I had every intent, when I went to the coffee shop after work today, to write about something else. I went to Gowanus last week for the latest “Neighborhoods New York” project, and still need to write that up.
But I just couldn’t. I tapped out a couple of desultory paragraphs and then sat, picking at a cupcake and watching a little girl on the sidewalk play with a scooter – she kept pushing it away from her, watching it roll up the sloped sidewalk towards the building, then watching it roll back down the slope and back towards her. Her parents sat nearby, just talking; once in a while one would push her around on the scooter, but then would sit again, and she’d go back to pushing it up and down the sidewalk, all on its own.
My brain is emptied out from a recent article, and I’m waiting to hear about another. I’m also playing a game of “prescription grab bag” with my doctor, trying to figure out how to quell the allergies I’ve got that are acting up; the latest prescription is actually making things worse, and I’ve been breathing and thinking through a low-level sinus headache all day.
At some point I watched my roommate pass by on the opposite sidewalk, his bright orange shirt catching my eye as he set out on a run. He got into the habit during a recent vacation, he said, and is trying to keep up the momentum. He’s way better at an exercise routine than I.
Clearly I couldn’t write about the Gowanus tonight.
But maybe it doesn’t matter. As soon as I put it away, telling myself I’d come back to it later, I started thinking about writing what you’re reading now; maybe at the end of the day, all that matters is that I write something. Even on days when the words stick coming out.
At least they’re here. At least I’m used to making them more regularly. And some days that’s all you can do.