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If I Speak Mindlessly, Is Anyone Around To Hear It?

Updated: May 2, 2019

I've been dodging this intentionally. Or at least I think I am. Maybe I'm putting too much pressure on myself.


I keep leaving the house to go sit in my little local regular spot to write and sketch. And yet I find myself applying for more jobs (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), reading through my collection of essays over and over again while making small adjustments, or ceaselessly editing my already fine website. So I really have no room to feel upset that I didn't get the chance to write today, and in turn promise myself I'll write tomorrow.


The hardest part is that I don't know what to write about. After Randall read another piece my collection of essays yesterday, he asked me a fair question. "When you finish this collection, do you think you're going to struggle to find something else to write about?" I think I pushed back a little at first, Nah, that's exactly why I chose to write about what I did- It's the most accessible and kind of a cop out I feel like.


No, I don't want to write about that. I don't feel like explaining how I contradicted myself and yes, Randy was right that it might be hard for me to find something else to write about. I don't feel like writing about writing or lack thereof. All of this feels so very lackluster.



My roommate argues that there's no such thing as writer's block. "You could write about the table or your hands or a bird outside- you can write about anything and everything." Yeah, sure she's technically right. I have no real excuse to not write. But why is it that everything I feel I put on a page (or technically a screen) now feels so flat?


I think a lot about what to write about. There's an obnoxious crosswalk outside of my new store that incessantly beeps and as I came in from my break I thought about connecting the way it's incessantly beeping to Fitzgerald's "ceaselessly" and "beat". And bleating and bleeding and my lack of a period and my literal (in the literary sense of the word) lack of a period in my strands of thoughts. But none of that feels worthwhile or fruitful.


So I'm constantly arguing with myself about whether or not I have writer's block. Granted I'm the one blocking myself from writing anything. But everything I've written about the empty plate next to my Chromebook or my gloves haphazardly stacked there seem strained and boring and too contemplated.



There's a rogue strand on the middle finger of my gloves. And in the whole of the pinkie- no, it was the ring finger and the pinkie. There are so many gloves that are left abandoned on street corners, lonely, soiled, ignored ones. Invisible trash. But they used to cover someone's hands. My gloves cover a set of scarred and skinny hands. I have a scar on my left pointer finger, between the middle knuckle and the one attached to my hand. It's practically gone now- like its sister farther up on my arm. While the one on my forearm was dark and long and thick, this one was short, and I was shocked the scrape scarred. I used to dig at my skin sometimes. It never used to be that bad of a habit, but one time while sitting in the light booth at school, pressing a "go" key over and over throughout a production I incessantly dug at my skin. I can't remember why, now, but I remember a consistent burning sensation, so consistent that I had forgotten about it until I looked at my finger and noticed it had transformed into a stick of raw swollen flesh.


My gloves cover this. They don't let people see this little scar, or the polka-dotted psoriasis freckled over my skin. The man at the funeral home covered my grandmother's hands. They used to be admittedly ugly, purple and brown and green and yellow dolloped all over her skin that appeared to be melting off of her bones. He plumped her hands, stuffed them like old pillows, flattened from the weight of heads it'd cradled. He filled them and painted them and they looked like they'd been replaced entirely. He was her gloves- shielding my grandmother's own scars from the funeral patrons.



I'm tired of writing about things that don't feel like they matter to me anymore. Not that my grandmother doesn't matter to me, but I'm tired of writing the same things. I'm tired of discussing the way my skin looks and why and how it affects me mentally. I'm tired of writing in circles about my feelings and about the things that have happened to me. I'm tired of trying to write for other people. I don't know what I mean by this but I'm tired of writing for other people. Maybe it's because I know other people will be reading this. Even if it's just two people, someone else will read this. And I hate that. But I love that all at once. Not in a vain way; but in a way I can't quite place my finger on it yet. And I hate it because it puts this kind of pressure on me I think to feel like I need to perform. "So just write for yourself for a while, and don't publish it." I can't do that because I can't just let things sit somewhere. They don't really feel like they've happened unless someone else has seen it too.


And I guess you could say that it's like that whole "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound" argument. Because technically, yeah, it does. So I guess my writing does too, even if I'm the only one to hear it. (I had an interruption in my ceaseless clacking of keys here). And to be honest I don't remember my argument against that, even though I know I had one.


But even that, just a small interruption in my writing, literally a ten second exchange and I'm already lost and separated from my writing and exhausted from trying to remember and think. I don't know what I'm writing anymore. And I don't really know why I'm still even typing this sentence.


Even if I let this sit somewhere, in blog post limbo I still don't feel like it happened. I'm exhausted, and frustrated and disappointed and sad and cold and I don't know what to do about any of it. Maybe I need to read more or sit in silence more or force myself to write more or explore more, I don't know. But I just want to be done with this right now.



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