I’m sitting outside on my porch smoking a cigarette and thinking that I don’t have shit to write about. There’s something to be said for the enticing crackle that my cigarette makes as I pull the poison into my lungs. There’s something to be said for the smooth, soundless motion of my pen on paper, scribbling nonsense in hopes that a worthwhile sentence will be produced. After what feels like hours, I finally write, “There are vampires in the streets tonight,” but nothing follows and I’m tragically blank.
These are the nights that haunt me during my days-my endless days at my soul-sucking job. Why do I have nothing to write about, I wonder with anxiety. It is my biggest fear-I think any writer would agree-to wake up one morning and go to scoop water from the well to cool my raspy throat and find that the well has run dry.
And that there is the source of my relationship failures. When I have nothing to write about and nothing interesting has happened, I fuck up my relationships with my lovers, friends, family, anyone that I can, just so that I can feel something. It is incredibly dangerous to be irrevocably happy-that much I know is true. Sometimes I confess my love for those that I don’t even want to be around, those that I barely like at all. I do this just to see what they say in return. At the end of the day, I see every connection formed as material for my writing. Nothing more, nothing less. How exhausting it must be to be a part of my life.
The way that things have been going for me, it seems that I will never run out of writing material permanently. The well will continue to quench my thirst, but I will always be alone, and that is the price one must pay for art, I’m afraid.
—story by MARISA CRANE