I stopped writing OR why I stopped reading.
She was beautiful, long before I met her, in the tragic way that makes her smile seem like something new to the landscape of her face, like a new renovation to an apartment building you’ve lived in for as long as you can remember. She’s always been beautiful, but it was like now, just now she was happy for the first time in longer than she would ever admit. I asked her about her boyfriends and she rattled off bourbons and I told her my family was from Kentucky and she smiled.
The writing has always tried to reinvent the first time we met, place her in a different body, different haircut, different flavor chapstick. different seasons, different dialect. Always based on a true story. Only the events have changed. She asked me “why did you stop writing”
I told her, “darling, the words, I’m fighting them.”
You see, the truth is. I stopped writing. I stopped reading. I stopped feeling. I just quit. Oh baby’s got a briefcase and he filled it with dollar bills, no room left over for anything of value. I hid, hardened up, put on a tie and a smile and decided I was happy. You always saw through it. I found out the liquor store opens at 9am on Thursdays.
Honey bee stings.
You fuck like a dream.
It’s everything it’s always been but I can’t write without bleeding and I can’t bleed without being honest. I have done nothing to lie to pages for the past X months, where X is equal to the moments spent staring at the panel on my closet door directly above the broken wood from kicking the door in when I was younger times the days spent dodging the best wing spot near campus for lunch because it’s also a bar and I don’t want to be drunk in class divided by the number of times I’ve wanted to call every girl your name because I thought maybe then it would give them some importance. There is a sixty three percent chance that I am drunk right now.
It’s this fear of vulnerability that I’ve been crippled by as of late. I had a girl ask me, recently, in an offended tone, “are you scared of commitment?” I told her yes. for the first time in my memory, I found myself afraid of any one of these girls who tried to get close enough to me that I couldn’t just brush them off with a sarcastic quip or disappear for a few days without being thought less of. I moved into a treehouse. Metaphorically speaking of course, it’s almost winter for fuck’s sake, I bitch about temperature when it dips below 60. Anyways, maybe it isn’t commitment as much as it is having to be vulnerable.
See, when you let someone in, when you express feelings, when you kiss the cute bartender at her car after a night of whiskey and pool, there’s this expectation that you open up, that you talk about a little bit more than your classes, discuss a bit more than movies I honestly don’t give a fuck about or comparing my business with the service industry. The expectation of vulnerability is just so much and so I vanish, it isn’t fair to anyone I let pursue me, but I’m scared and it’s taking a lot to get to my next point.
I cannot read without crying. It started with Murakami, but it became David Wong and Ellis and even fucking Palahniuk. It’s the vulnerability that comes with surrendering, truly surrendering to literature and letting an author enter your body and accept all of the characters, it’s too much for me right now. There’s a ninety percent chance I’m drunk right now and trying to get a little bit deeper into The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle before I fall asleep.
This is equal parts a confession and a waste of your time to read. I saved this disclaimer for the end because I’m selfish like that.
I stared at my bed every third sentence writing this and hoped I could see you stirring.