I’m no writer.
I’ve come closer to death over the past week than I have since last May. I can see it, sometimes. I think I can feel it if I stand still long enough. If I close my eyes. I also see you.
I see you standing in front of me, talking. I hear myself. And then I see black. I deny the extent of my fantasy even to myself. Even to my journal.
I think in waves now, waves of epiphany. sharp. sudden. Acute realizations overwhelm my brain at once and leave just as quickly. The rest of my time is spent with a vacant mind, like an empty swimming pool as I ruminate over the last wave. The best way I can describe this is raw emotion, with no way to articulate it. Not positive or negative. No ideas, no plans, no creativity. Not until the next wave.
I thought of telling you a lot more. I thought of saying that I dreamed of being yours, of making you breakfast. That changed after a wave or two.
Why say the thing if it’s not a priority to either of us? Why say the thing, the climax of this fantastic dream between myself and my childhood crush. a peer I despise. an obsession. Why deny myself closure to the arc I’ve been constructing for years in my mind?
It’s because I know the answer. But then we all know the answer, yes? We know the answer to global warming and yet we burn. pollute. destroy. We know the answer to world hunger and yet we starve. hoard. As true hedonists we know the ramifications of apathy and greed, but sin all the same. I’m not one to point fingers, less I point to myself first.
But it makes me weak—the thought of death without achievement. It’s a loss of feeling first, then a rush of fear. I’m a coward, I know it, and it’s not even interesting. Just terribly average. I’m plain. Very mild-mannered and thoughtful without the ability to express anything I feel, whether creatively or to others. I speak nothing of consequence. I’m no writer.
I’ve felt it, a looming heaviness in the pressure I place on myself, ever since you expressed interest in my writing. I’ve felt it close to my chest, weighing on me until early morning and robbing me of my sleep. How could I? You remind me of it. You remind me how to feel. I’m scared of you when I think of how plain you are too.
How simple your desires, interests, actions really are. And how simple I am in comparison is the thing that drives my fear. Drives me to write like I have the authority to do so. Learn a vocabulary equal to someone who had the money to afford years of prestigious university education. Curb my substance abuse and lack of ambition.
The stress you add to my life is incomparable to anything else, it’s true. The stress of envy, lust, love, competition, rejection. I can’t let myself go for the second it requires to say that I have an issue with this. I can’t. If I say the words, I admit my inadequacy. I admit that I know the answer, knew it all before having you, and chose to give myself pain. Inflict stress on myself that didn’t have to be there. I invited my pain into my life just as I invited you. But then we invited the ocean levels to rise, global temperatures to increase, endangered species to die out. We invited the sociological problems that arise from billionaire exploitation, oppression, and greed. I can’t tell myself that I wanted to feel the pain that comes from attaching myself to a perfect, impossible fantasy and being rejected by it all without you even saying a word.
I am still plain. I still cannot write my book if somebody paid me to do so. I am still dependent on drugs. I am still afraid of death. and I do still want you. I clearly am not a well-rounded, self-respecting, motivated human being. I’m not a writer and fear I never will be.
I’m forthright with my flaws.
featured image credit: Paula Schmidt