Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Writer's Block

            With me you don’t need to hide behind your education. I'm trying out the interview style, selecting you as my first victim. But you won't be natural.
            Why is it that every sentence I write flows like your words coming through my ears, mossy and tangled? Sitting at the desk, I'm over-editing your sentences. I'm trying to make them sound like you. But they just sound like me.
            Some of it sounds like poetry: Create a life for yourself without feathers and beads; simply grab some sharp shears. The class is not impressed. The professor is scowling at me. He knows about the feelings. He knows about the editing.
            "I interview my best friend, you, and I feel like I know you less," I scream it into your voicemail.
            I calmly sip my coffee and justify why it didn't work: This is personal, not professional. I have to be professional. No more interviewing friends. No more interviewing people I know.
            I sit awkwardly in the presence of a stranger. You skirt around my dress and hair, you openly describe my face as flawless. He does not say one compliment. He just answers the questions.
            You use so many strands of color and texture and form. I couldn't edit his words if I tried. I'm bored with them. So bored.
            If I am everything exploding with colors and textures and forms, why is it you who says so and not anyone else? My professor is giving me consistent Cs, all of my interviews are flat and boring. But you still compliment me. Your interview is still "colorful."
            I sit with strangers and listen to their words and try to find stories. I try to feign interest. In reality I furrow my brow in confusion and then remember to dismiss your compliments as fiction. Your compliments are because you are my friend. They are only trying to tell a story.
            You’re still saying all of the things I’d like to hear and I’m writing them all down for the record. I'm pretending that you are my interview, but my professor has forbidden it. I don't want to hurt you. But I want the B, the A, the approval.
            You say, We will rule together, I will speak at your wedding, guard you from harm. This is your chivalry as you leave the house. I will get you bad grades and insult your professors and never understand, I parrot back to you in my mind.
            The different lives of minimalist and journalist. You so confident in all of life and I so critical. You are generally happy and simple. I am generally depressed and angry. You don't help my writing, but neither do they.
            Or not.
            I keep going though. Doubt is like hope. Doubt is a question; hope is a dream. I doubt this will work but I hope that it will. And so I keep going. More questions to you and them. More dreams for me to tuck away.
            This will never work for my thesis. Together. I mean. This will never work together. Apart it might work. Apart I might get an interview I can use.
            The. The only single word you say without curlicues and cross out marks and punctuation. I add and I take away and I change your words around so they work but they don't work.
            You want us to get an apartment for a while, but date so many other people. That would be the end of my writing. It might be fun. I tell you that, but I guard my smiles so you know that it is only a slight possibility. Perhaps I could interview your dates.
            A relationship is what you are, a series of couples of people. Perhaps that is what I could focus on. But that is overdone.
            Little they know. You say about my writing. The point, though, is that they know just from my words. They may know little but I am supposed to be telling them.
            I finally sit down to write alone.
            I call you, frustrated.

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