A Blinking Cursor

A blank page. An empty canvas. A blinking cursor in a brand new Word doc.

I sit here staring at it.

I spend a large chunk of my life, just staring at that intermittent line. Hating it. Cursing it. Somehow — and don’t ask me to explain any further because I know it’s wholly irrational — but somehow, that cursor blinks at the exact frequency of mockery.

Fuck. Blink. You. Blink. Fuck. Blink. You. Blink.

I know how to overcome it. I do it professionally, I beat the cursor for a living. But that doesn’t mean the feeling goes away. It’s the infinite terror of potential. Opportunity is the scariest thing in the world.

Ever try to figure out a restaurant with your significant other, only to wind up in an argument? It’s so easy, so trivial – we could go anywhere, everywhere – what do you feel like ingesting right now so that your body will continue to work for another day or two, you son of a bitch?! Tell me! But you don’t have a suggestion. Neither do they.

That’s the only reason Applebee’s exists.

What do you want for your birthday? Easy answer, when you’re a kid. Your experience is limited, so your desires are limited. You understand candy and Legos, so you ask for candy and Legos and hopefully you get either candy or Legos….unless your parents hate you and buy you socks.

But now you’re an adult. Your experience is wide, your desires are vast. And somebody asks you: What do you want for your birthday?

You freeze up.

You can visit anywhere in the world. Right now. Where do you go first? You answered that one quickly. But then, you don’t travel as much as you’d like, and you’ve been waiting for this moment. Now, what’s your second destination? Hey, that was pretty fast, too. Your third choice? What about your twentieth? If you could visit any of the millions of locations on this planet, what is the thirty-fifth place you’d go? It’s such a big world, and thirty-five isn’t that great a number. Surely, you haven’t run out of ideas yet…

But you know what was nice? Paris. Let’s go back.

I can’t think of a restaurant. Let’s just do Applebee’s again.

It’s easier to be a tourist than a local. Give us limitless choice, and we are paralyzed by potentiality. This is the problem with being a creator: A painter, a musician, a writer – it doesn’t matter what the medium is — If you make something, you always start with nothing. You begin with empty hands. You’re staring at a billion potential paths, each one a twisting line rendered in a different color. Do you follow the blue? The green? The pink looks pretty today. But there are so many colors, so many paths, and they wander so wildly. Look how they overlap: The lines criss and cross and back again and you realize that every color taken together leaves you with white.

A blank page. An empty canvas. A blinking cursor in a brand new Word doc.

That bastard cursor, and its bastard blinking.

6 thoughts on “A Blinking Cursor

  1. violafury

    Ah, yes. The blank page. I do manage to fill it with words, but sometimes, it’s just nothing more than a bunch of word salad, a term I first heard from the late Nora Ephron, and I believe she heard it from someone else, Virginia Woolf perhaps, I get dimmish, some days, with too many factoids rolling around like so many hairballs from dyspeptic cats. I’m working on my epic 50,000 word novel, in an attempt to edit and in doing so, am inculcating the lost habit of writing every day for my blog, even if it is just about some of the stupid shit that goes on in this here ‘hood.

    I am re-reading RX: A Tale of Negativity. I bought the book back last summer, and it is without the epilogue, however, I have an Amazon Account and can “borrow” the book for that. I want to read both. I was mightily amused and amazed the first time and now, I’m trying to read more for style and all that good stuff. Creating a whole world that works so seamlessly is awesome and I am amazed all over again. Amazeballs! Thanks for the ideas and inspiration. Yes, it is the hard work that keeps it going. I went a long way as a violist with it and as an IT software engineer. Since I am pretty well house-bound, I think it time for a new career, and not one as a gamer. Thanks for all of the gut-busting laughter! The Crapopalypse post was great.

  2. Fernandon't

    Reminds me of a quote from “Slapstick!”
    “He asked me politely how my work was going…I said that I was sick of it. I told him a remark which I had heard attributed to the writer Renata Adler, who hates writing, that a writer was a person who hated writing…I told him too, what my agent Max Wilkinson, wrote to me…Dear Kurt-I never knew a blacksmith who was in love with his anvil”


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