Writer's Block & the Superhero
I haven’t written since April. Since then my mother passed away, I took a vacation for a family wedding, my granddaughter was born, and I really needed to clean out my junk drawer. All valid reasons why I was too busy to write. Mostly I just miss my mom. I didn’t feel very funny and this is a humour blog. I was pretty sure you wouldn’t want to hear my tales of woe or watch me cry on my keyboard. So I gave myself time to heal.
And then I didn’t know how to begin again.
September has always signified new beginnings for me so I decided that Labour Day Monday would be the day I started writing again. I woke up this morning with a purpose. I really had to pee, and since that got up me up and moving, I decided I might as well write, too.
For inspiration, I settled into my chair outside my apartment and opened my laptop.
Then I got a coffee.
Then I decided to do laundry.
Then I hung it on the line.
Then I got more coffee.
Then I took a selfie of me “writing”. It’s the one at the top of this blog post. You’ll notice the screen is dark. I posted the picture of me “writing” on Facebook and how nice it was to be “writing” outside on such a beautiful holiday Monday.
Then I felt like a fraud. The only thing I’d managed to write in all that time was a grocery list. Turns out I’m out of lettuce, so that was important. But it wasn’t a blog post.
That’s when it hit me. Maybe I wasn’t a writer after all. Maybe I never would be.
Then I remembered back to how I felt at this time four years ago. I was newly single, completely broke, working part-time, and trying to put back the pieces of my life. I was scared. But I was also free.
I had a plan and I knew that I was the only one who could save me. My end goal was to become a writer and to get there I needed to become my own superhero. Again.
I accidentally become a superhero, or more accurately, a superhero-in-training, at the age of four.
Like most superheroes, I didn’t plan to be one. It just happened.
My dad was in the Air Force and we had just moved to Canadian Forces Base Rockcliffe in Ottawa. Our next door neighbour had a little boy my age. His name was Wormy the Bermy. I think his street name was Bobby something but he introduced himself to me as Wormy the Bermy. And he had a cape, so naturally I believed that he was a superhero.
Wormy the Bermy was happy to play with me but it was clear from the get-go that our new friendship would stand a better test of time if I was a superhero too. Air Force “brats” move a lot and at age four, I had a limited capacity for making friends. I couldn’t just hang out in the halls at the high school or in the local bar like normal four-year-olds. I had to develop a social savvy at a young age and I quickly discovered that the easiest way to fit in was to do as the locals do. When in Rome, and all that.
When I met Wormy, a.k.a. Bobby, he was running circles in his backyard, cape flying majestically in the wind. Our mothers had ushered us both out into his backyard, introducing us to each other, him cape akimbo, me, most likely sucking my thumb, silently judging him.
At his mother’s insistence, Bobby stopped, hands on hips, his cape draped roguishly off his slim shoulders, and said, “Hi. I’m Wormy the Bermy”.
Not to be undone, I replied, “And I’m…Catty the Glady”.
In my defense, I was caught off guard. I had never met a superhero before and I clearly didn’t know the protocol. He was a superhero of the worm variety and I had an affinity for cats and a poor sense of rhyming ability, so Catty the Glady was the first thing to come to mind. All that was missing was my cape.
My mother must have intuitively assessed the situation because the next time I went to play with Wormy the Bermy, I had my very own cape. Either that or I whined incessantly until she made me one.
The citizens of Rockcliffe base were doubly protected that summer. Nothing escaped the attention of Wormy the Bermy and Catty the Glady. I don’t recall any crimes being committed so I take full credit for that. You’re welcome, Rockcliffe. You’re welcome.
I’m not sure what became of Wormy the Bermy. I think of him from time to time and in my mind I imagine him as an adult, saving damsels in distress, vanquishing alien invaders, or still living in his parent’s basement, queuing up for an open phone line on Coast to Coast Am to discuss the latest conspiracy theory. Wherever he is, I hope he’s well and that he still has his cape.
I no longer have my cape, but I don’t think I need it anymore. I have a new superpower instead. I can now overcome writer’s block at will.
Catty the Glady strikes again.