A column about nothing

By Helena Rodriguez: PNT Columnist

Here’s a column about Nothing. That’s when I do my best writing. When I write about Nothing.
Sometimes I have so much to say about Nothing that I can’t stop writing. It’s when I try to write about Something that I’m at a loss for words.
Jerry Seinfeld made millions of dollars writing about Nothing. That Nothing turned out to be really Something. But actually, this column is not about Nothing. It’s about A Bunch of Little Things.
Don’t you love these capitalizations? I can get away with it if you will consider this column a form of prose, without the rhymes. Just play along with It, OK.
This is my attempt to write about “stream of consciousness,” something I’ve been studying in my British Literature class. It’s where the writer, that would be me, writes all of a character’s (that would be me, too) thoughts on paper, whether or not it makes sense.
Anyway, with stream of consciousness, you write everything that comes into your mind. Like right now for instance, I’m writing this column but my mind has wandered off to Subway to order a turkey and bacon sandwich. Hold the guacamole.
OK, I’m back now.
Stream of consciousness is uncensored thoughts without regard to the main subject at hand. This technique was used by 19th century French writer, Edouard Dujardin, (by the way, this dude needs one of those accent things over the “E” in his first name. You can draw one in yourself. We’re trying to save ink here). Others include Irish-born writer James Joyce and British author, Virginia Woolf.
But you really don’t want to know everything going on in my mind, so I will do some self-imposed censoring. The thoughts that I can share are mostly jumbled up mental Post-It notes.
OK, pick up Crystal at 3 p.m. Pick up Laura from track practice at 4:30. But today’s Wednesday, at least it was when I wrote this column, so I also need to get Marili sometime in between that. Are they running at the junior high or high school today? Do I have time to run by the Dollar Store and check my mail in between? I really need to start working on that science fiction story that is due Saturday. What the #&$! (a self-censored thought) was I thinking when I signed up for that 9 a.m. Saturday morning class?
Stream of consciousness is all about the little things, which I seem to have trouble remembering these days. I have to write myself notes and then write myself notes to remember to read my notes. Note to self. Buy pocket size tape recorder to start storing notes to self.
I took Mom out to lunch at Juanito’s for her birthday last week. We had a great Mother-Daughter talk. Wait, no, we ended up arguing over the war in Iraq. We weren’t yelling, throwing jabs or making a scene. We just traded strong opinions across the table. To make matters worse, neither Julie, nor Dad nor Nana was there to referee like they usually do, so we just kept going. But being the mature, respectable women we are, we took a few more cheap shots at each other and then gracefully moved on to another subject. I won’t say who took what position, but that sure is one hell of a mess Bush has got us in.
After that, I took Mom home and she said, “Thanks for lunch, I had a good time.” However, I don’t recall hearing her say, “We should do that again sometime soon.”
I’m not pro-Bush but I’m not pro-Kerry either. In a country this size, which prides itself in freedom, we should have more than two choices, including a “None Of The Above” option. That’s not really a democracy. But that’s enough politics. I took a vow of silence when it comes to writing about politics a few years ago, but that was after I got my two cents in about a certain Rick Perry, the governor of a not-so-far-off land. That was when I worked at another newspaper, in another state, during another lifetime.
Anyway, I use that word “anyway” a lot, don’t I. It’s part of that “stream of writing” thing I just invented. Anyway, I like writing about Nothing better. Like I said before, maybe Nothing is Something. I could write a book about Nothing; maybe even get paid. Who says you can’t get Something for Nothing?