“Winged Domino: Portrait of Valentine” by Roland Penrose, 1938.
by Andreas Economakis
Inspiration. How does one get it? Inspiration is such an elusive thing. There are days when you just can’t shut up, shut your mind off. Hyper aware. Hyper expressive. Everything inspires you then. A leaf, the way dust settles on the leaf, your cat’s quivering white whiskers, the way a hunk of cheese falls on the floor, how your cats react to it, how you react to them reacting to the cheese, the fact that you run to the computer to write it down, only to stare at the screen vacantly, your fingers frozen over the keyboard, mind drifting, wondering whether you should check your e-mail first and what should I have for dinner (?) and man, better wash that thought down with a beer, yeah, comfortable again in front of the screen, going online, nope, no messages, sign off, open Microsoft Word and stare at the vacant screen, nothing written yet, boldly typing the title, swig of beer, highlight, hit the bold-underline keys and lean back, INSPIRATION, feet on desk and another swig of beer, better go check on the plants, see if they’ve grown another millimeter, and what are the cats doing now and why is Billy always hungry (?), is it because he has a cancerous lump in his stomach, poor little guy and I can’t really do anything about the lump because he’s almost 15 and one just can’t cut into a cat at that age, but wait, they cut into my old man when he was 69, and, my oh my, my phone number starts with 69 and, oh wait, that’s the sign of the crab and, frankly, a position that’s pretty fun in bed except I don’t really do it all that often, I don’t know why, I should talk to my girlfriend about this and, shit, I should get back to writing about the cats and the cheese and, swig of beer, I’m just not really inspired to write anything today, just inspired in general and you stare at the title on the screen and, hands frozen above the keyboard you write “How does one get it?” Shit if I know, you think, it’s like your cat looking at his plate when he isn’t hungry, or a butterfly landing on your cheek, which is a good metaphor for how love strikes and how beautiful it is, and the moment you try and possess the butterfly it flies off, leaving your cheeks tingling and slightly dusted with butterfly dust, and you sit and stretch your face out into the air, waiting for the next butterfly to land, but it won’t ever land while you’re waiting, no, it will only land when you’ve given up completely and aren’t thinking about it, kind of like when you’re doing something you really like, say like snorkeling, and you aren’t thinking about sex, or the last meal you ate, or how it felt when you got that good luck phone call, or when you fell in love that time, or when that butterfly landed on your cheek earlier, no, it will come while you’re looking at a plate of fried fish, or severed cow heads bobbing slowly up and down in the sea, barely touching the billowing, drifting sand, or when you kick the pebble out of your flip-flop and then voila, the butterfly of inspiration, like the butterfly of love, will land on your cheek and send your heart into palpitations, your mind into alertness, aware, aware that your are staring at your computer screen and your fingers have just finished this story.
This piece is part of a collection of stories on blindness entitled: The Blindness of Life.
Copyright © 2010, Andreas Economakis. All rights reserved.
For more stories by Andreas Economakis click on the author’s name below.