You think you’re inspired.
You pick up a pen and sit you down. You’re excited because the ideas are flowing through your veins – like blood would. Red, as they gallivant through your nervous system. The words are stampeding in your medulla oblongata, to the point that they have become uncontrollable. You shout on them to be still, to calm down, and to stand according to their numbers, so that they can be meaningfully laid to rest. You remember your Primary School days – Mater Dei Day Schools – and how Miss Nwosu used to co-ordinate the morning assembly. How little boys and girls – some bigger than the others but little all the same – dressed in neatly pressed P.E. uniforms that got stained with water and oil and juice and sand before the end of the first lesson, yielded to the commands for the march past.
They are quiet now. The words. You begin to write.
You have just written two sentences when you realize they didn’t keep quiet; they only ran away. You’re frustrated. You hiss and sit there, waiting for them to return. They do not come back. It’s like they never will. Angrily, you stomp away. The next day, and the day after, the story is the same. You come back to the same seat, peering at the blank page and wondering what the hell happened to those sweetheart words. The water view, the lush vegetation with a little wildlife through your glass and rusty netted window is such an auspicious sight, but it does not lend any help. Your phone rings and Pumpkin is calling. You do not answer. She can be no salvation; not at this time.
Then, in the wee hours of an odd morning, you’re broke and are thinking of your next line of action; these words creep in, in the order of their numbers. They are quiet, willing to co-operate. You jump up and literally pour water in and out of your mouth. You sit you down. You serve them soup and grapes; they’re smiling up at you.
This time, they come – the words. They come obedient. They assemble meticulously, and their scents are just like the cherries in the fresh morning dew. You write, you write. Your fingers ache, you write. You’re late to duty post. You do not mind; you have written.
Image: Steve Johnson via Flickr