And the only thing that worked out were the drink and tattoo. But it is an amazing tattoo.
I wish I could say that my characters were chattering away in the back of my head, telling me where they would go-what they would do-who they would talk with, but they were silent. It was just me down there. The aspiring author looking around for things to tuck away for later use.
The smell of stale beer, plastered across everything and following me back to my hotel room. The uneven pavement rolling up to meet me even when I’m sober. The dark doorways that unroll a welcome mat of air conditioning. The barkers that look through me like I am not there, only to point their laser-like focus toward the man behind me.
Still, that is now…I want to see it as it will be in my story.
Abandonded, dangerous, full of ghosts.
But it already is. I look from the deadened eyes of the drunk; to the desperate, mostly-nude girl hanging from the window and I see all the ghosts I need to see. And instead of giving me inspiration…they fill me with sadness. It is a sadness which drives me to pick up my pen, and keeps me in my room most of my time there. And still I feel like I’ve captured nothing of the city I love so much.
And I begin to wonder if that is not the plight of the author?
To always want to present these twinkling jewels of experience to our readers only to be, once finished, left with roughly polished stone.