Amsterdam View: Inspiration from a Rooftop
Posted on June 23, 2010
There they were again: the roofers. Early this morning Stripes arrived. He leisurely awaited the arrival of Orange. Sitting on the roof-beam Stripes divided his time between staring at the bright blue skies and the usual morning myriad of summery-dressed girls cycling by far below him. When Orange arrived they, again very leisurely, set to work.
Yesterday they had a blast, up on that roof. The volume of their radio turned up, they were teaching each other the latest dance steps – Stripes’ got the rhythm, but Orange shows more creativity in his moves. After about an hour’s dancing under a scorching sun, they evidently earned a break and they sat down on the roof-beam, rolling what looked like a cigarette, but what turned out to be a six-inch joint. Smoking it definitely added to their happiness. Orange turned the radio towards the canal so that we could all join in. Stripes didn’t forget his manners and complimented my son, who was sitting in our window across the canal, studying for his finals: ‘Good hair, bro!’ Halfway the smoke their moxie kicked in and Orange dared Stripes to a balancing contest. Stripes accepted with a gracious bow. Their arms wide and with a close eye on each other, they inched forward until their feet reached far over the roof’s edge.
I couldn’t breathe as I watched, scared that even the slightest sound would break their concentration and send them toppling down five stories, smashing their skulls and bones on the cobblestones.
The inspiration? I am plotting a Young Adult novel starring some potheads… Orange and Stripes will be in it. I know some say that a writer should leave his cocoon for inspiration, but right here it seems I get all the inspiration I need.