons, and just got back from a vacation in Turks and Caicos. I never know what to say when I meet a person like this…outside of, where and what the hell is Turks and Caicos? But the only response I can come up with is that I found a great new bathtub cleaner, one that gets the rings and soap scum right out of there.
Otherwise, I’m a complete blank.
At least as a writer, I can write about having nothing to say. At the Christmas party/reunion/networking event, there’s nothing to do but alternate hiding in the bathroom and stuffing your face with hors d’oeuvres until it’s late enough to leave without causing offense.
Sometimes, you can’t shut me up. I’ll be a party with one story after another, hogging all the limelight. Same with the writing…some days the words pour out like water from a faucet.
Some days the faucet is a drip.
And some days it’s as dry as an abandoned well.
So dear reader, I’ll be honest and tell you that the highlight of my week is when I came downstairs and found Blinker climbing up my screen door. This was after she had unrolled all the exposed toilet paper in the house and shredded it to bits.
Other than that, I cut the grass, made dinner, got an estimate for replacing the cracked and worn asphalt on my driveway, and read a great Sandra Brown novel. And scrubbed my new typewriter with a toothbrush dipped in paint thinner.
All in all, a good week.
But not the stuff of riveting small talk. Or blog posts.
Hopefully something humiliating will happen to me this week so I have some grist for next Sunday’s installment.