Hello, how are you? I’m fine thank you. It’s been a dogs age hasn’t it? I should give an explanation as to why I was gone for so long shouldn’t I? Well even now that the dry-spell is over its still a little hard to justify not writing anything for… months. Damn, it was months. I don’t even want to go and look for an accurate number, I’m so ashamed. I fractured my hands doing incredibly stupid things. I make is sound worse than it was, maybe, I don’t know. I was in a considerable amount of pain, it was nearly impossible to work at night, which is when I do my creative writing, after a long day-jobs worth of typing. This isn’t to say I didn’t try, I think the last Letter was written in the midst of said pain. But after a while the mental strain of not being able to write began to hurt more than the actual injury.
I did what most of us writers do, I doubted my ability. The cure, as you all know, is to shut up and write. The trouble was that I really hurt and couldn’t complete my arbitrary “daily quota”. And instead of being happy with the meager amount I was able to produce, I blamed a lack of talent/commitment/joy for my work. Other personal demons slithered their way towards the surface to flash their sinister teeth at me as well. Not that they ever go away, but man is their timing good.
I guess the strain was physically visible because an older man I know from work asked me what was the matter. He is an artist, I forget if his medium is still glass or if he’s moved on to the finner virtues of leather craft. I know it sounds like I’m teasing, but this guy is pretty good at what he does. He showed me a watch, Rolex-y in design, he had fabricated. He gave away a few secrets to this craft aficionado, and I’ve tried/failed at making one.
I digress, this old timer saw or felt the pain I was in and asked “not panning out the way you thought, hu?” as if he knew. But he did know. Somehow he knew I would sit in front of my screen with some absurder video playing behind the ever blinking ever mocking courser that haunts word processors. He knew of the tide of torment tearing at the Cliff of my wellbeing, slowly eroding the foundation from the light house that is my imagination. He knew. He knew of the countless nights I’d lie in bed streaming at the eyes, he knew of the abysmal, self loathing, rage filled showers where I called myself things I would never admit to. He knew. He knew.
And with eight words he made me realize it, too. It all seemed so normal until he so eloquently asked his question. So I answered, it would have been rude not to. I told him about my hands, I started with that because I wanted to make it clear this was a valid reason. I told him about the half written lines, the poorly constructed dialog. Everything but my fear of having lost my passion. Small note, if the word passion sounds cliche and childish, good, because it was at the time.
After I said my bit, he smiled and collected his thoughts. He told me a story about working at a zoo. It was short, simple, possibly made up, and most probably useless to anyone but me.
“When I was about fifteen, maybe sixteen, I worked at a zoo in Mexico. It was more like an Illegal pet shop that hid under the government funding. Anyway, while I was there, less then six months, we got two tiger cubs. I named them Doris and Mel after my grandparents, they named them something spic. I loved these little fur balls. I played with them everyday, and they took to me well enough that I was put in charge of them with in days of them getting there. They got big, mighty big. They were about one or two months when we got them so I guess they were about seven months when I left. I missed them. I missed them enough that within the year I scrapped up enough money to buy a car and drive back down to see them. To my delight the folks who I was friendly with told me the Putos, or bosses as we call them in the states, were caught selling animals and the zoo was finally legit. I made my way towards my stripy grandparents to find them emaciated. When I got near the gate they pounced. They were to hungry to care I had come back. I stayed two weeks. In that time I used every penny I had to bring them food. It didn’t matter. They died with half a caw in front of them. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t let your passion die. You said you lost it, but you didn’t. If you had you wouldn’t feel as bad as you do now.”
I began writing that night. I started a new short story and boxed out season three of ToT within the week. My hands still hurt but that isn’t stopping me. I was so thankful I tried to convince his to open an Esty shop so I could link the hell out of his work. He cursed the Internet and rode off on his Harley. So… his loss I guess. Well folks, thanks for waiting on this poor writer, it means a lot. Hey I didn’t curse once in this fucking thing!
Till Next time,