There Are So Many Experiences I Want To Write About Having HadCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 40•39 • Sep 29, 2004 By Jason Erikson Jason Erikson As a writer, I have powers of observation far greater than those of the average person. Nothing gets by me. Sometimes, as I sit typing in my dank, dusty, windowless room, I stop and marvel at the tapestry of life. When I think about all the escapades that could inform my writing, my mind reels! The world is my keyboard's oysterI just need to get out there and experience all the things that are waiting to be written about. I long to be sitting in my tiny writer's garret remembering the open road! I wish I were leaning back in my chair, contently recalling the sensation of the wind in my hair as an 18-wheeler shot past me on the highway. Were I able, I would describe in vivid detail the colorful trucker who pulled over and beckoned me inside his cab with a majestic blast of a powerful air-horn and a wave of his tattoo-covered arm. Oh, the valuable life lessons I would have learned hitchhiking in search of America. To have memories like that! I could go to the farthest reaches of Africa and then return to my room to write about them. Think of the passion I could bring to my account of the poverty-stricken peoples of that vast continent! Though the friends I'd meet would at first appear to be pathetic, uneducated barbarians, I'd soon learn that these savages were as humanor more soas I. Think of the pathos their wretched lives would bring to my hours of solitary typing! Perhaps their quiet dignity would rub off on me. It moves me, to think I might capture their quiet sufferinghow beautifully it would translate onto the page. How I long to write about the thrill of leaping out of an airplane at 10,000 feet! To describe the sensation of being completely and utterly in the moment, confronted by death itself. It would be the high point of my life, to look down and see my own story listed on the cover of GQ. I can just taste all the wonderful life experiences out there waiting to be had! I can imagine feeling the keys under my fingertips as I type out paragraph after passionate paragraph about all the incredible things I'd seen and done! Then, thanks to my skill and maturity as a writer, all those things would be transferred into beautiful language any educated reader would find both accessible and moving. Then my experiences would not belong to me alone, but to the world. Oh, how my soul yearns to write about Europe! If I were ever to visit there, I'm sure I would keep a notebook with me to write down every instance of mind-expanding cultural sophistication. How I long to sit in a sidewalk café in Paris, jotting down what it's like to sit there! How I long to remember meeting you there, my future love. The pain of leaving you behind! I could write an entire novel about that! Even as I sit hunched over the word processor, my heart sings out at all I could do and write down! I long to pine for the vastness of the sea! I crave the thrill of bullets whistling past my ears in a West Bank combat zone. It would be so incredible to seeto really seean innocent man die. And then to writeto really, truly writeabout the injustice of that man's death. And then to have people who buy Granta readreally, truly, and utterly readabout that death with their own eyes. Of course, I would not escape such carnage unscathed: The emotional scars would be invisible to the naked eye, but totally evident in the depth of my astounding writing.