AM I … DEAD?

death bench

by Joe Buonfiglio

The wind has gone still.

The outdoor cacophony of neighborhood lawnmowers and leaf blowers and barking dogs and rumbling delivery trucks forming annoyances in and distractions for my otherwise imagination-engaged brain are suddenly silent.

The office clock that incessantly ticks in the background is conspicuous by its abrupt muting.

The labored breathing sounds of this perpetually allergic man aren’t just alarmingly shallow; they’re imperceptible.

In addition, I have writer’s block.

No, you don’t understand. Yes, I am a writer. No, I do not get blocked. I NEVER get writer’s block. To the contrary, I don’t know when to stop writing, not find it difficult to start. “Killing my darlings” editing down is my problem, NOT struggling to fill a page.

Any one of these by themselves is not cause for concern. However, taking into account the simultaneous manifestation of each event, it begs the question…

Am I … DEAD?

At this moment, I gaze upon the framed $25 check I received for the first story I had published in which I was bestowed with actual payment to write. (No, it was not my last check, smartass.) It was many years ago from the publisher of Skylight magazine out of St. Augustine, Florida, for a fun little piece about fictional theoretical formulas relating to the physics of cats titled, “Feline Physics.”

Now I sit in my chilly little office on an unseasonably cold spring day staring at the blank digital page …. dead. My brain appears to have seized up even on the most instinctual level, let alone giving way to any higher functions such as creativity.

Is this the end of the line?

Oh, I could resort to mindlessly pounding on my computer keyboard and banging out some fart jokes, throw out the word “FUCK!” every other sentence or once again flirt with the notion of the masturbatory practices of the Emperor penguin. And believe me; I’m certainly not beyond ANY of that should the spirit move my Muse in such a direction. However, at the moment, those don’t offer any inspiration. It would only be a forced march that you’d all see through instantly.

Even my fallback monkey-fucker witticisms don’t seem to offer a hope of bringing a smile to my face.

An emotionless face.

A face reflecting an impotency of thought.

Artistically dead.

Dead.

But if I’m dead, where am I?

Am I in Heaven?

No, there’s no beer and pizza.

Hell?

No. There’s no reality TV.

Am I in New Jersey?

No, it doesn’t smell bad.  Well, no worse than my office usually smells.

So, am I really dead?  I must be, because I never, ever get writer’s block.

Wait.

Did I just finish my blog post?

Never mind.

Oh, and the office clock’s batteries are just out of juice … … … as, apparently, am I.

© 2016 Joseph P. Buonfiglio     All Rights Reserved.

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