I’ve only been here twice before. The first time, I was with my parents, although I’m not too crystal on the details. On a Sunday morning, they’d popped in from New Orleans to have lunch with me, but I didn’t hear the knock at the door because I was four hours into a vodka-drenched coma. When I say that they popped in, I mean that they gave me two weeks’ notice and then reminded me every day following the announcement — I just got myself hammered and forgot that they were visiting. When I finally came to, they’d let themselves in and were pounding on my bedroom door. Fifteen minutes later, I was propped up at a table for three at Blue Dog Café, wearing someone’s Tulane University hoodie and a backwards cap. I suggested we come to this coffee house after lunch because I wanted a half hour to tap dance back into their good graces. And it worked. They left having forgotten that their eldest son put his drinking problem before them again, and I got to go home and upchuck crawfish and espresso gumbo before throwing myself onto the couch and sleeping through the VMAs.
So I’m sitting at a small table at a small coffee shop because I’m supposed to. This is what writers do when they want to write, right? This is supposed to be our mothership; our home base for creative incubating. Take in the aromas of Chilean blend and forced banter between couples on their first dates and write something beautiful. That’s what I’m trying to do, at least.
Let’s start with the things that I know for sure:
- I am not suffering from writer’s block.
- I have plenty to write about.
- I am developing a fear of my own writing.
- I have very mixed feelings about The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR), and that’s not helping.
Now I’m sitting at a small table at a small coffee shop because I’m supposed to. I’ve come to the beacon by which great writers before me have found their way. I’ve come to sort through my thoughts and just type something for Christ’s sake. I’ve come here because I feel disorganized, and manic, and lazy.
I’m not going to say everything right now. But I will say that I’m going to try harder. I’m going to tell you stories about the second job I’ve acquired; bartending at a start-up gay bar. And I’m going to tell you about the guy I was dating until 12 hours ago when I stopped dating him. And I’m going to tell about my exboyfriends. And I’m going to tell you about myself.
The second time I came to this coffee shop was five days ago. I was being interviewed for a profile in the local newspaper, and I actually had to take a moment to think about where I was going before I left my office. During our conversation, the interviewer told me that she read my blog and thought I was talented. And I just looked down, bit my lip, and said “thank you.” She didn’t know that I’d been experiencing daily panic attacks, induced by my own ambivalence.
But then I looked up, flipped my imaginary mane of auburn hair, and said to her, "Actually, I'm working on something new."