When I am not attending to you, you are all I think about. How can I take care of you if I am not doing what you ask of me?
When I am attending to you, I feel inadequate. Not good enough.
I see you, sitting under the shade of the maple tree, desk in front of you. I see you, sitting by the ocean, journal in your lap.
The pen is my sword, but not in that powerful metaphoric cliché. The pen is killing me. Stabbing me, jabbing me.
I write all time. Plays, short stories, novels, essays. The recurrent theme in my thirty years of journaling: I don’t write enough.
Are you me? Is that my one question to you? Am I you?
If I were to get sick, if I were to die, I would not have to worry about writing or being a writer or needing to publish. I would not have to stuff all my words in a drawer. The novels sit there. The plays sit there. I read them. I tweak them. I laugh at them. If I were to die, I would be relieved of the guilt of not writing enough. I don’t go to the doctor.
If I were to say, which I promised myself I would always say, fuck it, I don’t care about writing anymore and who cares any way or maybe, fuck it, I’ll just write and who cares who reads it or if it is any good, which is what I say every day and that makes me a little bit happier. Or a little more trusting of you, accepting of you.
Do I write to become famous? Take your eyes off of me. I do not want to be seen. I want to sit in the shade and have the words, the best words, the phrases, the most beautiful sentences, fall to me like it must happen for real writers. Am I lying? Is that bullshit? Do I want to be famous? I’ve got my pen name all ready. J. C. Leonard.
Why can I not sustain myself? Reject me. It does not bother me; I feel relief. I do not want to put myself out there. I do not want to post on Facebook: Check out my new publication! Check out my blog! I do not want to promote self. I do not want to pay to be considered. Just give us 20 dollars to see if you can win and we will publish you.
Let the words and phrases be enough. Let me be an observer. A listener. A writer. So why do I get angry or feel bad if I am not listened to? Or seen? Or recognized?
Here’s another question.
Writers write about why they write. That isn’t my question.
Why me? That isn’t my question either.
Why bother? No.
Why do you make me feel bad? Getting closer.
Can I write this without feeling a fool?
This: I love you, killer complex. I love to experiment with you. I love you so much that when I fail you by giving up, by giving in to frustration, by identifying you as pretense, a delusion, a farce, when I fail you, I am worthless. Depressed. Discontented. Unconnected.
Maybe this is the question:
Can you love me as much as I love you? Can you help me?
I am stuck. Mired. Suck me in or spit me out. Let me be the writer I am.