to write a paper when your muse has completely vanished
ACADIA SENESE - COLUMNIST
So, here I am. Waiting for divine inspiration to strike.
I've been waiting for a while now, and well, I am yet to be struck. I'm
not sure if my hair is supposed to streak white as it does when lightning
strikes, but whatever the consequence, I know that I'm just not writing.
Usually my muse hides in waiting 'til deadlines loom, and then she reveals
herself. But this week, well, I think she's on vacation, and who wouldn't
want to be? So, yeah, this muse thing really isn't, well, amusing. Patience
only lasts so long when impending due dates are in just a few hours. Maybe
she just doesn't know where to look for me. I've been hiding in the library
all week; it's conceivable she thought I fell into a black hole, a vortex
of time and space that is essentially the definition of a library. In
fact, I'm here right now, in the basement of Hawthorne and Longfellow.
What an interesting place this little computer room is.
The guy next to me is making faces at his computer screen-I
wonder if he can see his reflection or the paper that he is writing demands
that he make faces. Making Faces 101, now there's a course I should try.
How does one begin a paper for that class? "If one must make a face, it
is better to do so in the privacy of one's home, but if the aforementioned
is not at your disposal, make sure that the muscles of your face contract
in an upward fashion into what has been coined a 'smile.'" Maybe I should
ask him. The girl on my right has checked her email five times in the
past two minutes-talk about obsession. I secretly mutter "Girl, if he
was gonna email you, he would have done it already. Saturday night was
like four days ago, get over him. And no, you are not getting that fancy
tube top back." followed, of course, with a few finger snaps on a zig-zagging
Actually, this is pretty fun. Here I am. No one knows what
I am doing-which is, of course, watching and writing about the people
around me. Little do they know the intention of this little observation
exercise. That is, of course, the beauty of it all. I just have to play
cool. Yup, typing away, I've got this Huge paper due tomorrow, yup, that's
right, for my sociology class. It's a doozy. In fact, I better keep typing.
The guy right across from me just sat down. An interesting fellow. I wonder
what he is working on. Looks like government class. Ahh, another aspiring
politician. I wonder what his take on the Jesse Jackson trip to China
is. He looks a bit stressed. The paper is probably due tomorrow morning,
and from the looks of it, well, he just hasn't started it. I could do
his internal monologue for you, but I'm afraid it would appear as a series
of asterisks and dollar signs.
And finally, directly behind me, (Yes, I turned around to
look) is Mr. Surf the Internet himself. Doesn't he have work to do? Or
does he have that much money invested in stocks that he has to check the
Dow every ten minutes. (Alright, maybe he's an econ major). But still,
who has time to surf the web? Next I think he'll be checking out I'msosmartidon'thavetodowork.com.
Yeah, it sucks just knowing everything. Maybe his computer will freeze
on him, mid-stock check. Heaven forbid he be forced to go outside and
enjoy the nice weather. Oh, and then there are, of course, the floaters
of the computer room. Bouncing in and out, here and there. What an energetic
bunch. But must they insist on making a grand, rambunctious entrance everytime
they walk in, as if a gale a force just blew them in. They know all of
us stuck behind a computer are going to look. Who wouldn't? I'm going
to lay down an extension cord right across the doorway, then let's see
how grand the entrances are.
From the looks of it, I think I'm the only sane one here.
"Look" and "sane" being the two operative words in that sentence. My muse
is outside basking in the sun, that I am sure of, and laughing at me the
whole time she does. But in the meantime, I'm gonna breathe in some very
stuffy air, turn to the guy next to me and stick out my tongue, email
the girl on my right, steal the stressed-out gov major's coffee, ask the
guy directly behind me if he heard that the stock market crashed, and
tell all the floaters to stop distracting me. Can't they see that I'm
writing a paper?