One Man’s Therapy…

“Perhaps it’s self-indulgent to write about why you can’t write but, for me, it’s got way past the point where I feel capable of giving a shit. Unemployment, social dysfunction and dreams unrealised can do that to a person. I am plagued by an inability to get close to anyone, at once proud of my island status and tortured by isolation. My creativity is paradoxically boundless and severely limited, mainly by my own disgust at my thoughts and ideas. My muse left me a long time ago without even a pitiful glance back in my direction, off to lift her skirts in piss-ridden alleyways for some other poor bastard who thinks he needs her. The sad truth is, he’s probably right. What I, in those early days after she disappeared, perceived to be a fountain of inspiration is now a mere trickle; the receptacle into which it dribbles forth has sprung a leak and, unable to concentrate or to focus, all I can do is put my lips to the sodden ground beneath it and desperately try to suck some vestige of moisture from it, before collapsing face down in the mud and sobbing even that back out of my system and into the wet earth. The internet overwhelms me and robs my soul of any remnant of originality that may have remained. Meanwhile, my lady flirts with television and torments me from behind the flickering screen. I see her influence in every crappy show that demands and holds my attention, from the moment I crawl out of bed some time late in the mornings, to the unknown small hours in which I fall asleep in front of two boxes, one controlled by a qwerty board designed to transmit my frustrated contrivances into the electronic ether, the other operated by a temperamental magic wand and relentlessly pulsing out trash and fear, always the fear, into my even unconscious brain as my waking self slumbers. TV ate my muse, every last bit of her, ate her out. I just hope the bitch enjoyed it.”
The tapping of letter-keys stopped and silence flooded the room. It was broken by the sound of an elderly printer starting up, the kind with the continuous feed of paper with an endless stream of holes punched in on each side. The figure at the computer placed futurely-arthritic hands on the edge of the grubby desk and pushed, sending the chair on which he sat screeching its way across the bare boards. He stood up, tore the latest print off the machine like some tree-pulp afterbirth and, equally unwanted, shoved it into a desk drawer. Therapy taken care of for another evening, he switched off first printer then computer and then locked the desk drawer. He took a lightweight coat from the hook on the back of the door, slipped it on and flipped the lights off. Then he left his study: pulled the door shut, turned the key in the lock, returned the key to his trousers pocket, turned the doorknob four times to check that it was definitely locked, checked his pocket again to confirm that the key was still in place, repeated the exercise. Finally, he walked slowly downstairs. One gnarled hand rested along the banister as he descended, an almost inaudible snake-scales sound of dry palm against old wood accompanying the movement. As he left the bottom step and crossed to the front door, his wife appeared in the kitchen doorway. She smiled thinly, noting his coat without surprise.
“Off out again,” she said, a statement rather than a question. He nodded.


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