By Cerise Zelenetz
My writer’s block is like a cube of ice, but a giant one. So big that it isn’t even clear anymore. It’s thick and opaque and you wouldn’t know it’s a cube by looking at it close up. The only way its geometric form is recognizable is by helicopter or standing on a bridge right before you bungee jump. You’d look down and say “hey, there’s that girl’s writer’s block.” And the cube would be there floating by with little black patches speckled throughout, and you wouldn’t know what those dark bits were but you wouldn’t care because you’d be about to jump off of a bridge so your attention would be focused on that for the most part and the part that wasn’t focused on that would have better things to worry about than my writer’s block, like your last will and testament or what you would make your family for dinner. Those specks are words though, and slowly I chip them out one by one. Sometimes they’re in clumps but sometimes they’re alone. And I have to wait for the block to soften a little so I can stick my pick in there and collect my frozen phrases. And sometimes it takes a long time because the words are far apart, spread throughout the block and my upper body strength isn’t that great and I can’t just ask someone to break open the ice for me because then I can’t use the words because someone else uncovered them, or if I do use them I’ll have to put a little note at the beginning of my story saying thank you so and so for picking through my block and that gets confusing for everyone involved. Sometimes I sit on top of my block with one of those space heaters I found in my father’s attic from the 80’s. It doesn’t work very well and it turns off here and there but I don’t mind. I sit up there and maybe play sudoku while I wait or drink a cup of lemon zinger tea which is the best because I’ll set it down in between sips and the heat from the mug will help thaw my cube. I’ll sit up there patiently and drink my beverage be it zinger or otherwise and think about what my words will be, and it’s exciting because I don’t know. I’ll make guesses sometimes at the next phrase to melt and sometimes I’ll be right but mostly not because there’s so many words under there. I can think of whole stories sometimes waiting for the heater to turn on and I’ll have this feeling that the story is definitely right, definitely in there and the next word will definitely be “caramelized” but that will usually be wrong too. I don’t care though because it helps pass the time and when my story does finally come out its frosty and reassuring and every word is just perfect.
Born in Southern Vermont; Cerise is a designer, artist & writer currently based in New York City. She has studied and lived in both New York and Paris, gathering inspiration from her surroundings. She uses writing to consider ideas of unsubstantiated nostalgia, exploring ways in which commonplace items are able to evoke the strongest emotions, however imagined those bonds may be.