Nothing was coming. No nouns, no verbs, no adjectives. Not even punctuation. Nothing at all. I was staring at a blank page and that blank page was inside my mind. Inspiration had left the building. Maybe the fact that it was Monday had something to do with it. I really didn’t know. My normally overactive imagination was simply just plain empty. I had my shot a few weeks ago to keep me from getting the flu, but there’s no vaccination for writer’s block. Once you get infected you’re usually in for a long stretch of uninspired vacuousness.
I’d been searching for some sort of inspiration since I got up this morning, but the landscape was barren. Earlier in the day, at work, I was ensconced in a very small room with a low ceiling in the crypt of an ancient church trying to desperately take some photographs that would do justice in documenting what had been excavated. It was a photographer’s nightmare of low lighting, long exposure times, uneven surfaces and crumbling foundations. The room’s walls were being supported by four extendable metal poles, horizontally spanned from one side of the room to the other, which were placed at a level where you could easily bump your head on them, because those individuals responsible for determining the static safety of the church’s soaring above-ground side walls had decided that the meter and a half of the surface material that had been removed from the room might make the foundations unstable. There were also two perpendicular poles ostensibly holding up the ceiling. Those were great working conditions. The air was stuffy and humid, and after about 15 minutes I’d managed to work up a pretty good sweat. It was dusty and dirty and difficult. My mood wasn’t improving. I had to work around all those obstacles trying to get the tripod firmly placed on the uneven wall foundations and surfaces in an attempt to take some quality photographs for scientific evaluation and eventual publication. At times it became a desperate dance, a ballet of imbalance and teetering stances. Very uninspiring.
By the time I got home it was obvious to me that nothing was going to come anytime soon in the form of creativity. I was going to have to take some desperate measures. It looked like I would have to call upon my muse. Just my luck. Now, my muse, like many temperamental ladies, is not an easy creature to deal with. She’s moody and fickle, not to mention her sometimes over-emotional reactions to situations she deems as stressful. Usually ones I get blamed for creating. Add to that the fact that it’s Monday and we haven’t been on the best of terms lately anyway, I’m behind in my monthly payments, and you can understand that I was somewhat apprehensive to go down that path. But throwing caution to the wind, I picked up the phone and auto dialed her number. It rang once, it rang twice and then there was a click. “Hello,” said a deceptively cheery pre-recorded voice, “you have reached the voice mail of Miss Molly Muse. I regret to inform you that I am not available for consultation at the moment, but I can offer you the following options. Please press 1 if you would like to leave a short message detailing your request. Press 2 if you would like to access information about my rates, fees and payment options. Have your credit card ready. Press 3 if you would like to hear glowing praises and accolades concerning my previous work. And press 4 if you’d like to hear this message again in Spanish, German, French, Latin, Italian, Ancient Greek, Egyptian, Russian…” I pressed 1 and, knowing that I only had about 15 seconds to leave a message, said, “Hi, it’s me again. Fuck off,” and hung up. She’d understand. Maybe.
So now what? I really feel stuck. It’s getting late and I still have to cook up something for dinner. I guess that I could go online and see if I could conjure up some inspiration by searching for another muse on WikiMuse or that new site Museopedia. But that’s going to entail spending time trying to find a good match, opening an account and wasting a lot of time chatting and e-mailing. And, naturally, since nothing in life is really free, it’ll probably end up costing me even more money. Paying for one muse is enough, and then I often wonder if it’s really worth it. I really ought to get rid of Molly. Oh well, the best thing is probably to give it up for today. If the creative juices aren’t flowing, trying to kick-start them now is just plain senseless. I guess I’ll have to post some catchy archival photo and hope for a better day tomorrow. After all, tomorrow’s Tuesday, and that’s always an improvement over Monday…
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