Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.
— Jim Tully, October 1923
And your thoughts, your thoughts, your thoughts…they chase you while you walk down the street and yell at you over the TV and sing to you while the radio plays and finally, late at night, eyes are burning, streaming, they catch up and whisper and it’s the loudest thing you’ve heard all day.
He pulled herself up, after a few moments of reflection. That was all he seemed to do in those days. Feeling tired and tired of feeling. Worried that he’d amount to nothing more than a treatise written on a foggy shower door, gone in an instant and invisible forever.
Excerpt from a short story I finished a few weeks ago.
“I’m working on a book. It’s hard to finish, and I think that’s because it’s hard to get focused. I’ve had a lot of trouble focusing lately. Ample trouble. Sufficient trouble. I’m thinking of writing a book about this girl who tries to write a lot of books, but never finishes them. I’m thinking that I’ll try and get it published without including the ending so that it’s really ironic, or something.
“It’s tremendously artistic,” the critics will say. “Terribly literary.” And they’ll take a drag off a cigarette and lift a glass of wine to their lips.
Maybe the real irony is that I’ll never even start it.”
In the morning, none too early, I descended to the beach to begin my program of yoga stretching. It was not thought advisable that I do this by myself—muscles become like mussels at my stage of life, and if not stretched carefully will either lose their elasticity or else snap with a sudden “pop” that I have already once, and disconcertingly, heard as I made the mistake of running for the phone. (Why did I do that?) I thus had the exhausting experience of watching my yoga instructor, the divine Madeline McCuskey, as she showed me the moves. Even regarding her in this way was a workout of a kind. Not to be outdone by some tempestuous and tawny Californian, I attempted to balance and extend myself in the same way, only to find that I was seized by the sensation that I might die or go mad at any moment.
— Christopher Hitchens - On the Limits of Self-Improvement
In the cool light of dawn we can see where the bridge stops abruptly, dipping below the surface, white tiles and black grout and yellow lights and eventually you emerge and look for the end.
Hurricane at our backs; gotta get home.
“You’ll make it to the other side, alright,” he screams and you just keep running. “But you’re not gonna be the same once you get there.”
…I’m working on a flash-fiction piece (1100 words) which Must Not Be Published Online - anyone willing to give it a quick critique (i.e. is it worth submitting?) - answer the question or send me an ask @ thedrawbridge.tumblr.com/ask. Please?
“Oh, honey,” her fingers and her pity reached out and I jerked away from her touch. Salty tears. Why do tears feel so good, but when the ocean hits your eyes it burns and screams?
This is the one year anniversary of last year’s anniversary…
I’ve always told people that one year anniversaries aren’t important. That you don’t miss her the most exactly one year after she dies; you miss her most when you’re staring out the car window on the way to the grocery store and you’re casually thinking that later you’d like to call her and tell her what happened today and you remember you can’t. That you don’t really put a lot of thought into a birthday present or an anniversary present when the date sneaks up behind you and with a sly little look taps you on the shoulder and shouts, “Hello! Remember me?” in an obnoxious voice and you wonder why you didn’t hear him coming. No, the gifts you mean are the ones that you see in the window of some second-hand store and they make you smile and think of someone and you laugh and check your wallet and it means something…
And yet. And yet I find myself thinking those words a lot lately; “One year ago I was…” and “two years ago we were…” and “three years ago things were different…” and “if you had told me then that I’d be here now…”
As if I’m constantly amazed that the scenario keeps changing like some old-time movie reel; watching grainy photos of myself growing up, spinning soundlessly around outside, slow-motion shots of fingers in ears and tongue out of mouth. Like some cheesy collage of photos from naked baby shots to riding a bike to driving a car to going to prom to leaving for college to graduation.
So, where was I one year ago? One year ago I was thinking about where I had been one year ago. Because that time I was depressed, I was tired, life was grey, my world was dark and I was weary. And one year ago I was thinking of how far I’d come, and how much progress I’d made, and I was thinking of the hole that I’d try to lift myself out of and I was thinking about who helped haul me out of it.
And now I’m thinking of one year from now, when I’ll look back and maybe I’ll say that I should have enjoyed this time more. Maybe I shouldn’t have been stressed and anxious. I have this habit of acting like the present problems are all-consuming.
In a year I’ll look back and think, take it easy girl, take it easy…
Prompt found at yeahwriters.tumblr.com
The silence crashed down around my head, hurtled through time and space, waiting just for this. Maybe it was the moment I decided I could keep on going just the way I was forever. The moment I accepted and embraced existence over life, letting it all go apathetically forward. Letting it all go like nothing else mattered. Maybe that was when I lost everything.