I’ve been staring into a screen for hours. My eyes ache and I’m hungry. I’ve written all this before.
Days repeat themselves, my words repeat themselves. This month has lasted years. I’m one hundred years older than I was at the beginning of the month.
Might be moving into a new place later in the week, but I might move back home. I’m so tired and vacant I’m writing poetry. People who write for the sake of writing are an odd bunch. Writing is everywhere and nowhere, everyone writes and reads and most do it poorly. When they write they either affect a grand style or they mimic their casual speech patterns. It’s vapid snark and sarcasm peppered with the verbal tics and ungrammatical spasms that fill their everyday conversations.
How many of us are trying to cultivate a realistic style without collapsing into the hyper-real? How many of us pay attention to our sentences without losing sight of the subject?
You can’t have an off day. Or if you have one, you can’t have two. Or if you have two, on the third day you’d better be on again. They’re working harder than you, they’re smarter than you, they’re more dynamic and resilient and they tell beautiful stories about human strength in the face of hardship.
They’re working three jobs and going to night school. They have three kids and they also volunteer. They fill any crack in the wall of their schedule with writing, self improvement, yoga and meditation. Style blogging, food blogging, writing letters to prisoners, letters to old friends. When you’re idling they’re reconnecting, making hilarious comments, destroying bigots online. In those moments when your eyeballs slide up and down a screen without catching anything they’ve made a list, they’ve updated their resume, they’ve met someone new and they were both charming.
They’re getting better sleep than you, and when they wake up they remember their dreams and record them in a dream journal. Later they’ll decode the symbolism and plan their next two weeks with their deep dream knowledge. Your tattered sleep gives you enough electrical energy to twitch your way through another day, but you take it minute by minute. Those minutes feel like days themselves. Your nights are ribbons of darkness, and it’s not insight but dread that bubbles up from the bottom of your unconscious.
That’s the softer side of ambition. Then there’s the cunning, careless type. The executive bastards, the manipulators, the tycoons and titans, the industrial orchestrators, the mad conductors of war and genocide. They’re on speed, they’re pumping their blackened hearts with amphetamines and they’re not satisfied with current levels of spoliation and carnage. There must be a way to make more money, to shackle more people with greater debt. Spiritual shells, they horde meaningless power before righteous death carries them off to hell. But they’re working all the time, and some of them also donate huge sums of money to charities.
My awareness is moss on a stone, a damp fuzz covering a calcium deposit. It’s not being nothing that torments me, it’s the knowledge of being nothing. If only I could be the blank screen and not the idiot sitting in front of it waiting for something to happen.