How I Write – Colleen Maynard
Lately I write in one of the quieter lobbies of the Hilton on campus now that students are gone for the summer. As front desk supervisor at a museum, I’m completely infatuated with the stillness of University in late May. It won’t last. My drink of choice is a soy cortado (thank you, hospitality training program) before demoting to black refills or tea in nearly any non-teabag form. My soundtrack’s the subtly soothing hum of non-controversial canned Muzak. I go in and out of hallucinations of kicking the vinyl seats at Bill Knapp’s restaurant, a geriatric joint in Michigan that’s been bankrupt and shuttered since 2003*, the scent of all-day vegetable minestrone walking the halls. I shift back to present with a southern tea-sweet rendition of “Smells like Teen Spirit” on the soft synth. For the one hour-plus before work I scramble to cement these things that otherwise float somewhere between the air and my mind or just happened on my bike commute here. It coats my day with purpose and gets me thinking about what’s worth writing tomorrow.
*The Wikipedia page on Bill Knapp’s has been updated in the last two days. Someone else out in the void remembers these places and finds it worthy of their time to note them, and review or revise their notes at that. I feel less a freak.