I was going to write about…
I was going to write about old movies and shows that I like: about that twinkle in my eye when Katherine Hepburn graces the screen in The Philadelphia Story, or about how watching Raymond Burr play the part of Perry Mason is an extension of my childhood. I used to dig my nose into books filled with the mischief of the Olsen Sisters and I wanted to keep house in a boxcar like in The Boxcar Children. I think that secretly I still do. It always struck me the way that Henry and Jessie, the older siblings, would care for their two younger ones, Violet and Benny.
I was going to write how I am fortunate enough to live in an era when some of the movies stars that can’t help but admire are still alive: about how I get to go to a question and answer session Cary Elwes, who played Westley in The Princess Bride, after a screening of the movie in the Hanover Theatre. I excitedly texted my friend to drag him along with me, and I’m not sure if he was excited but he’s stuck going with me now.
I was going to write about Philadelphia: about how the streets were so crowded that you felt that there were mere centimeters between you and the car squeezing by. About how we stayed in a flat that was so difficult to find that my father climbed out of the vehicle to find that entrance to the place we were looking for was around the corner. About how we had to struggle through a cramped hallway with all our bags and up a staircase that had rock climbing handlebars for stability in place of a railing. About how I slept next to a window where shops opening up at five in the morning awoke me, and where a train passed by every so often to make certain that I could not sleep.
And I was going to write about the Liberty Bell: About how it glowed in its encasement when I saw it at nine o’clock at night, and about how I leaned in to take a selfie with it but it wasn’t quite the right lighting. About how it feels to just be walking through history, to feel like statues of Ben Franklin are watching you wherever you go. To grace the pavers of a city that isn’t quite like any other, to know that there is a value to this that cannot be portrayed in school books. To hunt for gluten-free pretzels only to find that most of the bakery’s closed for the federal holiday.
I was going to write about the Vaughn Monroe Show: about how it is a tribute to one of the most unique artists of the 1940s. About how I was transported back in time to 1949. About how my mom and I wore elegant dresses, and watched cute old couples dance with each other. With every song, they would gasp in wonder at their memories. About how I know that at heart I am one of them, seventy years old and still excited about music and shows.
I was going to write about fall: the way the leaves have been turning into their majestic shades of red and gold. About the smashed jack-o-lantern that I already saw outside of my dorm even though Halloween weekend has not yet dawned on us. About how I’m still waiting to go apple picking and to have a sip of piping hot apple cider. About how I’m really just excited to be able to wear my beanies again.
But then, I guess that means I was going to write about everything. It’s not so much writer’s block as it is a game of Scrabble. I try to make sense of all the ideas in my head but none of them seem to stick.
And that’s why I can never seem to write column that doesn’t require days of thought before my fingers touch the keys.
Maia Campbell, a senior, studies political science. She is the Campus Life Editor for Le Provocateur.