Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Watching the space

Several months ago, a tired, run-down and empty building put brown paper over all the windows, hiding its plans from the outside world. A sign went up that said, simply, Watch This Space.

Almost every day since then, I’ve stopped at some point during my daily grind to stare at it. Sometimes there were rustlings behind the paper. I’ve never seen a person come or go, but sometimes I hear them moving around in there, scraping sounds that could be furniture…or somebody applying drywall…or…something…

Sometimes, the door is cracked open and I can peek inside and see…well, not much, really. Paint brushes on top of closed cans; a floor covered with neatly taped newspaper; ladders leaning against walls and looking oddly abandoned; that kind of thing.

Watch This Space, the sign confidently says.

So I watch. I watch, and wait, and wonder what it will be. When it will be.

Some days, I’m sure it will soon be something amazing; I think of the miracles fresh paint and carpet can bring about, how the application of human ingenuity and affection can breathe such life into mere things, and I look at the brown paper and the Watch This Space sign and envision Boutique d’Awesome, which will have more amazing, almost magical things than can I can imagine.

Other days, I find my attitude to be a bit less sunny. I stare at the motionless place, the hasn’t-actually-changed-in-all-this-time building on the run-down street in this economically depressed town and find myself certain that whatever it was going to be, whatever it thought it was going to become…it hasn’t got a prayer. It’s going to just stay nothing, forever.

 It’s just going to stay like this, promising…well, promising nothing.

 An instruction to “watch this space” doesn’t actually promise a damn thing, come right down to it. Shoot, could just be a big old joke, you know? Let’s pretend we’re going to come up with something GRAND, and see how long we can keep people stopping to see if it’s there yet, hahahaha!

And then I’m rather annoyed, because I feel like I’ve been played.

Except that the next day, or the day after that…well…I’d swear I heard something that might have been somebody installing…ovens? Or moving a piano? An Irish accent, or the chime of crystal.

Definitely there’s…something…coming soon…probably…maybe…

So I keep watching the space. Maybe today. Or tomorrow. Or next month. Almost certainly by second quarter this year, don’t you think?


It’s probably pretty close to ready. Almost has to be.

I just need to…be patient. Give it the time it clearly needs. Have a little faith.

A little trust.

Except, it’s taking longer than I’m used to waiting.

And I don’t like that empty building. It’s creepy, and unnatural. And…kind of sad, too. Like it wants to be something glamorous, or meaningful, or useful, or…something.

Something that bustles, instead of just sitting there trying to work up the energy to finish what it started.

It wouldn’t bug me so much if it weren’t my own mind I’m talking about here. Which has been just kind of…sitting there for about three months longer than forever, insincerely muttering “…working on it…” at me every time I’ve asked how things were going, whether it had anything, you know, to share with the class.

It really does feel like I’m a run-down building trapped in some kind of infinite loop of any second now, I’m going to have a “ta-da!” moment, and then you’ll see, I’m pretty sure whatever-it-is that I’m trying to finish coming up with is going to be pretty cool, and you’ll be, like, WOW, and I’ll be, like, I KNOW, RIGHT?! and then…we’ll be HAPPY and BUSY and ENERGETIC again, instead of this weird, tired, EMPTY, I-just-wanna-siddown-and-stare-at-something-that-doesn’t-WANT-anything-from-me thing…

It doesn’t even have the decency to be something dramatic like depression, or significant psychological event, or anything else I could, with a straight face, use as an excuse for the overall meh-ness I’ve been exhibiting for a while now.

OH no. It’s nothing new, it’s nothing meaningful…arguably, it’s even a good thing, a part of a natural cycle of feast-and-famine that puts me in a state of (sorta) rest.

I’m usually a person who can find ways to complicate her life without even trying, and be convinced that it’s a hundred kinds of awesome. But every so often, for no apparent reason, well, my little ship rushes headlong into the doldrums and the sails go pfffffffffth*flutter*flop and, well…there I am. Stuck. Sitting there. Rocking on becalmed seas, waiting for a breeze that feels like it will never come.

