THE WRITER'S BLOCK
I'm in the big apple, staying in a hotel not far from 42nd and Broadway. The top few floors of the hotel seem to be in disarray, windows missing, etc. I noticed this before checking in. My two friends and I chose this based on the advertised price and a neon sign that appeared to probably always read 'Vacancies.' I didn't see any little 'no' light that would make it an option. I guess they would just turn off the light if it ever got fully booked, but I doubt that ever happened.
When we had checked in, there had been a cage-like wall made of perpendicular bars protecting the front desk, much like you would expect to see in a Swiss bank before the advent of bullet proof glass. The cashier had asked if we wanted a room by the hour or for the night. After glancing at each other is disbelief, we asked what two nights would cost and she looked at us like we were out of our freakin' minds.
I am sitting on the edge of an open and tall double hung window. There is no screen and an easy fall to the street a few stories down. It is a corner room but the only two windows are on the same wall.
It is around 4:30 in the afternoon and one can see and hear the hustle and bustle of rush hour. It is light out. As the commuters' race home grows more fervent I lose track of time and find myself daydreaming. Next thing I know it is getting eerily dark.
Inherently I know that part of the darkness is caused by the tall buildings blocking out what surely must be a beautiful sunset, perhaps from the Wall Street district looking out to our lady of the torch.
Time has passed. The streets are almost empty. The void of all the noise has caused my nasal sense to kick in. There is an interesting smell wafting upward from the street. I cannot tell if it is just a mixture of Italian and Chinese cooking with the ugly fragrance of dry cleaning chemicals and open dumpsters mixed in, or if there is also the distinct odor of vomit and dead rats in the list of ingredients. I was getting hungry, but now I have lost my appetite.
The friend that did most of the driving has been napping for three hours. My other friend has been hanging around the other window like me. During this passing time we have been talking about all of the sights, sounds, and now, the smells of the city.
As it began to get dark, the lights of the occasional car, motorcycle, or bus augmented the street and indoor, spilling outdoor, lights. Now that night has fully arrived there seems to be a new hustle and bustle. Instead of all the suits of several hours ago there is a definite hoodlum look taking over the same streets. Thugs, drunks, prostitutes, pimps, druggies, a guy walking a big dog with a chain whose links are the size of what you would expect to see between one vehicle towing another, and another guy walking perfectly well but tapping canes, one held in each hand - these are the opening characters at the beginning of the greatest show on Earth.
I can see a block, a few away, has a long line of people along its entire length. I imagine it is a queue completely surrounding the block. A great playwright has written an award winning play. I imagine the story starting with something from his heart and can see the writer typing away madly on an old Underwood. His fingers cannot seem to move as fast as his brain works.
He lives somewhere very near the theater. He is a hermit of sorts. On this city block are small restaurants, a convenience store, and an office supply store, amongst other businesses. The author has everything he needs close by and never has to even cross a street. His best selling plays are always shown at the large theater; this evening it has attracted a crowd.
This square unit of city fabric represents and in fact is his entire life. It is the writer's block. The name of tonight's play, his play, is "The Writer's Block." My play, on that, is THE WRITER'S BLOCK.
"A queue exists around the writer's block. Let the heart kickstart and the mind race to the end." - Ben Pinto