“Dag blame it! Come outta there!” he screeched, the helplessness of his situation finally getting the better of him. Hank had never been one to raise his voice or come close to swearing (if you could call it that)- he just didn’t have the gumption (or the vocabulary). “I swear on a monkey wrench, if I knew how to come in there after you, you can bet a handful of chicken farts that I would!” Hank was screaming now.
Trembling with frustration, Hank kicked at the curb, immediately wishing for steel-toed boots instead of the flimsy Toms that covered his size thirteens like a swath of rejected potato sack. “Captain Crunch, that hurt! Ouuuuch!” he whined as he hopped on his one good foot while attempting to examine the damaged toes on the other. Graceful Hank was not, and in this folded pogo stick-like state it took less than a second for the bulky mass of a man-child to come crashing down like a sloppy game of Jenga. “Ah, crapachino with cream!” he said before flinging himself back onto the pavement, not caring that pedestrians were now forced to step over his prostrate form. He was the picture of pathetic.
“I’m just gonna lie here and not move until things get better for me. If this is where trying gets me, then I’m gonna just do nothing. Can’t get any worse,” Hank mumbled to himself as he stared up at the blue sky and plumes of feathery clouds that fringed his view. And so he lay there, all day and just stared at the sky. The clouds changed from feathery wisps to fluffy popcorn kernels and then to globby melted marshmallows. Hank began to forget his earlier troubles and occupied himself with identifying the many shapes and figures the clouds formed in the bowl of blue above. A girl on a swing set chased away by a headless dragon with two tails… a puppy licking its paws… an ice cream cone in a race car… a woman making a pumpkin pie on the back of a piglet who wouldn’t stand still.
“Excuse me young man, are you alright?” asked a worried, if not slightly uppity, woman’s voice from beyond Hank’s peripheral vision. Tearing himself away from an amusing cloud scene of a daddy longlegs making peppermint taffy, Hank sat up and looked in the direction of the lady’s voice. Blinking rapidly in an attempt to help his eyes adjust from a day of cloud gazing, Hank tried to gather his wits.
“Hello? Young man, can you hear me? I asked you if you were quite alright. And what are you doing lying on the ground like that, anyway?” The woman said with a little less sympathy and quite a bit more uppity-ness. Hank wondered if he might be incorrectly interpreting her tone, for upon closer inspection the older woman had such an upturned and pinched little speck of a nose it was a wonder she could breath and speak at the same time. Perhaps her “uppity-ness” was simply her impatience to end each sentence in order to gulp in some much needed air.
“Beg your pardon, ma’am,” Hank replied as he dusted himself off and stood to face her. “Thing is, I was trying to wrangle some ideas out of this thick skull of mine,” Hank knocked on the side of his head for emphasis, “for this writing class I signed up for at the community college. I tried all week to come up with something, I was having a H-E-double-hockey-sticks time of it too. I got so frustrated and confused, I just sat down on this here sidewalk and decided not to try anymore,” Hank explained, electing to leave the part where he fell down out of the story.
“Hmph,” the woman replied testily. “Well, you didn’t look confused to me, in fact, you seemed to be having yourself quite the time a few moments ago,” she said curtly before side-stepping Hank and continuing on her way.
Hank thought about the moments before he was interrupted and smiled at the memory of the cloud woman trying to roll out her crust on the unruly piglet. “That’s it! I’ll write about the stories I saw in the clouds!” he hollered excitedly after the woman who was disappearing down the street. Proud of his revelation, Hank slapped a silly smile on his face and ambled home, anxious to start writing.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Blah. I’m in a funk. Inspiration, yeah, apparently it took a few sick days and is currently unreachable. I’ve learned over the last few months at this that fleeting inspiration/motivation is pretty typical- I’ll go on a run of having one awesome idea after another only to be slammed up against the ‘writer’s block’ wall days later. My current ‘dry spell’ I can attribute to the fact that I am uber busy and preoccupied with my actual profession (lame alert!). Who knew that focusing on my work would detract from my time to daydream and lollygag- a process that is crucial to my very scientific writing ‘process’? This story probably doesn’t make much sense, but that’s what you get when the author is in a writer’s lull.
How do you handle lack of motivation/ absence of inspiration?
Love & Squirrels.