Whales and Vacant Pages
I’ve been staring at my laptop for 30 minutes. The blank document on my screen stares back at me- daring me to type my first word. Sighing, I look up ‘writing prompts’. It has come down to this.
List after list, I scourge the internet. Nothing. Nothing appeals to me. Frustrated, I push my laptop away and fumble around in the dark, looking for my phone. May as well call it a day. As I get ready to turn myself in for the night, my mind is still fixated on those prompts. Surely there must be something I could write about.
I lie in bed and stare at the ceiling. Silence. I can hear my thoughts. Ugh. I pick up my phone- temporarily blinded by the bright red spiderman wallpaper- and lazily scroll my way to Spotify. Ah, peace at last. It’s just me and my favourite whale playlist. Nothing beats this.
Pause for dramatic effect
Wait a minute. I sit up straight- a little too straight might I add. Pain shoots up my spine. Months of slouching over a laptop will do that to you. Ignoring the pain, I grab my laptop and hurriedly turn it back on. I smile triumphantly at the blank document. Aha! I win, you lose- I think to myself as I type in my title.
Perfect. Why didn’t I think about this before? Ever since I was a child I loved whales. I fell asleep to the sounds of calming whale playlists every night. Lord knows I’ve watched Free Willy way too many times, sobbing every single time. It was the perfect thing to write about. I mean I love whales, so it shouldn’t be hard to write about something you love, right?
I feel my heart sink a little. I have nothing to say. No. I won’t give in that easily. Frantically I Google the word ‘whale’. I see pictures of these magnificent creatures. If you ask me to tell you about the different species of whales, I can recite them like a well-trained parrot. I mean, how could anyone hate whales? They’re big, beautiful, strong, and oh so majestic. Now if only this picture of a humpback whale could conjure up sentences in my brain.
How much time do I have before I give up altogether? Not long.
Beginning to feel suffocated, I crack open my window. I sit there, leaning against the frame of my bed in what is probably the most unhealthy posture, scrolling mindlessly. I watch videos of Luna, a wild orca, friendly gray whales, the cutest little foxes and cats in tiny boxes, trying to stifle the spurts of laughter that threaten to erupt in my mouth.
A loud clap of thunder startles me, and I wake up disoriented. My headphones are almost slipping off my head, my glasses are clinging for dear life, dangling limply from one ear. Somewhere in between watching David Attenborough, Property Brothers, and ‘Almost Perfect Murder’, I had fallen asleep. Youtube is one gigantic rabbit hole.
I look at the clock on the wall and curse myself. I need to sleep before those aggravating pigeons on my AC unit wake up and start a riot. I press play on my phone and close my eyes, slowly drifting away to the calming sounds of the ocean and singing whales.
Blank document – 1, Anika – 0
Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow with an epiphany, maybe I won’t. But for now, I will lie here and dream about 100-foot whales, cats that speak like David Attenborough, and serial killers who want to remodel their homes. I sleep peacefully, knowing that I will triumph over the daunting blank document, and even if I don’t, I take comfort in the fact that I will be welcomed by another YouTube rabbit hole with its arms wide open.