Friday, August 26, 2011
Waiting for a Muse
Jack was stumped. He sat with his notebook open, reading his last paragraph to himself as he toyed with the salad remains on his plate. Something about his story wasn't working. It wasn't flowing. He couldn't translate his existential philosophies to the page in any coherent manner. Frustrated, he turned his attention to the tourists wandering along this back street of Belgium. He spied a group of Americans. They were easy to spot with their sloppy clothes and loud voices. He re-read his words. Would they understand what he was trying to say? Probably not. He took some satisfaction in that.
Two Germans sat down at the table near him and ordered beers. He listened to them for a while, intent on what they were saying. After all, wasn't this why he chose to write at outdoor cafes? So that he could absorb the world around him and extrapolate the meaning of life as it pertained to the masses?
He listened carefully to the Germans, digging deeper into their conversation in search of new material. Then a group of four young women sat down. Italians. Their presence drew the attention and stares of everyone else around, and suddenly the cafe was flocked with other passers-by who subliminally followed their beauty. Jack watched the girls and studied their effect on the rest of the population. He was as mesmerized as everyone else, but for different reasons. They were the tour de force he was explaining on paper. His muses had arrived. He flagged the waiter for another drink, then picked up his pen and began to write.