Day 731 of living with writer’s block.
I wake up smelling a dead mouse somewhere near the radiator. Like a flaming horseshoe just branded me on my ass, I jump out of bed heated, energized, rearing to go. I also wobble like a drunken fool.
I comb the floor on my hands and knees, swiveling my neck at unsafe speeds until—aha—I find the furry cretin swimming in a pool in its own avarice atop a banana-scented strip of glue-paper. That is the worth of your life, you rat: fifty cents of paper and a wreath of glue. I fold the trap around the limp dead thing and deposit it in the garbage with impunity.
I exit the room to begin my own swim through filth. Teeth is brushed. Chin is shaved. Fuck, ass, shit, bitch; rubbing alcohol is smattered. I leave for the kitchen fridge, open the door and gape into a white void. I reach in blindly and pat around until I discover a thin slice of bread and cheese.
Licking mold off my teeth and lips, I wheel around and come face to face with a behemoth: time. It is that foe which cannot be slain, that friend whose company is fleeting. Today time is up for the taking, since I have no hours scheduled at work nor appointments at this, that, or the other. I grab a few minutes of anime time; I snatch an hour on the game console; I purchase seconds on a drawing; I whack off thirty minutes. My eyes drift closed to trippy music on Youtube. The next few hours belong to sleep.
In my dreams, I am in turmoil. A more daunting foe than time has shown its face: the beast called my imagination, whose weapons reside in ink. The game it plays me is simple. I have a pen, and can draw upon the ink myself. Of course, the pen has a limit to how much it can hold, so I must write to expunge its contents before dipping to draw again. Write, then draw more ink; write, then draw more ink. Imagination loses the game by virtue of having no weapons, while I win, conquering my imagination.
But I am losing this game.
I cannot write. I don’t know what to put down. A song? A sonnet? Some prose? A verse? I have ideas as grand as they are sweeping, but they only present themselves in the form of imagery. If I try to attach words, the images morph and turn false. If I try to change the words, the images leave. Oh, how much energy I spend on that first draw of ink. Imagination, whistling a tune, calmly erects a guillotine and fastens the rope.
I wake up feeling well-rested, and at once turn my energies to the blank page of a notebook which lies on a desk beside me. I am so angry I might rupture my temples; because I’ve had seven-hundred days too many of that dream. My pen flies to the page, then stops. Hesitates. My mind isn’t awake yet, nor my sense of grammar or style. I am certain to write something awry.
Luckily, I am too tired to care.
A tale flows from my fingers, something of a classroom of students ready to learn magic, whose teacher runs late on her silver and black heels. It is written better than I thought, yet not what I intended to write. Grrr. I crumple and toss it.
Off my eyes leap the words spoken by a smitten girl to her boyfriend, an admittance of her role in a string of recent robberies committed by an infamous troupe. He cares for her so much that he does not turn away, but instead pleads to join the campaign; so that he may protect her, so that they may be together. Their swords cross like a promise, and she skewers him in apology.
Oh, come on. Couldn’t I write this girl a heart?
A few tossed pages later—my hand is fire now, but I write—a robot descends on a moving truck. Her mission: to hack the servers sealed within, to rob the code that may revive a digital friend. I grin as I throw a wrench in her plans in the form of her arch-nemesis, riding along on his Harley. His shotgun flares alert the drivers and security personnel inside the vehicle, and a wondrous fountain of action—of rolling machine heads, forearm-cannonfire, flipping Teslas—erupt.
I sigh because a certain server melts in the crossfire.
The litany of farts continue. Some smell sweet but are from obvious filth; others clear the nose with their rancidness. My hand burns brighter than the sun, becoming smeared by cheap blue ink. I continue writing as if intent on coloring a forearm or two.
Seemingly volumes of pages collapse on themselves when I finally flip the notebook shut. I still have time before the day is done, but my well of ideas has run dry. I use the precious minutes clutching my head in frustration, banging on a mental door. Another day, another round. Another session of nothing.