It was an ordinary day. The air smelled of honey, the bees buzzed to and fro. Clyde walked to the cafe with his book bag in hand. He had been working on his collection of essays, and it was his routine to complete all of his writing at Sandy’s Sunshine Cafe. He needed to hear the pots and pans clinking, the customers voices; he needed all of his thoughts to be focused by the chaotic symphony of the cafe; through all of the noise, he found the gentlest quiet and it was just him and his laptop, sustaining each other.

The following day Clyde woke up to a sun drenched room. He stretched his arms in the air, then rubbed his dog Frederick’s head. Frederick was an Irish Setter. He sat with his head extended, then got up and gave a happy bark to indicate that he was ready for his morning meal.

“Come on, Frederick, let’s get you some breakfast.”

Frederick wagged his tail in approval.

“Frederick, I’m almost done writing my collection of essays! I think today will be the day. Of course, I’ll have to go through and edit, but I may wait a while, give myself some space first, then come back with fresh eyes. I’ll begin a new project, I think.”

Clyde smiled at his companion whose eyes seemed to take in everything he said. He set Frederick’s food bowl down and he began to lap up his kibble.

After Clyde dressed, he combed his wiry hair, took his book bag from his office, and said goodbye to Frederick.

As he approached the cafe, he took in a deep breath. He entered the cafe, placed his order, and found a table in the middle of the room. He heard his name and went to retrieve his order: A double mocha delight with extra whipped cream. His laptop was open, the cursor was blinking, he took a sip of his mocha, placed his hands over the computer to begin typing, but Clyde felt a strange twinge soar through his stomach. He moved his hands from the keyboard. His mind was blank. He opened one of his documents to see if it would help. He read. He readied his hands again, but nothing happened. He felt as though he had forgotten how to write. Words would not come. Thoughts were bungled up. He felt so fine that morning. Frederick had encouraged him with his deep set eyes, with his wagging tale. What was different, he thought. What happened?

Even though he had been steadily working on his collection of essays, deep down he had felt that his writing was diminishing. He couldn’t quite explain it. He was unable to articulate it and it had been haunting him for days. He had been avoiding the thought, trying to bury it, but here it was staring right back at him.

Had he been too caught up in his diminished sense of self as it related to his writing? He wondered to himself if it were quite possible to actually get worst at something that one had been doing for so long, something that was your life blood, that had come as second nature at one time. He didn’t understand. How could you get worst at writing? How was that possible! He felt a combination of being paralyzed and dried up.

He took a few sips of his mocha, he tried to pull himself together, and then he typed: I can’t write. What has happened to my writing. Where have my thoughts gone? He didn’t feel any better, but he was glad to have at least written those words of truth. He knew he needed both a break and to keep at it. He knew that eventually he would find that spark again.

He became aware of the background noise that had been a source of joy. Today, though, the clanking and buzzing voices assaulted him. He felt that he needed to get out of there. He packed up, stuffing his laptop into his book bag with a thrust of defeat.