You put one word in front of the other; that is how books are written.
Sometimes, the words do not come, and it is very hard. The words are congealed at the tips of my fingers, like old blood. Any strain only makes them dribble and bleed.
A lot of the time I find it painful, to exist as an aware creature. Everything is painful: unkindness, self-doubt, consciousness, not enough time, not enough talent, not enough. Inside of me, there is a big, fat Lack. Why else do people chase after love so desperately, if not to have a pair of arms to wrap around them and make them feel safe? But there is no safety. That is the awful thing about it: there is no safety, not in someone’s arms, not in a book, not anywhere; there is just you, existing at this moment in time, feeling the pain you do and not knowing what to do about it.
Other people seem to have it all figured out. When I walk down the street, I see people, chatting and laughing in restaurants, paired-up, checking their phones and munching on chips, and I wish I was not me, wish I could be so carefree, unburdened by thoughts and mysteries, by this mind which tells me you are a Writer, you are a Conscious Being, What Are You Going To Do About It?
It would be so much easier to crawl into bed and never come out. Those with medical degrees would probably deem me depressed, but I believe depression is not a matter of popping pills, but of getting to the root cause of the problem. And the root cause of the problem is that we are looking for Home, looking for a Warm Place, and there is none – or at least, not any not borne of delusion.
There are times when I feel my life would be much easier if I simply took the conventional route of securing a job, getting married and having children. During the week, coworkers and paperwork would fill my days; after work, there is dinner and television; and then, on the weekend, time spent with children or going out to places, taking holidays and visiting restaurants. Living the “good life”. The comforting routine of it is alluring, even for someone like me, for at least such a life would provide a modicum of “It’s All Okay” that could fill the Lack inside me.
But I know that that lifestyle could never make me happy. That the only way to true happiness is to pursue my creative and artistic efforts with relentless devotion, wearing books as hats and falling asleep with trails of words corkscrewing through my brain. That if I ever did find a life partner, he would not be the kind of person to go out to restaurants on weekends and dabble in paperwork but the kind that pretends all the objects in our house are animated with feelings and talk and counsel them with me. “My dear, that door is feeling poorly, look at its chipped paint! Oh, the kettle is feeling upset again, do comfort it.” The two of us would be mad together, deliriously mad fools, traipsing through our own fantasy worlds with not a care for reality.
Still the suns and moons set and fall in the sky of my gut, and I am left cold and warm. Each day, each minute, each second, a thousand agonies streak through me; the sensitivity is an acute thing, a needle piercing into my flesh. I feel as if everyone were more grounded than I am, tougher and stronger to deal with the travails of daily life, while the slightest cruel word is enough to set me weeping – even if it is not directed at me. How silly of me! How silly.
Why is everyone so grounded? Is there some initiation process I missed out on in my childhood, whereby the fairies were excised from people’s brains, leaving them “logical” and “mature” beings? I am a fairy, lost in the clouds, lost in everything, and it is horrid to spend time amongst these galumphing beings. I am a fairy, and I need woodlands and animals and sweet music; instead, I live in a busy city, assaulted by fumes and noise, trapped in a glass box of a building.
If I could but meet one other soul who could pretend with me that there are fairies nestled in flowers and that everything from the flight of birds to a lost shoe is terribly romantic! Here I am, on the verge of adulthood, yet I know I shall forever remain a child, forever remain confused by unfairness, confused when people hurt people. I will cry at everything, like a baby, because I am soft and small, but I will also smile like a baby, because the world is wonderfully novel and beautiful.
Is it okay? No. The big fat Lack is still there, and my body is still knotted with accumulated pain. The world is still too harsh, and things are still awful, and the writing still is not working. But I feel slightly better for having written this. That is something, I suppose. We always must do something.