I never see it coming. It always bewilders me. No matter how many times it has happened to me throughout my life, I always find myself dumbstruck by its advent. What the…?! Whaddya mean, ‘Don’t know, don’t care, don’t wanna, leave me alone, I’m tired’?! C’mon, let’s do…SOMETHING! Let’s…make…maybe we could…you know what would be cool? Huh? you know what would…c’mon, work with me here, I can’t finish that sentence without you, Creativity, let’s go, OFF the bench…c’mon!...HERE we go…!

And it’ll make a half-hearted effort, rustle some papers around, get out the brushes and the cans of paint, set a ladder against the wall, point at a few items that might do with a makeover…and then while I’m not looking, it just waddles off to the nearest chair, plops down, and flips on a video game or starts a new anime series or buries its nose in a book and refuses to look up.

You know we REALLY need to get the seedlings started for the spring planting, right? I’ll ask.


Hey. HEY. Talkin’ to you here! I was thinking of casting on a vest or something. What do you think? Maybe I could make…something…you know…vest-y…with YARN?


So! Um! How about…you know that thing you were…there was, it was, like…? You wanna…?


sigh…ooookayyyy, maybe not…

Now, I know how this will go down. Just when I think that this time, maybe it’s really forever; maybe I used up the very last of my energy somehow, maybe I’m just all dried up, maybe…oh perish the thought!...I have become a grownup, and this is how they are, you know, just all go to work, come home, yell about chores and homework and dishes and go to bed so we can get up and do it all again the next day…right when I’m starting to say to myself, you know, it’s probably a good thing, because, it IS rather restful, you know, this whole ‘I don’t feel like doing anything, I’m just going to sit here and do NOTHING instead’ and after all, you really SHOULD act your age, because being a goofball is a bit…ahem…well, YOU know, at YOUR AGE for heaven’s sake…you could at least PRETEND to be mature now and then…right about then, as I’m reconciling to being just kind of blah and deciding it’s just fine by me…I’ll suddenly hear myself thinking…

…ever so quietly…but oh so brightly…

…oooooooo…you know what would be COOL…?

And ten minutes later I will be happily overcomplicating my life again, up to my elbows in projects no sane person would ever undertake, complaining about things being crazy then turning right around and going, “How cool is this!” like it makes perfect sense to carve smooshed-together bars of almost-used-up soaps into blobs that look like squashed zucchinis and insisting they are ‘obviously’ walruses and such.

But until then…well…there’s really not much I can do, except believe that something is happening behind the papered-up windows and shut doors, and wait patiently to see what it is.

Watch the space, and wait for it to become a sign.

Aaaaaaaany day now…


(Patience: not my strong suit)


PipneyJane said...

You could be my twin. Seriously, my brain is mimicking yours right now. It has excuses: I'm tired; I'm sick (yet another cold); I think I'm getting shingles again (itchy rash on tummy and feeling knackered); I'm working too hard; my hours are too long; not enough sleep; etc, etc. And I'm left wondering why, at other times, I can get so much done but, right now, everything is an effort and rather "meh". I feel like I've had a year of this and I'm rather fed up by it.

- Pam

PS: I think I've just figured out why I liked going to site so much - I'd get 7+ hours sleep a night there. Wonderful!)

Jane said...

I know the feeling, but for me it is usually winter-time, and not enough light. I hope you feel better soon!

The Incredible M. said...

I feel you. I'm quite convinced that SOMETHING is happening when my brain does that, but the little [redacted] does not deign to share. This is usually when I paint my toenails and de-crap the house or do other menial stuff. I'm always happier when my toenails are pretty colors. Also this is when I watch way, way too much crappy TV. Often way too late at night.

Anonymous said...

Ho hummmmmmm. Same here.
Nancy FP in Ferndale