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Waiting to Create

He sits at the bar, trying not to listen to all of the conversations but there isn’t much he can do to drown out the world. At least not until the beer settles in. his hand rests on the opened journal, pencil point hovering just a breath above the “made from 100% recycled paper” page. The freshly sharpened point dances in the air wanting to do its work – to put his thoughts into physical existence. If only he would let the pencil drop another centimeter. But the fear of creating words for an audience terrifies him. Just the fear of another bar mate looking over his shoulder and reading a few of the words that manage to leak from his hands is enough to keep the paper blank. He looks down at the undisturbed page, and then looks back over his shoulder at the door. He wants a cigarette so badly, those dreadful things. But he loves anything that keeps him from facing his fears and a cigarette is a nice 5 minute escape. And doesn’t the world still think it’s sexy for a dark brooding artist to enjoy a good slow smoke? Plus, he could be out there enjoying the company of that tall blonde that’s on her third smoke in thirty minutes. Back to reality, he reminds himself an artist has to actually create something before they can call themselves an artist. Plus, that blonde is full of games he is too old to play and she has already pretended not to know him.
Meanwhile the page remains blank with no words covering its slightly rough “home made” texture and he can still hear the conversations happening in the room. A couple on their first date is hardest to ignore. Their awkwardness is endearing but stomach cringing at the same time. He is missing all the signs and just ordered way too much beer for his nervous and likely underfed stomach. He’ll be buzzed too early.
The beer starts settling in for the yet to be artist. He looks down at his arm – hand – the floating pencil and it all looks like someone else’s still life creation….titled “What Are You Waiting For”. He has no answer. He used to use excuses familiar to us all. Time, money, ideas, how, too personal, my own worse critic, that heartache from long ago that’s actually no longer all that relevant. But then he realizes something. And its something he has noticed several times before. The greatest revelations are the most obvious. The page remains blank because he has been trying to write about things he does not know, and things he has not felt. His life has been worth living, it certainly is worth writing about.
So the pencil drops down that centimeter chasm…
“He sits at the bar, trying not to listen to all of the conversations but there isn’t much he can do to drown out the world” …..and thank goodness for that.