Today I Will Make Something Beautiful

Today I Will Make Something Beautiful

Today is the day I will create something beautiful, with my words or my body or my thoughts or maybe even my camera, if I remember to charge the battery. I made the decision when I woke up a little too early, my right arm dead asleep above my head like a dried-out squid, and I thought to myself, “Sisneros, your arm is dead. You have drool on your pillow. What are you doing with your life?” And I wanted to cry a little, not because of some overwrought sense of anxious introspection, but because feeling was coming back to my arm and it felt like it was on fire.

So I got out of bed and tried to imagine what beautiful thing I might create. But I know you can’t force these things; it’s not like Michelangelo woke up one morning and was like “Oh, I think I’ll paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling today!” … Except that the Pope commissioned him to do it, and when Mike tried to say no the Pope was like, “No, you don’t have a choice dude,” so nevermind. I guess he pretty much knew he was going to make a beautiful thing that day. My point is, as long as I can stay focused, I’m sure something will come to me.

Art needs nourishment, and I’m only about ten blocks from a Taco Bell. I thought maybe the raw ethnicity and powerful cultural signifiers would inspire me to paint something beautiful with the Doritos dust on my fingers, or to write a story about a majestic but scantily-clad Aztec and a syphilitic Spaniard with a smallpox blanket, except that both of them are dogs. I bought three tacos: I’d send the first one down in the hopes that it would dredge up some creative juices; the second in case the first got distracted, frustrated, or afraid of the dark; and the third to go stomping in after to see what the fuck the hold-up was for.

Whatever I make, it’s almost certainly going to make you cry. I don’t know in what way it’s going to be powerful; maybe it will remind you of the last time you hurt your mom’s feelings. Maybe it will stir up some latent guilt you still harbor at not having put much thought toward Darfur. I don’t know, because obviously I haven’t made this beautiful thing yet that I’m definitely going to make today, but I have watched four episodes in a row of a TV show that shall remain nameless because it’s a major creative source for me and I just feel like that’s a really personal question, so exciting things should be happening any minute now, guys. Any minute.

I decided to drape my legs up the back of the couch and dangle my head toward the ground. I’m hoping the blood rush brings with it a faux-drug-induced high that may inspire me to write about colors or sandals or a bleak dystopian future. Like how Kerouac would take some Benzedrine and write about a mountain or Hemmingway would inhale an ice cream bucket of whiskey and dick punch two sharks. Art takes time, my friends, and when I create this beautiful thing you will gasp, point at it, and exclaim “LOOK! LOOK AT THAT BEAUTIFUL THING!”

But the sun has dipped, I’ve already taken an inspiration bath to no avail, I can’t find the camera battery charger, and I got my keyboard all greasy with taco stuff while browsing the internet. I’m out of Windex, and I can’t write with a greasy keyboard. So I’ll grab a permanent marker and draw a container with a dozen eggs in it on my thigh, each egg with its own unique funny face. I’ll call it a statement on women’s rights. Because if I go to bed not having created something beautiful, then I can’t call myself an artist, can’t call myself interesting enough to follow on Twitter, can’t call myself worthy to live in this city. Right?

Katie Sisneros

Photo by Roebot, Creative Commons