I don’t write as often as I did when I was younger, but I have remembered something interesting after arriving in New York. When I was in high school, and middle school, we were told to never look at a blank page. Never sit and stare at a blank word document or a sheet of notebook paper because it is draining to the mind. I can sit and stare at an empty page forever and still not get anything done, but if I walk away I can think of something eventually. If I can get something, anything, down on a piece of paper then I can usually turn it into something relatively worth reading. So, that’s what I do.
In New York, the “inspiring image” that reminded me of what I was taught in school was entering the dorms. Two beds, two desks and chairs, and two dressers with plain white brick walls and nothing interesting in there but unpacked suitcases. Looking at bare walls and wide empty white space I had to laugh. I couldn’t fix it then, and I can’t do much about it now, but the thought of decorating the dorm room is entertaining. To turn the room into something that directly reflects the me that knows nothing about New York and still give the room personality makes me laugh. Even if it’s just a blank room, with random stuff for three weeks, I have been here. For three weeks I get to make an impression here in New York, in my dorm, which most of the people I know will never get the chance to do. For three weeks, this room isn’t just an empty space. It’ll be a place filled with ideas and personal art.
For my blank slate, my suitcases were the random words or phrases that started a novel, the random sketches in a notebook to gather inspiration, the homeless guy that wasn’t on the stoop yesterday who inspired a photo. The memory of a grade school teaching that echoed my dorm room was random and would never have happened anywhere else. This is my first time in New York and in a dorm. And all it took was to see my suitcases on the floor in a relatively empty white room.