Vol. 2, Issue 25, June 22, 2004
Dr. Watson Cures All.

My Kingdom for a Subject (so to Speak)

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

To the Thinking man, there are few activities so Taxing as the exercise of what some so Charmingly call "the Little Gray Cells." The mustering of Energies, the sheer effort of Will in ordering one's thoughts is a Draining process indeed. It is thus that one may see a Hale and Hearty young man toil all day at some physical task as Mining or laying Railroad Ties, and yet saunter home with a jaunty Bounce to his step, ready for a night of Revelry; whereas the Writer, the Barrister, the man sitting in apparent Comfort behind his desk must very nearly Stagger home in exhaustion after a day's work, and rarely goes to good Parties.

I explain this so you may understand my Predicament: for here I sit, braced to Wield the power of my editorial Office judiciously in service of our Readers for yet another week; but this week, alas, I am undone by a profound mental Lassitude. My pen lies Idle by my hand, its nib Unstained by ink: a fresh Blotter is carefully arranged nearby, unneeded. We go to Press in but an Hour: whence comes this Fog and how may I dispel it?

I went to ask Ephram how he proceeds, since he is fact quite the Expert on Lassitude and Inactivity. Alas, he was for Once away from his habitual Couch, perhaps not coincidentally because of those two Largish Fellows who came by the office Earlier today inquiring about some Debt or other. Emmett and Ernest were too busy preparing the Issue, and I did not wish to Disturb them as they were actually Working.

What then? To write of Life, of Politics? I spin my Globe to points Faraway, the better to prompt my Mind and Memory: Mesopotamia? Cathay? The Empire on which the Sun never Sets? Our own fair Land? The names Beckon me languidly from the pile of to-day's News-papers in a heap on the Floor: but naught Compels me this morning. To be sure, there are Outrages to rail against, touching Observations to offer, pithy Truisms to expound upon: but still my Pen lies idle. Perhaps another glass of 15 year old Bowmore. No! It does not suffice. I turned to the 17 year old Bowmore: still not Sufficient. In desperation, I opened the 30 year old Bowmore: but all I experienced was its subtle, warm and smoky Character. Inspiration remains Elusive.

Have I thus achieved the fabled state of idle medocritas so fervently Praised by Montaigne? Has my muse Forsaken me for another, perhaps Younger news-paper Editor? My pen lies still Idle: but as I heft it, I know Intuitively that this is but an intermezzo in the never-ending Routine of my work. Even God rested on the seventh day; shall I have the Temerity to call myself more Productive than he? I accept at last the Signs before me, and lay my pen to Rest back in its Case. We shall meet Again next week, when my Muse has returned from the Opera or wherever she has gone. In the meanwhile, I think a pre-prandial Stroll would be just Splendid.

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