Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On Inspiration!

Yes that elusive silly muse ... She beckons and calls and then I follow into the tangled swampy abyss that is her mind, to float on those puffs of ideas, until, sadly and predictably, she leaves me high in the air and turns the gravity back on. Of course, I fall on my ass, look around in confusion and wounded pride and try to figure out how to get back up on those idea puffs.

And this is what this post is about - not that muse, the one that allows ideas to flow through my brain so potently and so quickly that my fingers grow numb from the late night typing, and the scribbling on napkins at bars, but the inspiration that comes slowly and haltingly, and from the strangest resources.

Take for example, this past weekend.

I went over to my friend, J's apartment in the ... er ..., well, if Toronto Ontario had a red light district a la Amsterdam, this would be it. But anyways, the rent is cheap and she's close to downtown - and besides, nothing wrong with a bit of skin, right? Regardless of the tangents, I was over there and we were sipping coffee and irritating her cat and boyfriend, and chatting and at 4am,I decided, hm - best leave, since I need to be up at 7:30, no? So I went downstairs and got into my car and pulled out onto Carlton Street. As I waited for the guy infront of me to choose whether or not he was going East, West or just fucking with me, I watched a skinny, tall girl walk up the street I was on. I noticed her originally because her skirt sparkled - it was that greenish blue that is almost turquoise, but misses it due to a little too much blue. Anyways, I glanced at her, and then my gaze was held, because she had the darkest, biggest eyes I had ever seen and I was just caught by how beautiful she was, in that instant, her stripper heels glinting in the lamplight, her hands alternatively feeding herself a cigarette and pulling down her blue belly top. And I realized, dimly in the back of my mind, she was a prostitute.

And that would have been the end of it, any other night. She walked past my car, towards J's building, then cut through it towards Jarvis, and Out of my line of sight. THe guy infront of me realized, I guess, that he actually wanted to go North and attempted to three point turn arounf me, making me slightly irritated before I blew past him and into the thrum of early (very early) Sunday morning traffic going Westbound to Young.

But as I approached my own house, the girl kept scratching my the creative little nub in the back of my brain, and I kept seeing those tragically lined dark eyes, and all I could think of was - there's a story there, a story about how that girl got to where she was (and more then why she was a female prostitute in the Gay district where most hookers were actually tall in heels with fake breasts and adam's apples), and I wanted to know it.

I had this irrational urge to get back in my car, turn around and find this girl (I had dubbed her Peacock Girl at this point because of the colour of her outfit). And I just wanted to sit next to her and ask her where she came from and what happened to her in life. And yet, I knew it sounded crazy, and vaguely paternalistic.

But then the stories started in my my own head, the little nubs of ideas that grow into sturdy stalks of stories. And I realized that I suddenly needed to write. And so I did.

A short story, not very noteworthy, except for the fact that I wrote it in the throes of what I thought was writer's Block.

Anyways, food for thought - Is there actually inspiration in everything around us? And to notice it, do we just have to be in the right place and the right time, with the right perspective to see it?

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