If I don’t write then I’m not comfortable. I get depressed. I start to whine, at least more than I usually do, and this lack of writing assumes, or manifests as a guilt trip I use against myself, for you see I suffer from intense self-depreciation and I deserve it because….
Because I chose this.
I could be working a job I hate, and living a life that would be unsuited for me, and I would find some way to survive, to pretend to like it, and pretend like all of these years click-click-clicking away at my fucking keyboard didn’t mean or amount to anything. I chose to live life like a goddamn madman, like a fucking loon, like a strange man who doesn’t go to bed with his wife as often as he should, as ever like he should, who doesn’t go out into the world and sacrifice his time to his friends who need him most, or his family that love him want only what’s best for him, and that’s, that’s the sad part.
Being a writer is what I wanted, and I got it, and I hate myself for it but I know now there’s nothing else in the world I want more. I just want to write. I just want to write because that makes sense. It’s the way I make sense of me, and how fucking weird I am, and all of the decisions I made amount to something, or at least make sense.
Mark of a loony is one who sits in a room thinking and talking to himself. Mark of a writer is somebody who writes the conversation down. Mark of a mature writer lets someone else see it. Mark of a real writer let’s everyone see it. Let everyone open up his wounds and see his blood and guts, but before he lets them touch his vulnerable, yellowed beating heart he snaps it shut and shouts “How dare you!” like they’re the crazy ones. But I just opened the door to my heart. I let them in.
I locked myself in my office writing essays and novels and poems about David Foster Wallace and biographies of Emily Dickinson and getting fucked up and wanting a father even though I had one already. Wanting an old man who could teach me what being a regular man is. It’s sacrifice. And haven’t I sacrificed? Haven’t I given up so much just to have a few lousy words on the page? Haven’t I opened up my chest long enough to simply let them see that I am that much of a fuck-up, and that I’m just a normal person who isn’t normal in any way and simply thinks he’s clever but who can write at least one paragraph that isn’t some stupid pointless exploration of emotion and actually contributes something to the collected heaps of cultural grata.
The words are made of bone and they ossify, sinking into the dirt that’s packed with clay and radiation over a hundred years until somebody digs it up and places value on it and sells it to big empty museums or tucks it away in safes deep in the earth. The exact same depth where the words laid in bones of my human spirit rested for a million years.
If I hadn’t interrupted my review of an essay by David Foster Wallace, I wouldn’t have written this, and I don’t think I would have written anything. I would have hated myself so much.
I do honestly love what I’ve written here, even if it’s shit. Because shit on the page is better than shit in the veins. I’m tired. I’ll lay the bones in the earth to rest and snuggle with my dogs and my wife and hope I’m not plagued by lines of dialogue that would have been the stuff of great novels and shallow conversations at coffee shops.