Saturday, August 15, 2009

Common Scenarios of Writer's Block Rescue

So there I am, sitting on a low-slung tree limb, pen in one hand and water damaged, 99 cent store notebook in the other. Small children are playing with their au pairs, trawlers and cruising craft are sailing or motoring by this picturesque perch, and cleverly placed art pieces are tucked under bushes, hanging from tree limbs (approved by the city, unlike me), and hidden behind small hills. Considering all of Manhattan lies within my view, framed by the two metal arms called the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, I really couldn't ask for a more encouraging environment for personal expression. What with the architecture, nature, and progeny so numerous I'd have to be artistically deaf, or worse, untalented, to feel unresponsive. But there it is. Literary constipation.

Naturally, in an Adaptation xerox, the solution to the Block is to write about the experience of the Block. My sentence could easily be commuted/resolved through any of the following scenarios.

1) As she sat gazing vacantly upon the not-so-distant metropolis across the water, she was set upon by rabid (but cultured) Italian tourists who mistook her for an artistic poseur, a hipster. Death ensued.

2) A tall, lanky boy with a scruffy beard and non-prescriptive glasses strolled underneath the tree. He smiled in a charming, bohemian kind of way that said, I have access to illicit drugs, and I will take you home to my festering Williamsburg apartment where you can lay in my unwashed sheets while I make poor, lackluster love to you and later we can eat organic mangoes and Doritos. What he actually said was, "Put the finger on the right pulse and you'll find the heart beat of your story." Walking on his hands backwards he faded away between the mirror mobile and the quilt sculpture.

3)Torrid public sex scene. (Toddlers are a glance away from total traumatization.)

4) A uniformed security guy said, "Ma'am, for safety and security reasons there is not sitting or climbing of trees." When she stared blankly at him he said, "Just get the fuck out of the tree, lady. And put your pants back on."

As there are no hipsters, infected tourists, and alas, there are pants, we have to wait for option 5) in which, "Like Athena, the truly great inspirational idea (that will develop quickly enough so that she won't lose patience with herself or the story) sprang to her mind fully formed. Writing frenzy ensued."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I actually love Wall Street

Distraction is key in the battle waged on the dark, narrow walkways placed awkwardly between architecture on Wall Street. Jumbles of colored signage, garish in their attempt to out-sign their discount neighbors, do not coax so much as jabber all-time-low selling points. While the Exchange patriotically and grimly bears its financial woes, and the statue of George Washington silently bespeaks good sense, the dollars and cents racket deteriorates to outlet trash around the next corner.

Those who have chosen careers that do not lead to managing hedges or any other kind of botanical funds keep their eyes to the ground as they hurry down the dank alleys between major thoroughfares. The Espresso Café is book-ended by Vivi Vixen and Cents-able Fashion, where even a nearly-empty wallet can purchase enough spandex and hole-y jeans to successfully transition into the marginally more profitable field of street whore.

That’s not to say that it’s all knock-ups and knock-offs in the Financial District. True love occasionally flowers in a rejected pair of Nine West sandals or an Italian leather boot wasting away on a dusty shelf. More often, though, it’s marketed infatuation for the luckless blue-collar worker who glanced up from the trash on the pavement to try to find the sky above the ramparts of capitalism. Instead of air and space it’s a banner for Bernie’s falafel with free coffee or tea. Not that there’s anything wrong with a deal, but can a fellow ever get a break that doesn’t cost him more money?