Dream of: 04 August 1999 "Blank Sheet Of Paper"

The day before, I had settled into a small hotel room, almost like an apartment, in Germany. I played around with the television a bit, having to figure out the controls; but I wasn't much interested in watching television. Finally I sat down in front of the portable typewriter which I had brought with me.

A roll of computer paper dangled down the back of the typewriter. I needed to be writing. I hadn't been writing anything lately, and I was somewhat depressed by the fact, reflecting that of late I had been doing everything in the world except writing. Now, however, I was ready to begin; I only needed to have a blank sheet of paper in front of me. I needed to forget everything else – no television, no distractions, no nothing – just a blank piece of paper was all I needed.

I was a bit surprised I was feeling so miserable. In the past, I had always been happy when I had been in Germany, which had always seemed like heaven for me. Now, however, not even being here alleviated my suffering. Indeed, I even felt somewhat homesick. My thoughts drifted back to Ohio, to the Gallia County Farm, back to my roots. I also thought of William Faulkner, and how he had lived out his life in a small rural Mississippi town, and how his books had been about Mississippi life. Perhaps it was true, that a writer, such as Faulkner, should write about the things he knew best. Maybe what I knew best was life on the Farm. Maybe I felt so disoriented here in Germany because I needed to be back on the Farm. If I lived on the Farm, I could occasionally visit Donna Griffiths, who lived in Chillicothe, Ohio, not far from the Farm. I liked talking with Donna. Or I might visit with some of my relatives who still lived in Gallia County.

But, before I did anything, I first needed to take care of another task I had been neglecting – washing some clothes. I gathered the clothes together to take them to the Laundromat. However, because I wanted to begin writing immediately, I also carried my typewriter with me. With clothes and typewriter in tow, I headed out to the street and quickly caught a bus.

Fortunately, at the rear of the bus, was a small table, where I was able to comfortably set up my typewriter. As the bus moved down the street, I accommodated myself and began typing. I had also had had the foresight to carry a large brown bottle of liquor with me, about the size of a quart, which I had set on the table. The bottle was open, but I hadn't yet drunk anything from it.

As I typed, I soon encountered a problem – some of the letters were missing from the typewriter. Fortunately, I was able to use my small left finger as a sort of pen, and could write the missing letters with my finger. But doing so was laborious, and the letters didn't look as good as typed letters. Nevertheless, I continued with my writing.

No one else was in the rear of the bus, so I had the run of the place. As I wrote, I would stand and move about, back and forth. Somehow, I also managed to scatter my clothes all over the place, creating quite a mess. Finally other people began boarding the bus and crowding back into my area. A couple women sat near me and looked disparingly at my bottle. I picked it up and took a drink, just to irritate them. It worked. They stood and moved to the other side of the bus away from me.

Clearly I now needed to gather my clothes. But by this time I had lost my sack, nothing more than a black plastic garbage bag, and I had nothing in which to put the clothes. One woman even sat down on some of my clothes, and I had to pull them out from under her. When I had the clothes in my hand, I wasn't even sure they were all mine; some of them looked like small children's clothes. But finally I found my plastic sack, and I announced to the woman, "Now we'll just put the clothes in the sack and everything'll be fine."

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