Writing, of late, has been an odd sort of chore. I love to write – I yearn to write – but lately when I find myself alone with my thoughts and a pencil, I find that the words won’t come. They used to spill forth from my fingers like fat drops of rain from a heavy summer storm cloud. They used to burst froth from my pencil like rushing floodwaters through a broken dam.
Now, I find myself extracting each precious word like a miner with a gem. Or, more accurately, like a dentist with a particularly stubborn tooth. Bubbles’ first tooth, with its inch-long root and insistence on clinging to his lower gum, springs instantly to mind.
But that’s if the words come at all.
Today, for a change of pace, I found myself having lunch at one of my old haunts. It’s a delightfully retro soda fountain that offers breakfast and lunch in addition to pie and ice cream (and, if you’re so inclined, pie with ice cream). They’re always busy and always friendly, and places like it are one of my favorite things about small-town life.
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…
The Ahoy Fountain may not exactly be Cheers, but they both share a lot in terms of their ability to create powerful memories. Like Cliff and Norm, I feel at home there. I’ve written more short stories on their shiny black tabletops than I can count. Heck, I’ve even set a few stories there.
And, much like the Green River my neighbor ordered for lunch, those stories are some of my favorites. (Seriously, how can you not love Green Rivers?)
I’d hoped that revisiting such a dynamic place this noon would kickstart my brain and get my creative juices flowing again, but it didn’t happen. Or rather, it didn’t happen the way I wanted it to. I wanted to make more headway on my revisions – I’m so close to the end of the first book I can practically taste it. Failing that, I wanted to work on a new short story, but that didn’t happen, either.
Still, I did manage an ode to one of my favorite eateries, didn’t I?
I’m going to miss the Ahoy Fountain when I start my new job next week. I’m sure the new town I’ll be working in has places just as quaint and just as friendly, despite being a heck of a lot bigger (I can think of one off the top of my head, as a matter of fact), but I’ll still miss the places and people I know.
This is the end of an era.
I just hope my words will find me again after the transition.