I was in a Dostoyevsky state of mind. Of course one can only be in a Dostoyevsky state of mind when it’s hell cold, and so it was. I had on my big coat, a scarf, a wool hat with those flappy things on the ears, and my moose-skin gloves. You know what’s really cool about these gloves? They come with a picture of the moose they were made of.
I don’t know much about Dostoyevsky, but from the stuff he wrote I’m assuming he must have lived a pretty wretched life. I mean, it was Russia like a hundred years ago, how can it not suck?
I had nothing in particular to do that day, no where to go, no one to see. It was just a day that started and so I waited for it to finish. After walking around a bit, as long as I just could, until the cold drove me indoors and since I had no change to spare for sitting in a cafe, I stepped into the train station, to the waiting room, and stood like an idiot facing the wall. I can go for a long time like that, standing motionless, facing a wall. People think something must be wrong with you so they let you be.
“Hey, why are standing like that, facing the wall?”
I turned my head, and saw this girl at the other corner looking at me. She was wearing this massive Eskimo parka, but black, and had a white thingy on her head, one of those silly hats that you see French painters wear in movies. She was pretty, and she was looking at me.
“It’s warmer this way,” I said.
“No it’s not.”
“Well, you know, it helps me… ahm, think about stuff.”
“Stuff to write. Yeah. I’m a writer, and when I get a writer’s lock I look at walls and ideas come to me.”
“It’s called ‘writer’s block’ not 'writer’s lock’.”
“We Canadians say 'writer’s lock’.”
“We? I’m Canadian too you dork. I’m right here, don’t I? And my accent? Hello?”
I rolled my eyes so she would think that I’m not impressed, turned back to the wall, and made a concentrating face. But all I was thinking was, does she have big ones?
“Alright, alright, ideas from the wall, I get it, no need to get hurt.”
She came by and stood next to, facing the wall as well, curiously staring at it. I tried really hard not to look at her, to keep my eyes on the wall. We just stood there for a while, staring at the wall, and you know what, I did get some nice ideas there. She later told me she had some too.
Image by Philip LePage
Writing by Assaf Dudai