I idly flipped through a few games and social sites looking for something to do before preparing for the Shabbat, and finally gave up. I am officially bored now, and that is why I opened my word processor, hoping for inspiration. The old saw goes; sit at your computer and stare at a blank screen until drops of blood appear on your forehead. Or something like that.
And wouldn’t you know it. There she was sitting on my desk lamp. She was beat up badly. Her hosiery sagged on her legs, her tweed skirt had tufts of threads sticking out of it, and her pink Rayon® blouse had wine stains over her ample bosoms. She reeked of cheap boxed wine. Or is cheap boxed wine redundant? Anyway, you know the look. The barfly in the alleyway look.
“Geesh, babe, you look like hell!” I said.
“Why if it isn’t old master dresser himself! What, you think you look spiffy in those striped pajama bottoms? I guess 4:30 in the afternoon is a bit early for you to get dressed, isn’t it?” she mocked.
I waved off the reeking comeback and told her, “Go clean up. We need to talk.”
She looked at me with mock surprise, but disappeared with a silent ‘poof!’ … if you can poof silently, then reappeared moments later with a fresh blouse, a second hand but clean brown tweed pencil skirt that was too short for her age, and the hosiery had been pulled up. But not high enough. Her chubby white thighs squeezed out of the stocking tops like mushrooms, and I averted my eyes until she composed herself primly on the monitor before pulling the hems of her skirt down.
“So, you finally wanna talk after all these months of the silent treatment!”
“Yeah. I wanna talk. And it wasn’t the silent treatment. I just didn’t want to write.” I answered.
“You never want to write. How do you expect to be a writer if you don’t write?”
“Yeah, yeah. Writers write. Writer wannabes just want to be a writer. Got anymore old saws to get off your chest?” I snapped.
Smirking with the obvious point, she asked, “So, why did you not want to write?”
“Writing was boring me. I got sick of essays, and face it, I am too lazy to write a novel.”
“What have you been reading? The No-Sweat School of Writing?”
“I haven’t been reading much of anything. Even blogs. Even Tweets are too complex for me right now.”
“Oh crap. Not another change in life episode coming up now. Spare me the change, OK?” she said sympathetically.
“Yeah. I think that is it. I’ve lost my audience. Readers don’t want essays anymore. They want it hard and fast, in 140 characters. They care little for nuance, and memes rule the day. They want pictures to go with their text.”
“Why not just write stuff for yourself?”
“Why write for myself? I already know what I am going to say. Why put it down? No. I really do need to write for somebody who’ll read it.”
“As I recall, one of your friends invited you to write some erotica, and even wrote out a piece to entice you out of your comfortable little bubble. What happened with that?”
“That one scared me. Not her writing, it was pretty good. But my response. I know I could write stuff that would curl her toes, but I am not so sure that I want people to know the depths of my perversions. Image is everything, you know.”
“Like red striped pajama bottoms in the late afternoon?” she said sarcastically.
“My online image. I am too beat up for real life, now. I exist solely online.” I said philosophically.
“That’s good, Socrates. When was the last time a comb when through your hair?”
“Let’s get back to my writing.”
“Your lack of writing, as I recall.”
“Whatever. I do see a huge deterioration in my sentence structure, and that troubles me.”
“What about going back to your morning coffee posts?” she offered helpfully.
“They grew stale. I mean, how many ways can you describe the view out your window, your reaction to the news, the warmth, taste and texture of coffee and other minutia? I ran out of descriptors. It was time to move on. I wrote for a computer sim group for a while, but my bombastic style and disdain for the forum potentates ended that pretty quickly. I am reduced to fishing for comment likes on news sites.”
“Oh, how the mighty have fallen” she said in a stentorian voice.
“Sush. I am being serious. I need more.”
“Then get a new pseudonym and write anonymously again.”
“I am really thinking of that. Much of what I write is hemmed in by some of my audience’s sensibilities. I care enough about them that I don’t want to be offensive, but truth is found in the bitter edges. I am weary of the slogans of my politics and religion. I don’t want to be nice.”
“I don’t see where nice would be your problem” she mocked
“Oh put a sock in it!”
“Ha! Tough guy! Loves the edges, but falls apart with a little challenge from an illusion!”
I am going to write a eulogy for her someday …