Writing something profound isn’t easy. It’s hard to get started if you only have a vague idea and no deep thoughts about it. So I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do: I procrastinated. I sprawled across my overstuffed armchair with my head on a pillow, the TV remote control in my hand and both legs propped over one of the chair arms. My cat was sitting on the floor next to the chair, trying to decide if he wanted to pester me for attention. I simultaneously surfed the cable channels and tried to think of a really earnest topic, something that would illuminate the general suckiness of life in a way that no writer had ever done before.
But wait! Criminal Minds was on! I wondered if I would be able to watch this episode all the way through. The last one grossed me out so much that I had to switch channels in the middle of it, while they were discussing necrophilia in minute detail. If you are looking for something to inspire you about the awfulness of life, you can’t do better than Criminal Minds, and they always have some sappy philosophical quotes at the beginning and the end, to inspire deep thoughts.
Well, this wasn’t getting me anywhere. I was not getting any work done, so I might as well watch the program. It looked like a good episode and I didn’t think it would make me queasy this time (no necrophilia). What was an hour of my time, anyway, compared to the eternity that we all face? Nothing. The cat agreed. He jumped up and lay down on the arm of the chair. I reached over and petted him.
Okay. I used up an hour and I still didn’t have any brilliant insights. The cat was no help. He had been lying on the arm of the chair next to my face, with his rear end facing me, slapping me with his tail. He had no idea how much angst the craft of writing was giving me. He did know that I was the one who could open a can of cat food, and it was time to eat. After I fed the cat, I cleaned his litter box.
By that time, I was too tired to write a grocery list, let alone a short prose piece.