The Writer: Chapter 19

Less than six months after I got published, I won the Pulitzer. Actually… I’m just kidding. I sold, well, I really didn’t sell many books.

I know what you’re thinking right now. What a waste of time and energy. But I don’t regret it. The calling is for you to write stories. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. Success is something that comes as a bonus, if you’re lucky enough.

But still, there were times when I thought that I could have made things differently; I could have tried to write a new book, a better one. But I didn’t. I guess that I had exhausted my patience and courage.

I had grown used to the idea of being paid minimum wage and keeping my head down every time I left my apartment. And I only left my house when it was really necessary. It didn’t take me long before being no one in particular stopped being such a terrible idea.

The flame that burned inside my soul, the dream, the ambition, the desire, all turned to ash. And I never wrote a single word again.

Do you want to know why I smoke so much? It’s my own version of a slow death, a death that I can control, that I can feel rattling inside my lungs. Because this world doesn’t want me. And, right now, I can’t figure out if there’s something wrong with everyone else or there’s something wrong with me.

And then, there’s this simple gesture. You know, you’re just smoking, you’re not thinking about much. For a few minutes, the world around you fades away and you stop asking questions and looking for answers. You just do your thing, oblivious and impervious to everything around you.

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  1. Humans have an almost sickening attraction towards pain and suffering. As you described, smoking. While it may be a way of escape for some, something you do in order to calm down, there is no denial that even if subconsciously, we find a pleasure in self destruction. Some aspects go in the totally opposite direction when it comes to us. We want love, without the fear of our partner cheating, yet with the first occasion, we will be attracted like a bolt to a magnet to do it, be it for the thrill, the anticipation of what might follow, or perhaps because of our ancestors were at some point nothing resembling human, living in the world where the instinct could mean the difference between life and death at a moment’s notice. Can we overcome it? Yeah, of course we can. But do we want to? Looking around, I doubt so, the majority won’t.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. ‘While it may be a way of escape for some, something you do in order to calm down, there is no denial that even if subconsciously, we find a pleasure in self destruction.’ Or could it be that some think they have nothing left to live for, as pathetic as that may sound; that they have exhausted themselves through their past experiences, that they were holding onto that single fragile thread of hope that broke apart and now they are gravitating towards nothingness. In that case doesn’t death feel liberating?

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I can’t imagine living life without the constant cycle of wanting to live and wanting to die. At times I wish the darker days were a little less frequent, but then I remind myself that there will be some offset later on down the road. Such is the case with our writing.

    I haven’t pick up smoking yet. Thank goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Writers put elusive words down on “paper” to capture them. We are compelled to string them together with enough nuance to create mini-movies for the reader’s mind, carefully choosing each word for shadow and highlight. Our addiction is the final “Ah-Ha” moment to the editing. The hunt and the trophy! It’s what writers do. And YOU do it well!


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