Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dusk, in the shadows

The scene is set in the mid-late evening, in a shadowed room. As one enters, a large teak wardrobe dominates the left corner and ancient, faded posters of movies and holidays spray the white-washed walls with a nostalgia that doesn't quite fit. That's all, though. No other signs of residence - except on the far right.

An almost childish bed stakes its claim under the large, bay windows. On the white sheets is a lap desk - the kind that the family accountant used while calculating the clan's checks and balances for fifty years. Undulating movements on the bed produce feet from under the desk while a book is laid above, accompanied by the gentle rasp of a fountain pen.

I don't write as much - or as well - as I'd like to and I don't know why. Nor do I have one defensible reason. I find myself willing words to come, and continue staring at the page. Like now. Staring... blank... empty...

The commute from experience to expression is like a jet plane on some days and a toy train on others. But the thrill of pushing and pulling a sentence into shape never changes. The thrill of writing something something I think is terribly witty. And does it really matter if anyone else thinks so... or not?

There is a special pleasure in articulating something out loud. And on paper, it has such a tangible, physical shape. But the words are disquieted... wandering... hesitant. I long to speak the words closest to me... until the swell overwhelms all things... until they cease to be and a new time-space unfolds.

It won't happen. Failing to speak of that which is raw is my greatest shortcoming. To expose and examine the sores behind wet bandages. How long will I apologize? Be someone I'm not? I run... to hide behind different words that fall just short of meaning. Sometimes, they escape in a fugitive flash, only to remain unsaid.

Someday, I'll know the words. That's when I'll write. To speak. To listen. To share. To seek. To meet new-ness. To understand yesterday. To savour today. To anticipate tomorrow. To meet myself. To be the one I wa....

"Are you coming then?"

"Where are you going?"

"I don't know yet... the coffee shop or the pub. Depends. Are you coming?"

The pen sighs, sliding back into darkness, its journey now ended. The book is tucked under a wayward pillow as feet are withdrawn from under the lap desk and put into sandals on the floor. A click sounds in the isolation of the room. In five minutes, you wouldn't have known anyone had been there.