The Cursor Mocks Me

calvin-on-writingIn general, I loathe stories where the main character is a writer or the subject is writing. “Oh, you, a writer, wrote a story about a writer? How imaginative. How ever did you manage to dislodge your own genitalia from your mouth? Be honest, you just didn’t want to research literally any other field of work, did you? ” Of course there are exceptions, but, usually using this as a shortcut for characterization comes off as lazy, unrelatable, self-aggrandizing and exposing a lack of life experience.

Equally perturbing is the diatribe about writer’s block. There have been an embarrassing number of publications about wayward writers clinging to a muse as personified by the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” rather than dare face the menace that is writer’s block. These tropes are palpably hackneyed, trod, and retrod while dragging a dead horse that is being flogged with a smaller dead horse (a metaphor beaten beyond the afterlife by a hundred dead duck-sized horses).

Not sure if it's the source, but here's where I found the image.
Image source. Artist is Seamus Gallagher.

Yet, here I sit, with the cursor mocking me. It blinks, relentlessly it blinks pulsing like the Tell-Tale Heart as thought it implores me to confess some sort of nonsensical absurdity, the blinking pounding on my brain like…well, like a metaphor I don’t want to use involving minorities and authority figures (too soon?).

The cursor mocks me and my arbitrary obligation to myself to write something, anything. The cursor bullies me like a cretinous schoolyard reprobate into regurgitating this mea culpa. Just as soon as I satisfy its insatiable blink, there it is again, reappearing as the interminable blinking line after what you have just written and the oblivion of what is yet to be committed to word. The pace reflects that of my mildly panicked heart.People-carrying-cursor-arrow

Wait, is that the “cursor”? I thought the cursor was the arrow that darts around when you use the mouse/pad? Does it mean both? Is this a situation like the word “buffalo” where it means five different things? Can I make a sentence like “Cursor cursor cursor Cursor cursor cursor”? (You trivia and grammar nerds should love that joke.) Do words have meaning anymore?

The blinking echoes my hypocrisy, telling me what I already know, “I see what you’ve written here, I see how you try to call out your contradiction ahead of time so others can’t do it and how you’re doing it again. But I demand more.” Too bad, cursor, you get nothing more than this, me turning in on myself, indulging my insecurities, imploding like a dying star (there’s that self-aggrandizement of someone writing about writing I was talking about).


Add yours →

  1. Buffalo the city
    buffalo the animal
    buffalo the style of “wings” (which I’m beginning to think are not, in fact, related to the wings of actual buffalo)

    5?? Are you sure 5??


  2. Your Right . . . . . . . . . . . . . HAH AHAhaha ha hah a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


  3. Oh, dear friend, Pickleope. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The fact is, despite our best efforts, we’re all hypocrites who compromise our standards given the right circumstance.

    Every single one of us.


  4. Occasionally, I accidentally start reading a novel about a middle-aged writer who works at a university as an English professor and has writer’s block. Every single time, I feel like yelling “D’oh!” and slapping myself for letting it get past my gates.

    Here is the (actual) synopsis of the movie, “Wonder Boys,” which is an adaptation of a book by Michael Chabon:

    “Grady (Michael Douglas) is a 50-ish English professor who hasn’t had a thing published in years — not since he wrote his award winning “Great American Novel” 7 years ago. This weekend proves even worse than he could imagine as he finds himself reeling from one misadventure to another in the company of a new wonder boy author.”

    Oh, and is your buffalo/cursor thing anything like the lyrics of Lil Wayne? You know, “If this racial epithet didn’t rhyme with itself, rapping would be hard.”


    • I enjoyed Wonder Boys. It’s quirky and has some good performances.


    • I am so excited! Rarely do I get to be the pompous one who claims to have only read the book, but now’s my chance! I haven’t seen your referred to novel–I mean the movie! Crap. I buffaloed that one up completely. I read the Chabon book and I liked Wonder Boys. This is despite the Grady character not being a stand-in for the author, it is still irritating because the character could have almost any another profession and the story could still work. But these are the ramblings of a non-novelist.


  5. abeerfortheshower July 13, 2015 — 9:40 am

    Meanwhile, this comment cursor is just blinking at me, taunting me. Say something clever. Say something unique. Now’s your moment to shine.

    “Great post!”

    Crap, I failed. I deserve every bit of buffaloing I get.


  6. I’m at a loss for words. Is that like buffalo blowing or is that something totally different?


  7. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary
    1. the city
    2. bamboozle or bewilder
    3. buffalo fish
    4. a tap dance step
    5. the wings that other people eat and I don’t
    6. something derived from the American buffalo, such as a blanket or rug
    7. buffalo bean
    8. buffalo berry
    9. buffalo bug
    10. buffalo bunchgrass
    11. buffalo bur
    12. buffalo chips (you do NOT eat them)

    Okay, I’m sick of this. About a million more things use the word buffalo. For your purposes, I think my first six will do.

    Q. Is using the dictionary cheating?
    A. Fuck, no. Dictionaries are meant to be used.

    Q. Why does your cursor blink? Mine doesn’t blink.
    A. Oh, you must mean the way it goes on and off and on and off. I thought you meant blink as in a light.

    Q. What does the cursor sentence mean?
    A. I’m a grammarian, and I do not have time to waste on getting the joke that probably is not there, or if it’s there, it’s not amusing in the least.



    • Oh, I always forget something and have to reply to myself. First, Janie, I love you. You are brilliant. Second, I don’t believe in writers block. If you don’t know what to write, then just write crap. Crap quite often leads to happy writing experiences. Third, it annoys the hell out of me that so many characters in movies work at magazines or newspapers. Hasn’t anyone mentioned to the writers, directors, and producers that print journalism is swirling in the toilet? I also hate the medical shows with the doctors who say a kid has chicken pox. That would be highly unlikely now that there’s a vaccine for chicken pox, but the TV doctors use it every damn time. Of course, we must take into account the idiots who refuse to vaccinate their children.

      Mama is tired now.


      • My guess is that those writers are like me, in their mid-to-late 30’s with no children and even less of a clue that there’s a vaccine for chicken pox now. I’m from a time when parents arranged for chicken pox parties when one of the neighborhood kids got it so that the other kids would get it asap. Sadism under the guise of love. Parents are pretty cool that way.


    • The cursor sentence is in reference to your list of buffalo meanings. You can make a full sentence using just buffalo. I left some links in the post, but the sentence that has full meaning goes, “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” And it means something. Seriously. Copy, paste, Wikipedia, enjoy. Or just click on the link provided in the post.


  8. Ok I have nothing in way of comment, nothing, really nothing comes to mind doesn’t that suck so I will just leave now and maybe my next visit my brain will be working


  9. Cursor, Noun: (1) arrow; (2) one who curses but gets vowels mixed up; (3) short, as in cursory. Verb: (4) to cure a sore. (5) Dyslexic verb tense=to sore a cure.
    An interesting aside about said cursor: When done by a buffalo from Buffalo who’s been buffaloed, it looks like: Cursor cursor cursor cursor cursor cursor Cursor.
    Oy vey, I’ve never typed such a useless comment. Nah, I have. I just don’t wanna acknowledge it. It was fun. Thank you, Pickelope Von Pickelope.


  10. Have no idea what writer’s block could possibly be. I reckon one could write about the cursor and nothing could be cursor than a cursing cursor that suddenly makes me think of Buffalo and what happened in 1976 in America as they celebrated their “Bisontennial” and apologies for this run-on sentence which is happening because it’s gone three in the morning and I’m tired and I have no idea what your post was about because I’m tired and it’s gone three in the morning….

    Gary 🙂


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