(I suppose this could be labeled as an old school writer’s notebook entry)
After cleaning my place and washing dishes, made some coffee and took a shower. I’d say that it was about half an hour of mental prep work in order to calm down and get to the place where I could comfortably edit.
About an hour and twenty minutes I was working on my novel. My vision was the story and the words were the senses, and it did take a while but I got back to where I needed to be. There was the sound of random steps of pauses then steps of the fingers typing. Never sure but then you have to be sure if there will ever be an end.
There are so many decisions all asked at once. No. This is good, just good enough, forget about the words and style and let the story be itself, detached from the control of the mind, and it sounds funny, but this is what it takes for the inside fan to become one with the outside arctic wind.
I was there, at real nice quiet point, and then as I was moving to the next paragraph I hear four gun shots, then one more, a total of five divided by point three or so seconds of separation, it’s a real motive pull of the trigger, no rifle range, no American boys be boys Sunday evening target practice, and when I heard it—it sounded like it came from right outside my window cause’ my desk is next to the big one near the back towards the woods, and so I couldn’t write anymore and I thought about calling nine one one and telling them, but for some reason decidedly I figure just wait it out and turn off the lights, hope for everything to settle down.
Half pissed at existence for interrupting me, I was upstairs in the dark looking out the window down towards the street looking at the panels of long church window reflections all at once as a couple of cop cars drive slowly by and then circle around, and then it’s quiet again and dark.
It has now been less than Fifteen minutes, and I’m still standing there when there’s more squad cars crawling down the street and an ambulance and now it looks like Christmas lights in a mirror and I can’t really write anymore but I have to because I have to finish the book.
And being a writer isn’t easy, and as you get older there’s no coffee talk and silent university walls. There’s you and there’s the society out there—that you’re hoping to capture a glimpse of with prose, and then, when random things like this happen, part of you wants to run over to the scene of the crime without hesitation, like you did when you were younger, maybe to help, but you know you couldn’t. Because it’s over. What’s been done is done. But still you think about going outside, if only to see if you got close, to what you thought it would be like, even, if you don’t know what that is.
But you can’t, because you don’t know what’s out there, and you have this instinct inside of you that tells ya’, that if you die, well then you won’t get your work done, and it’s sad, because right now, sometimes, it feels as if that’s the only thing you care about. Completing the painting.
The sound of a gun is a scream of madness. It sends chills down my spine and (if it turns out to be reported) it’s the third killing (or attempted one) I’ve been within a short proximity to in the past four months. And I don’t like it. It’s not material. It’s a sickness. It’s bullshit. I don’t know. Maybe it is normal and everyone is desensitized or have moved out but me. And I know that’s not true, but maybe, it’s time to try and be an adult author and see if I can get a nice coastal residency. One not in the middle of a postindustrial war. Just great. More wishing well literary dreams of being relevant, and in the end, probably nothing more than hours of stamped paperwork that nobody will read.
Maybe this is where I belong. Maybe this is the writer I will always be. But whatever the future will materialize into nothing will ever surprise me more than the insanity of our species, and so below is what I was working on when the shots rang my nerves, and instead of coffee now there is beer and typing this nonsense instead of pacing before what I’m sure will be a restless night of trying to get to sleep.
These words are taken from a novel that I’m working on called The Fear & The Going. As always, Thanks For Reading.