I cleaned up 'my office' yesterday.* It's never a good sign. It usually means I imagine I'm going somewhere. Or that my housemate's cat, Miss Sin Sin - who is wandering dazed and confused through the advanced stages of both pussy dementia and renal failure - has managed to find what can only be the tiniest piece of carpet (beneath the plastic storage boxes, cardboard storage boxes and veritable pyramids of papers, yet-to-be-reconciled receipts, yet-to-be-filed file notes, newspapers, books, plastic bags, paper bags, sleeping bag, poster tubes, production samples, incense burners, spiral-bound notepads, yoga mat (!), first proofs, corrected proofs, second proofs, corrected second proofs, envelopes, million dollar ideas scribbled on the back of said - now takeaway coffee cup and cigarette ash stained - proofs, books, CDs, video tapes, shoe-boxes, photos - framed and unframed, press clippings, finished and unfinished scripts, unopened mail, pieces of no-longer-spiral-bound notepad paper, and ring-binders) on which to shit.
I respect her opinion. She's a cat. What choice do I have? That, and the fact that I think I'd have no choice but to respect even a human who, in the advanced stages of both dementia and renal failure, could manage to pull off a feat like that!
And I couldn't write. Oh no, it's not going to be one of those pieces is it? Well, I could ... BORING! ... but not about anything very interesting. Just words ... and writing is? ... Starved of comprehension. Well, it had to happen.
Where's the through-line, I asked myself. Oh dear. What's the point? It was all going so swimmingly! What's the reason? Here we go! Where's the irony? What's the difference? Humourless. Witless. Artless. Shit. Stop taking yourself so seriously! ... too seriously ... don't get too carried away ... don't be so self-indulgent! ... don't self-edit ... wanker! ... stop doubting yourself! ... unless you're right to ... judging yourself ... someone's got to ... why such high expectations? ... think of the reader, your audience ... they don't want to read about how fucking complex it all is ... they want ... who cares what 'they' want? ... I'm not doing this for them ... of course you are! ... it's a journal ... you're a fucking show-off ... a record of my time ... wow! how thrilling! ... so that this time next year ... too optimistic ... I will be able to look back ... not with all those melanomas .... at all I have written ... rivetting as it is ... and not have to wonder ... did I mention 'verbose'? ... what I did ... or didn't do ... all year. Where I was ... and where was that ... what it meant ... here we go ... how it felt ... "meaning" something all the time ... finally comprehending why, all those years ago, you and I stopped writing in the first place.
I beg your pardon?
Because it's too hard.
You literary genius you.
It's all been said before.
By people better than you.
Much better than you.
You are a fraud.
And ultimately, no-one cares.
So just how responsible should I be feeling for what hasn't become of this little boy's dreams, plans and ambitions?
*See: The Encyclopedia of Distraction, pp 48-56.