A Writer’s Dream
Is it wrong to wish to write for writing’s sake? Is it wrong to feel the need to write a disclaimer only I’ll ever see?
I sometimes think I was born to the wrong era, that before computers and watches knew your name, I might have been happy. I’d have sat in my room as others scampered about living their lives and smiled at the view beyond the window, written down what I saw without forethought or fear. The clouds would’ve drifted across cerulean fields like mythical beasts and birds would’ve tweeted the minutes. With a quill for a sword and a wooden chair for a colt, I’d have lived out my days as a warrior of words and others would’ve been happy I did. But it isn’t days of yore, and there’s no time for idealism in today’s world of exactitudes and uncompromising rapport. We are. We will. We do as we’re told.
I sometimes wish the curtains to close and never open. Here wrapped in my private night, I’ll live in peace with these hundreds of thousands of words scattered all around; most long forgotten and stashed away in burrows of rabbited nonsenses. The songs I love will play in endless loops through ears with no wish to hear the spouted obscenities and harsh realities — or so they claim — of this, that and the other. Darkness will fold around me like a lover’s kiss, all-encompassing, and I won’t even know if I’m dead, nor care. But then the words will come, white on black, and I’ll feel more alive than ever.
Sometimes a voice calls from deep within that I presume my own but still doubt. This — let’s call it soul — knows my name, my home, my life, wife and circumstance, but even this supposed virgin self is dubious to my needs. What are my needs?
I have absolutely no wish for anyone to read what I write. I have absolutely no desire to be famous. If people happen upon these reams of written words and enjoy them, feel them, I’ll smile and thank them, and expect no thanks in return. If a child picks up one of my books and their eyes light up with wonder, I shouldn’t care if their parent commands them to put it back — not if the spark’s already lit. If? Such a little word. Such a pertinent package. But the cold hard reality, is something has to pay for a coffin and good intentions won’t.
Sometimes I think I’m free. Sometimes, but not often.
Thank you for reading
His smile beguiled, jokes made light of life. Life, however, made no light of him. Only the rolling tides behind grey eyes revealed truths, those endless waves of torment. Drowning in discussions, floundering in plain sight, he drifted away.
For the best, said some.
Misunderstood, said others, without knowing why.
The sensation began as a prickling beneath my fingernails, a discomfort, nothing more. Yet, like an electric current flowing under my skin, through veins supposedly carrying blood, not animosity, it made a circuitous route of my body sparing not one inch of self. If someone had shaken my shoulder, slapped my face, it would not have roused me from the catatonic state I’d fallen into. As realisation spread and reality fell into place, memories stirred and myths became truths, I felt what she’d felt; it hurt. And through it all, throughout this experience I wished never to repeat not once did she blink. In eyes of pooled sapphire, she saw through me, her inner lightning flickering, then upped and walked away.
Life turned on a bedroom whisper.
A lover's bed is a haven: warm; safe; a release from the trials of life. Darkness becomes a draped blanket, the intoxicating silence a balm.
It was for me until that moment when we both lay exhausted and the name she breathed wasn't mine.
They say the eyes cannot lie. You can twist words, expound falsities, be economical with the truth all with varying degrees of success, but meet someone's eyes and all else falls away. When I met hers, my whole life fell away. Where were those words when I needed lies most?
“I remember my grandad today more than most. He touches me on the shoulder with a reassuring chill like he used to before the winter took him. His voice asks if the war is over. I tell him it is. He sighs at my lie. I suspect he knows the truth.”
The Universe? I was just bored.
I noticed the line curling around the bottom of my index finger in fine red script one bitter winter’s morning. I recall how I surveyed it thinking it a mark; it wasn’t there yesterday, though. The harsh reality, it was something altogether more sinister.
I followed the filament across my palm, then up my arm to my right shoulder, where it then detoured twice around my neck before heading back down toward my chest. My finger traced that thin, red line to my heart where it whorled around in concentric circles until a tight spec.
It’s my lifeline, I thought, as the pain started, a paralysing crunch beneath my ribs. The hurt grew in incremental agony to the slow dawning of what occured. As the inevitability of the situation struck, my eyes widening to those of an owl, I died steeped in regret.
Yes, I died right there and then as the line you’d left in red lipstick smudged beneath my fingers.
The distance between lies and the truth
Immeasurable, some might say.
As beauty to the beholder,
The boundaries become obscured
Sometimes purposely, sometimes not.
The limits of our soul and all that makes us good
Decided by the crossing of one supposed solid.
Blame it on the fog of the question,
Society, everything and everyone,
But never yourself.
Even striving to qualify the lie to make it the truth.
The lie becomes that which we wish.
We just couldn’t help it.
Don’t be drawn by poetics,
As it still doesn’t make it right.