The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, August 27, 2007

I got nothing

By Tamara Lee

Call it fatigue; call it laziness. Call it nothing at all.

Or blame it on a long day spent eating mini-donuts and kettle corn and watching Superdogs and Trooper and otherwise imbibing in my annual trip to the Fair.

It has been a long time since I have had nothing to say.

In fact, I’m one of those people other people count on to say something.

Nervous friends have looked to me to break ice at parties, when everyone was sizing up the strangers over the tops of beer bottles and wine glasses; teachers would expect me to have something cantankerous or incendiary, possibly even sensible, to offer when no one else was willing to remark on whatever obscure poem the earnest young professor tried to get us to ‘get.’ I’ve even been taken on friends’ first dates, assuming I’d be able to ease the duo through the early awkward parts and then easily be on my way once the ball got rolling.

Quippy-Comeback Kid: winderup, takerout, senderhome.

Sometimes, though, a person just can’t turn on. You know? And when she’s not on, everyone looks at her as though the batteries are in wrong: she must have just heard her bank account’s been wiped out, or she’s contracted some mysterious illness, “And wouldn’t you like to share with us what’s on your mind?”

Nope. I got nothing. No reason, no matter.

Don’t bang the top of the box; don’t rattle them rabbit ears. This thing ain’t working. Maybe try back later, that usually does the trick.

Quiet or shy folks have it easier, maybe. They can be their quiet selves and no one expects anything more. But gregarious folks, man. Try letting them shut up and suddenly they’re acting ‘funny’, or they get teased mercilessly for acting out of character.

The gregarious writer with nothing to say…

So here I am, saying a whole lot of nothing, about having nothing to say.

Guess some people just don’t know how to shut up.

Either that or they’re committed to their Monday post days, and will think of something, anything, to save us from some sort of awkward pause, or ellipses…

(Image credit: Palagret)


Blogger Anne C. said...

Is something wrong, Tamara?

Mon Aug 27, 08:12:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Antonios Maltezos said...

Just read an article in the Gazette about how lovely fall is in these parts, and how devastating the end of summer can be. It's that waiting period between the two seasons no one has bothered to name yet. What should we call it?

Mon Aug 27, 09:56:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Wonderful, Tamara. "The batteries in wrong...winderup." You reveal so much by having nothing to say. Enjoy the hiatus.

Mon Aug 27, 01:12:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Heh, nothing's wrong, Anne. Except my wiped-out bank account and some mysterious ailment ;)

Tony, that back-to-school feeling never leaves, does it? But in a way I like that there's no name for it yet. It helps me denial.

Thanks, Tricia. I hope the hiatus doesn't last too long though...

Mon Aug 27, 03:54:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...

What a great picture! You should frame that sucker.

Wed Aug 29, 03:03:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Andrew Tibbetts said...

Hi, Tamara, I relate to this post very much! Thanks for sharing.

Thu Aug 30, 11:40:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Hi Steve and Andrew, thanks.

Oh, and Steve, the photo is by someone in France named Palgret; click on the link (to flickr), there are some other great photos there by him (her?).

Thu Aug 30, 03:32:00 pm GMT-4  

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