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Burb's Eye View: Food for procrastinated thoughts

September 13, 2011|By Bryan Mahoney

Blame the Fashion District for the following meandering through the synapses half-firing in the murky slime of my brain where the writing happens.

It’s currently about 8 p.m., a few hours shy of my deadline. Procrastination is a wonderful tool employed by writers who want a justification for a late-night sugar fix.

“What? It’s getting close to deadline — I have to make that coffee to fuel the creative fires!”

In a rare departure from tradition, I settle on a couple bottles of cream soda purchased at Pavilions, a grocery store where many of the same cashiers have worked for 10 years or more, according to their name tags.


I love that you can go to this store and discover the woman standing next to you in line is also on the cover of the soap opera magazine above the conveyor belt. Once you’re done with your order, the employees ask if you need help to your car. This kind of service has all but dissolved in the Northeast grocery chains I’m used to.

Now I’m in my comfiest chair, hoping its softly stitched arms and pillowy backrest will massage the words from my head and down my arms into my fingers, and splash them on the keyboard in some order. I could have started writing yesterday, but I was transfixed by the news coverage of 9/11 ceremonies and thinking of the countless families affected by the attacks — including the Burbank family I met a week ago who was inside the Pentagon when it was struck.

Several times last week I’d recounted the call I got from my editor that morning 10 years ago. I was working on deadline at a daily paper in western New York. During the ensuing days, I don’t remember sleeping much; only working, and seeing determined faces of emergency responders who loaded their kids and spouses into the family cars and made the seven-hour drive to New York because they were compelled to do something — anything — to help at Ground Zero.

After a while I wanted a change of pace, so I popped in “The King’s Speech,” an extraordinary film about the power of friendship. Something in me was restored, or at the very least refreshed, after the final scene.

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