When The Writing Stopped
Found on his typewriter next to a burnt out pile of buts in an ashtray unkempt. He was 26.
January 1, 2008: A Letter In Memorandum
There was a time, years ago, when I wrote religiously. As vital as breathing, ’twas; as necessary as eating.
Each night, post obligation, I would return home to my paper, to my solace, and scribe. Sometimes, I’d spend minutes; sometimes hours. But each day, without fail: scribe.
Paper became therapist—vessel for dealing with the day’s tolerated injustices. I was ruthless. No detail was spared; no name left unnamed, no blame spared from shame. In my instantiated fiefdom, I reigned.
Combined with self interest, caution led to focus: a focus on brand building. The product was myself, and I wrote to establish myself as a thought leader.
But that work, so devoted to since, has left me loveless.
Sure, I can still have fun in rare circumstances. Sure, there are moments of clarity in the drunken haze of indifference. Sure, somehow I managed to convince a lovely woman to betrothal. None of that cures the ail.
I am a man staring in the face a life leading towards a remorseful end.
I like to believe it started with the trip, but the truth is that I was dead from the day I left “her”. I was dead from the day I stopped holding muse above mundane. I was dead the day that I got what I wanted, and I was surely dead the day I realized getting what I wanted would never be enough.
I like to believe I now live a life tailored to my strengths, but the truth is that I was fooled from the moment I made my own way. I was fooled from the second I “succeeded”. I was fooled by the foley of following, and a fool still.
That fool is haiku without meter, song without rhyme, cantos without reason, musing without muse.
I sit now, on an eve of work, in a foreign place with foreign people leading a foreign life for foreign funds. I sit alone in the dark. Murmurs of happier folk, however authentic, pierce the silence I sought savior in.
Even now, in medias inspiratus, I suffer; I suffer the production of the same garbage I used to write and you, fair reader, suffer the callous of consuming my consternation.
And it is in that foley that I find fleeting my resolve to write. I find fleeting my desire to divulge. I feel my hands growing stiffer, the words slowing down, the thoughts no longer jumping from mind to finger to page to you with the same diligent and meticulously planned prose, where each word is more hard-wrought than the last. I feel the once bountiful tide of rushing, crashing water of emotion spilling on to the page becoming more a sludge, sloshing and splashing and staining a sheet once pristine with perceptions. It is all so fleeting.
So perhaps I shall flee.
Detective Constance picked up the letter and examined it. She thought little of it as she surveyed the rest of the scene. Just another “tortured artist”, she thought to herself. How could you even call these people artists? They worked normal jobs. They pursued none of their true latent ambitions. They were the very scourge they wished they weren’t.
She didn’t even bother to call it in. She filled her notepad, stashed it back in her breast pocket, and moved on to the next hollow tragedy for today’s shift.