Happy Sunday and come back next week
And here you are, bless your hearts. Getting the paper. Thank you. Reading this column. Thank you again.
And here I am, part of a page waiting to line a bird cage, to embrace your heaps of coffee grounds or await a trip to the recycle bin.
Or if you’re old-school like my mother’s generation, you’d wrap this newspaper section around a hot casserole to keep it warm for transport to a potluck.
I’m sorry to report I don’t have much to say today and even less to write about.
It’s that time of year — January, post holiday letdown, yucky winter. The blahs. Ho hum.
I lamented this Wednesday evening, feeling the pressure of needing this column done by the following morning.
I sat on the living room couch, not far from Better Half, my laptop balanced on my knees, the screen blank, the battery reading getting lower by the minute.
I was waiting, but inspiration looked to be a no-show. I turned on the porch light, hoping she’d knock.
What can I snack on?
What can I write about?
I sensed the waiting period lengthening, my reservoir of ideas all dried up. My patience, too. Plus I was tired.
It was 7 p.m., then it was 8 p.m., then I started watching “Castaway” starring Tom Hanks, the guy stuck on an island for years, eating lots of fish and talking to a soccer ball named Wilson. I think if I watch the same movie enough times, the ending will be different. This includes “Titanic” with Leonard DiCaprio.
I need a normal job, I scolded myself and mentioned this to Better Half, too, while I was at it.
“You’re not a normal person,” came the unsolicited assessment, the friendly reminder.
“You got any ideas for a column?” I changed the subject and shot an irritated glance at Better Half, who was as engrossed in his chocolate peanut butter ice cream cone as he was in all of the political news analysis he was watching, all of it a “Saturday Night Live” skit-writer’s delight.
He smacked his lips and shook his head.
Just another night in Kiaski paradise.
People with no sense of deadline pressure can be very annoying to people who have one.
“Don’t you have anything to contribute to the good of the cause?” I asked, trying to give him another chance to redeem himself.
The cone kept his interest.
Ditto for the political commentary.
“Hey, I know,” I offered on his behalf, a seed of column hope sprouting. “Maybe a column on pet peeves,” I brightened, reminding him how he’d just told me in recent days to quit using a wet spoon to scoop coffee out of the coffee bag and then proceed to boldly and blatantly leave it next to the coffee pot for him to wash later.
“Quit makin’ me look bad,” he said, crunching the last bit of his ice cream cone.
Writing a column is tough, especially when inspiration never knocks and cooperation wanes.
I gotta’ get a normal job.
But until then, come back next week, pretty please.
And have a happy Sunday.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)