The Curse of Being a Writer

like a block of wet cement,
my whole life
people coming and going
leaving impressions on me

My head
could burst
from the cast of characters
crammed in there,
penned up together,
corralled like horses,
new ones coming in all the time,
few, if any, going out,
the boundaries
pressed on all sides.

They’ve taken over,
manifest-destiny style,
like they have a right to the space
and they become more confident by the day.

Also, very demanding
like I should do something with them.

* * *

THE WOMAN NEXT TO ME in cooking class
tells me 3 times
within 8 minutes of my sitting down
how she’s just returned from Europe,
and once class begins
keeps raising her hand,

“When I was in France, they served….”
“This isn’t quite the same as the cheese they have in Spain…”
“In Germany, you can get a much better such-and-such…..”.

I know
no matter hard I try to prevent it
she is
settling into my head,
another impression on the wet cement of me.

I fumble for the OFF switch. No luck.

I return home
with several new recipes
and another character I don’t know what to do with.

But now I’ve blogged about the experience, so that’s one less.

* * *

If only I was a fiction writer,
I might know what to do.

But my feet are firmly planted in non-fiction, and besides,
as Nora Ephron wrote,

“I can’t believe how real life never lets you down.
I can’t understand why anyone would write fiction
when what actually happens is so amazing.”

And the curse of being a writer
is that you can’t keep the impressions
out of your cement

* * *

Post adapted from a 2011 post. Perchance I have mixed metaphors. I can live with the guilt of it.

quote: “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron. Published by Vintage, a division of Random House. New York: 2008.

See all the writing-related posts HERE.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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