*Title borrowed from Estelle featuring Kanye West “American Boy”
While I continue work on the best writer apps for the iPhone review (dammit, I said it’s coming), I figured it’ll be a good time to start a micro-series. If social media experts and blogging aficionados are to be believed, readers love a good micro-series (“micro”Â sounds better than “mini,”Â FYI). Besides, it’ll give me a little something to write about as the days tick down.
That is to say, I’m getting married in four weeks. The apartment is abound with excitement and stress as we wrap up last minute things: marriage license, music for the reception and the ever-changing guest list. We originally planned a large affair with all the frills and lace of a Spring 2011 wedding. Eventually, we found ourselves less enthralled with a big wedding; our focus shifted to wanting to get married and having a nice honeymoon in the process. We settled on an intimate gathering in a chic Philadelphia locale and, soon after, we’re flying out to London for a week. Our first excursion out of the country, the first of many (we hope) international trips, and we’re doing it together: we can’t think of a better way to celebrate our new life as a married couple.
So what we have here is the allure, the romance, of a week in London: doing the whole sightseeing thing, bopping up and down SoHo and Covent Garden, checking out a play at the National Theatre (Fela!) and conducting ourselves in the most respectful, least American manner. And yet (yes, there’s a yet), the writer in me is equally excited for the new smells, the sounds, the sights of buildings older than the US itself. I want to do a travelogue, a blog updated daily on our exploits (rated PG, of course). I want to visit old bookstores and hold first editions in my hand. I want to hear the accents and inject them into future dialogue.
My writing is in a sad, stagnant state these days. Very low output, PANK notwithstanding, and a general malaise toward all of my prose, whether it be fiction or otherwise: I could use a pick-me-up of any kind, from any individual, in any country. Secretly, I place a great burden onto our honeymoon, granting it the responsibility to rekindle something lost over the years. Over this past summer, I’ve paired down my techno collection, now a Spartan toolbox of necessities sans bloatware, in the hopes of finding the right mix to help me write during days where hours escape like steam through fingers. A change of scenery, a change in cell phones: both are synonymous with a deeper search.
I’ve never been a religious man, in spite of my mother’s efforts. I squirmed in pews, hemmed and hawed at testimonials and sermons, quietly promising that I’d avoid all forms of ties and dress pants when I grow up. Whenever the preacher sauntered down the aisles, looking for a suspect to save from damnation, I lowered my eyes, flipped through a bible, read with intensity the back of a handheld fan, as though the advertisement for the local funeral home contained more truth and mysticism than the story of Jesus. I’ve had enough faith to remain sane, but not enough to fret over the looming threat of losing it, of waking up and no longer believing in the wisdom of God, in the goodness of man.
Apparently, people go on spiritual journeys to reclaim that oneness with God, with faith in general. A weekend retreat, maybe, or a year-long excursion through Africa or Asia. I don’t know anything about looking for God in a log cabin lodged betwixt the cleavage of some far-off mountain range, or in the eyes of an hooded Indian girl, as if her starving gaze was placed there for me as a conduit to Heaven. But I do feel bankrupt, straight up robbed of my creativity. Creativity. Creativity. Not the act of writing, or the act of connecting unlike objects to weave a muddled, prosaic tapestry. Creativity is fed, yes. Switching out cell phones and laptops and iGadgets have failed, unsurprisingly, to light my fire.
In the back of my mind, I’m asking London to breath its fog over suffocated embers, to bring back their orange, radiating bloom, pulsing with an energy I’ll undoubtedly fail to capture in my writing, but will appreciate and value nonetheless. I’m afraid of asking London for too much, to expect it to do more than act as a wondrous backdrop to the spark my fiancee and I discovered almost four years ago. I know the burden is great as I wonder with a future-projection, “What if London does nothing for me”Â? Will I come home, jet-lagged and further entrenched in my malady? I want to leave the writer at home. This is the time for my wife and I; there’s little room for third parties. Yet, I consider what writing utensils I’ll bring with me; whether or not I can leave the journal at home and use my iPhone in its place.
To be continued…