Deprived Fleas

This week my brain was really fucked up about what to write. I’ve finally had enough of editing. I’ve been doing it for months. It was time to write new stuff but when I tried I found my imagery bank was empty. I got really annoyed with myself, plus every time I reached over to attempt to squeeze something out of my dried up little brain, my cat growled at me. Seriously. She is such a little witch. So rather than reading The Artist’s Way, again, I got up and went out. I figured it was time to fill my head with some real life. So I caught up with some friends, had a natter, a few beers and a dance. That was so lovely. And yesterday morning I sat on the sofa, warming my toes in a patch of sunlight, I found inspiration there too. That evening I went to pub quiz and people watched. Today I ran a workshop and found the strangest thing photocopied on a scrap piece of paper, it was all about fleas that live off fleas and other parasites. My favourite quote being ‘A rat flea deprived of a rat will happily settle on a bat.’* Which of course leads to cats and mats. The point being, sometimes you just need to stop and forget about it all before you can fill up your mind and move on.

I think inspiration is there all along, it’s just sometimes I get too busy to see it. I have to remember to stop and breathe in. Close my eyes and just listen. Then open them, as if the world is new.

I’m writing this sat in the lunch-room at work. It’s quiet; I worked right through lunch hour, so it’s just me. There’s people noise from the high school next door, teenagers out on the field being teenagers. The Wellington wind is doing its thing in the trees and there’s a repetitive scratching noise. The scratching could be the groundsman raking up autumn leaves, or it could be a giant bug clawing it’s away along the side of the building. A bug like a giant cockroach; its shell rich and dark like a conker. Its feelers, long and quivering in the wind. Students screaming as it scurries across the windows of the lower floor, before it turns and scuttles up to the second floor as it smells my soup. I quickly eat the last bit so at least I’m fed before the crackly beast comes to eat me. But do cockroaches eat people? Maybe it’s not a cockroach. Maybe it’s Gregor Samsa, coming up for a chat and a cuppa. That would be cool, except I don’t know any German, but hey, I expect he doesn’t remember it now,  either. I mean, if you get translated that many times, do you lose your mother tongue?

*Photo and text: source unknown. And I tried. When I tried I found an article about zombie flies! Seriously not fun. Heebie-jeebies moment.

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