This morning I had a sentence. It came to me as I sat on the bus starring out into the darkness and snow-covered gardens. I remember that the bus was turning when it came to me, the parents who talked about their children’s problems with friends (“I don’t think it’s good for her to have one best friend that she hangs out with all the time, what if she moves, or gets ill?”, “Sara said that she thought that they were keeping her out of their friendship, but I don’t know, it’s always hard to tell). Before that I had this sentence. I did not know where it came from but when it came to me, oddly enough in English, it filled me with peace.
For a short while, before the parents, I felt like a real writer. Like someone who just comes up with brilliant sentences and then begins to ponder what masterful prose that they can bring. It was dark and cold, so it was not a happy sentence. It had what people like to call a sense of Nordic melancholia about it. I remember thinking that it had a nice flow, a wonderful flow, one of those flows that I envy when I read really good writers.
So there I am, in the dark suburban landscape thumping along on the snow-covered road, thinking about my melancholic sentence and feeling pretty good about things. And then the parents arrive, with their I’ve-been-up-five-hours-being-the-perfect-and-understanding-parent energy and too loud conversations about their children. The sentence, that free flowing line that made me feel like a writer evaporates, without me even noticing it, without me ever realizing it. I step out of the bus among the hordes of people and it is gone. I pass the saxophone player in his Santa outfit but this time there is no smile on my face.