“I can’t write.”
Her soft hand landed on my shoulder, the tendrils of comfort drifting from the warmth of her palm glided over my skin in vain. I was cold.
“Try,” came her whisper.
“You make it sound so easy.”
I clutched my pen with pleading fingers, willing my whitened knuckles to tighten their hold— as if the strength of my grip would bring forth the words I knew were buried deep.
I closed my eyes, as if it would negate the blinded vision I had fostered in my mind.
“Think,” she said.
“Of what?” I grew angry now. How could I think when I could barely comprehend what I was after. I had no idea what I was looking for, no grasp of what I wanted— needed— to do, to write, to become.
I willed myself to stand up, to go and give up what was a fruitless attempt to mean something, to be someone, but I stayed glued to my seat. As if someone had stitched the very bottom of my soul in the dark confines of the space I occupied— forever reminding me I had no escape.
I clutched at my hair, wondering how many strands I could pull free before I was blinded by the blood that seeped from my tired mind.
I pulled— harder.
Harder even than that.
I thrashed, yelled, and screamed.
Let is stop. Let it stop. Let it stop.
The mantra of an idle soul. Desperation and hatred, hopelessness and defeat– all diseases crawling through the very veins that once flowed so languidly with imagination. I laughed now, hysterical at the hand I was too lost to deal. Who am I kidding?
Of what? Dammit, what!
The hand, gentle on my shoulder, glided upwards, clasping the nape of my neck. My chills became shudders then. I was trapped, immobile, in a world I could not even create. Tied to the bones of my broken dreams and aspirations. Their mocking skulls set in a cruel countenance, disappointed and accusing.
How could you, their hollow eyes screeched at me. Demanding to know how I could let them drift away, from the palm of my once firm hands into the brittle graveyard of where all dreams go when their owners abandon them.
I saw their ghosts trail from the room, their bright light dimming as they traveled farther into the darkness— screaming, begging, pleading for me to run after them. To save them from the abyss billions of other dreams had traveled to only to be forgotten.
“Go,” she said. Her voice laced with earnest this time.
I fought against the grip of the hand holding me down yet telling me to go. I pulled with all my strength, trying to unravel the stitches that had so firmly held me captive. I fought until I could no longer separate one breath from another, one heartbeat from the next. I tore at the edges of my seat, hoping to cut the stitches with my bleeding, frantic fingertips.
But to no avail.
“How!” I screamed.
I raised my hand to my neck, ready to rip the grip so tight on me, but came across air.
Whirling around I found only darkness, a vast empty space. The only sound came from my heavy breaths and erratic heart.
I was alone— abandoned by the very presence that I had so loathed. The being of hope. Myself.
My panic surged and my lungs gave out. As if pebbles were being forced down my throat, blocking air and life from my drained body. It sent me to a frenzy.
I grasped for sanity, but only found its counterpart.
The vapor of madness seeped into my pores filling the hollows of my very soul.
Urgency rode me and the Insanity clamped its diamond hold on me.
I did the only thing I knew how to do.
I wrote. With no agenda, no plot, no plan. Just wrote the overwhelming thoughts and words and actions that rushed through my mind. None of them making sense, but none of them having to.
I struggled to keep them close, close enough to record their very meanings, my hand writing furiously on my paper and before my very eyes, the dark expanse that so clouded my vision gave way to green, rolling hills. People of all shapes and sizes, life as I had only imagined and not seen with my naked eye.
She appeared again. This time, not gentle. But strong, fierce. The same ferocity of waves crashing against the rocks or a storm’s heavy breath blowing away the leaves attached to a branch. Her warmth didn’t envelope me. It drowned me. She is ready.
I am ready.
For the very first time in my life, I realized I was not confined, I was merely stagnant. Stuck on a seat I thought held me captive when all along it was merely a device ready to transport me to any realm or world or wish. I sat there, laughing like mad. Not sure if I was happy or just crazy. Maybe I was both. But for the longest time I felt it. I saw it. I knew it. It was laid in front of me, clear as day. It was a world I was ready to write.
Just a short explanation on this piece:
When I wrote this, I was taking a class in Creative Writing. We were tasked with creating a short story in fiction, and as the story usually goes, I had no idea what to write about. I had no inspiration, no motivation, no freaking clue what type of story I even wanted to write.
I was at the highest level of frustration.
So, as all writers are wont to do, I used words as a catharsis. The more pretentious and intense, the better. Because the more dramatic and emotional we are on paper, the more sarcastic and seemingly withdrawn we can be in real life.
This is the product.
And you know what? It worked. The more I wrote, even if it wasn’t for the specific assignment, the more inspiration and motivation I fostered.
So moral of the story: If you don’t know what to write. Write anything. Even if it’s nonsensical.