There is nothing more frightening for a writer than to have access to a blank
page screen when the words won’t flow. My fingers sit atop the keyboard and both my index and pinky fingers are itching to type a letter but they remain motionless waiting for the brain’s signal. On your mark, get ready, get set…no go! I would imagine an artist feels the same way when looking at a blank canvas, but artists are visual and therefore can eventually find something that catches their eye allowing them to use color, technique and vision to create their art.
But I’m a wanna-be writer (and a self-proclaimed one at that) with my creative juice machine unplugged and empty. This white screen with the flashing cursor taunts me, begging for a word, a sentence, even a fragment to lead the paragraph that will eventually become today’s post.
Absence of creation is the only object coming to me. Like the artist, I am looking for ideas and for the muse that wakes up my thought process but nothing is enticing my attention. I have no choice but to admit my condition: (forgive the graphic and crude words) I am suffering from a self-imposed mental constipation coupled with a desire that you feel sorry for me – I have Münchausen Syndrome by Literacy.
There are a few things that have happened recently that provided spurts of inspiration, giving me the equivalent of Braxton-Hicks contractions and sending me into the false labor of an imminent post, but these ideas quickly fizzled. I will share them with you.
My middle name is Gerardo and there are people in my family who refer to me as Jerry. Through the years my use of Juan has become more prevalent. I thought this was an interesting topic…for about thirty seconds.
My mother has taken to speaking to me in Spanish refrains which led me to think of Dolly Parton in the movie Steel Magnolias because her character, Truvy, does the same thing (only not in Spanish and with a southern drawl). When I wrote down the title, Dolly Parton Is My Mother, I couldn’t go through with completing the post (it literally gave me the creeps).
Then, I proceeded to write about my wife and how her bed dressing techniques affect my mental health. I wrote about the tugging in of the two fitted sheets, coupled with the twenty-two-pillow-show (arranged by color scheme and size) all adorned on the bedspread (folded just-so), all this of course adding thirty minutes to my nightly routine because getting into bed required written instructions on how to proceed with the turn-down service – in my bedroom. The more I started to write about this, the more I realized my wife should be on medication or I should seek shelter outside of our home for fear of becoming a Bed, Battered and Beyond husband. I erased the post for the sake of my marriage.
I also started writing about being an out-law in a family versus being an in-law, but that made me sad because I started thinking of my mother-in-law and how yesterday was the anniversary of the surgery where she began her fight against cancer. A fight (I am sorry to say) she fought valiantly but ultimately did not win (Note: Write post about the need for colonoscopy and benefits of early detection).
Sadness led me to an emotional path where I was going to write about all of my personal blessings. Then I remembered how my friend Mandy had told me that he and I had nothing in common anymore (because I was much too positive in my blog). Instead, I decided to let him continue to live with the delusion that he and I are dark and evil soul mates so he could find solace in the
lie truth that is our thirty-plus year friendship (After all, he is a blessing in my life).
In the absence of blog posts about my middle name, Dolly Parton, my mother, my wife, my mental health, my marriage, my mother-out-law, my lifelong friend and my blessings, I decided I would take a break and give myself some relief from this daily deadline I so fervently pushed myself to meet. I had nothing to say so I had nothing to write (or so I thought).
Once the pressure relief valve was off, I documented my failed attempts to initiate a blog post for today and these words became this post: a post about nothing. By turning nothing into something, it helped me validate myself, Juan, as a writer. It also let me know that my middle-named alter-ego Jerry was alive and well, even if unlike Cuban-born me, he might be a Brooklyn Jew and his last name might be Seinfeld.