Sunday, April 18, 2010

It is true....

I have not posted to this blog in months.

Yet, I write constantly.

On paper. In little notebooks I keep in my purse. On Post-It Notes. On my computer. In my head.

It is true. Most of my writing does go on in my head. I don't think I ever stop writing.

I hear something on the radio.

See something out my window.

Bump into someone.

Overhear a conversation.

Walk down the street.

All spur stories to start writing in my head. Some I write down. Others, not. My head is overflowing with characters, plots, scenes, themes, dialogue. There is incessant chatter.

I like to be the Observer. And not the observed.

I like to watch. And listen. And eavesdrop. I like to imagine all the stories that are out there.

The other day I took a break at work and walked down to the edge of campus, near the Grotto. Behind me was a statue of the Virgin Mary, in a fake cave, protected by a black, wrought iron fence. In front of me was the river, the Liberty Bridge, cars and trucks careening across the bridge, the South Side, the incline, and Mount Washington. A Droid billboard.

I saw the letters: "P&LERR" atop the building over at Station Square. I know this stands for Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad. I know that Station Square used to be a huge train station. I know that my grandmother used to work at the lunch counter inside the station and that my grandfather, a traveling salesman from Georgia passing through, met her there. I know that Station Square now houses an array of shops and restaurants. And that at the stroke of midnight as we moved from New Year's Eve into the New Year, my future husband asked me to marry him in hullabaloo of Houlihan's. And I said yes.

I have no idea where all of the people in their cars and trucks and SUVs are going as they criss cross the bridge.

I turn around and walk back to my office. On the way, I see the skyline of downtown Pittsburgh. I see the oddly incongruous "UPMC" letters atop what I know as the US Steel Building. I know that my father, who worked for US Steel, met my mother, who also worked for US Steel, in -- not this building, but rather -- the former US Steel Building. Which I do not really remember as an entity. I know that my father was recently widowed, and my mother was a secretary who had recently moved to the headquarters building from Clairton Works. And he saw her one day. And was like Wow! I know that he used to comb his (almost non-existent) hair before calling her on the telephone to ask her out. I know that on their first date, he told her that he had "come a'courting."

There are a lot of things I know. And a lot of things I don't know.

And a lot of things that I imagine.


Encounters, brief and otherwise.

Scenes and plots and stories and scenarios of all variation.

No one is safe really. Anyone, everyone can be a character in my stories. Anyone, everyone is a character in my stories.

Myself included.

Characters emerge in my dreams. I see movies unfold in my head as I sleep. I often don't remember them, but often they scare me or move me in some unsettling way.

I wonder who is driving that brown SUV that is crossing the bridge and where they are going. And why. And what will they do when they get there.

I write and re-write scenes in my head. Describe. Report. Analyze. Tell. Show.

Hills Like White Elephants.

People who were young once.

People who are now dead.

One true sentence.

Is there such a thing....?

I have no idea. But it doesn't stop me from writing.



Forever and ever. Amen.


Blogger BabelBabe said...

there's a scene in Date Night that made me think of you, and this sort of thing particularly. So go see it, and you'll know what I am talking about.

1:53 PM  
Blogger delta said...

i think of date night as being a funny, hilarious film. that i want to see. i think tina fey and steve carrell are a hoot. not sure how it relates to this post. but then again, haven't seen the film yet.

2:50 PM  

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