You, at the desk


You, I’m supposed to write for you, aren’t I? I never really thought about that, actually. Back in the days at university, I was often smitten and did it the Shakespeare way. I wrote when I was in love and would dedicate the stories to someone’s initials and never tell them. You might think it’s pretty sad because unrequited love is sad, but not if you can maneuver those emotions into creative energy. Let it out, let it out. Shed some tears on the keyboard while you write and shed more during that long walk in Greenwich Park. Wow, I’ve been thinking a lot about my freedom and independence back in London. It’s not so much that I really miss London, but I miss my freedom and creative spirit.

Most of my friends went separate ways after graduation; even many of my London-based friends got in touch less and less, which was ok. I’ve always been the kind of person that meets up with friends once every other week or month. I love being alone, especially if my creative spirit is playing along. However, not everybody understands. I prioritized writing in my free time. With the nine to five job in London, I had Saturday and Sunday off, which I would spend in the university library or the Royal Festival Hall.

Of course, it was not the same as being a student. Alumni get cheap-ass library access cards, which only work for a certain time of the day. I envied all those students who were working on their coursework. All I did was keep a blog. I would blog every week and keep it as a weekly routine. I had the time. The emotions, too. The composition of a blog often took about three to five hours because I would try to write a proper, well-constructed blog post in which I attempted to sound philosophical, literary, etc. My vocabulary and idiom were good back then, don’t you agree?

I wrote for you and still do. You are a good listener. You are patient. You don’t shout back at me. You are my shoulder to cry on. I was very close to you in that piece of meta-fiction that I wrote in 2011. Inspired by Stephen King, I called you my muse. Despite the lack of reading and writing in the last few years, I have learned a lot from editing and redrafting. When I look back at old short stories, I want to omit and rephrase many words and sentences. I might even do it. Although I’m now more aware of style, grammar and structure, I seem to have lost my creativity to self-consciousness. I’ve become scared of writing because of grammatical and structural errors that I don’t see.

I love my editor. I’m learning a lot from her about my writing style. After so many years of writing and redrafting on my OWN, I have finally decided to get a professional involved to SHOW me my errors and point out my idiosyncrasies, which are often unclear or clumsy. I keep forgetting that no one but me is in my head. This is why it’s good to have someone highlighting it for me. Every time new edits come in, I feel the sweat on my palm. Once I’ve applied the edits, all is good, except when I have to rewrite paragraphs, I can’t help thinking that it’s still not good enough. The more techniques you know, the less you know how to write because you can’t stop thinking about applying these techniques appropriately.

You told me in that story to put my shoulder to the wheel and write. I asked you to forgive me for letting you down. You said I would make you forgive me anyway since I was the narrator. I thought that joke was funny…

After all that, I admit that I’m an unreliable narrator because I can’t handle too many people, events or truths. It’s like an endless puzzle that I don’t want to put together. I’m an introvert, after all. People blame me for not being outgoing and sociable enough. I don’t talk to everyone, so why should I write about everyone? I want to write about that little boy sitting alone on the swing. Do you know what I mean? I want to tell you, yes, YOU, about that little boy sitting alone on the swing. That’s all I want to do.

Write for you. Be inspired by you. Give my soul to you.

And all of a sudden, you say I don’t belong here. I get my hands dirty for you, and you say, I don’t belong… Look at the ink on my fingers! I’m doing this for you.

I wrote about a miscarried child of mine, who was hydrocephalic, and you told me to let go of the water in the brain. The story just finished like that. We were in a bar filled with mannequins; a couple of them were kissing. Was that the last time we had a proper chat?

When I opened my eyes, I was at the desk in the library. I couldn’t stop thinking about you. You help me grow as a storyteller. You are my muse. Always.

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