The death of a writer and the birth of something better
He knew that if he didn't publish this by the age of such and such that he would give way in the worst possible kind of way. He knew that if he didn't, if he couldn't publish something by the time that such and such happened then he would add up and add up and add up and amount to nothing in the scheme of things.
His college Creative Writing class (Finding Poetry in Everyday Language and Sound) was standing beside him and yet at the same time WITHOUT him in the obnoxiously lit room. They were listening to and watching a pleasant old woman who was all of 64 or 65 years old. She was educating them on the "Special Collections" section of the university library.
"This is our collection of numbered Sylvia Plath first editions that were donated to us by a now out of business local book dealer." She said.
He stood there and looked at the uninteresting colors of the dust jackets. Why'd they have to be so uninteresting? Well, he supposed that a woman who would want to shove her own head in an oven like a garlic roasted potato in order to end it all wouldn't much be interested in presentation or design.
He didn't want to be a writer.
He didn't want to be a writer. What he wanted was to major in business or sociology, get filtered on into grad school in a state where the SUN SHINED, practice law and be able to successfully support a red head with blue eyes. His heart ached with the impossibility of this and the impossibility of poetry and even the impossibility of the lake outside.
"And this is our collection of local authors." Said the de facto librarian.
The students looked down at the collection almost as if they intended to come back later on to read any of it. But their eyes were glazed over and grey and they wanted to get DRUNK. And who could blame them. Although they were probably the kind of drunks who got drunk and then didn't laugh.
"Soon," she continued, "we'll be in possession of your collection of poetry, Professor Lunberry."
He didn't dislike Professor Lunberry. But he couldn't help but wondering what the Professor's poetry was like…was it about stones? Or trees? Or grassy pathways? Who knew…but since he'd had a collection published, it most likely involved stones, trees, AND grassy pathways.
"C'mon Kids." Said Professor Lunberry, "Lets take a walk on up to the fourth floor." The Professor pulled that leash along. The impossibility of poetry.
Half the kids took the elevator, and half took the stairs. The idea of being in such closed quarters with others who also liked to write was a terribly and vastly suffocating one. So he took the stairs. All along wondering, why can't we do whatever this is on the 3rd fucking floor?
"Okay." Said the PROF. "you see that lake outside?" He had seen the lake outside earlier. Considered it. And dismissed it. "What I want to DO, is write some TEXT, some beautiful text on that lake. I just don't know how it can be done."
He looked at the lake again. He tried to imagine some words on the lake. How?
Spell it out with ducks and pay the ducks by the hour to swim in formation? Not likely. But about as likely as anything else.
"We could cut out words with Styrofoam." Said one of the students who liked to write.
"It's not good for the environment." Said another. "the water, the turtles, the ducks, the alligators, the algae." (the same things he wrote about…)
He thought. This is probably what being a writer is all about It's probably all tantamount to attempting writing words on moving water. Trying to do it on still paper for ones own self is grueling enough an experience.
The lake looked at him; ha! It said. It knew it couldn't be written on. It knew that was ridiculous. It laughed and laughed til it cried at the jerk-offs trying to figure it out. How? They'd say. Ducks? HA! Said the lake. As well as knowing that, it also seemed to know everything else that there was to know. It knew his desire to do nothing but sit naked in a dirty room or outside on an Adirondack chair under April suns and just write write write and at the same time have nothing whatsoever to do with any writing of any sort and to have a DECENT and respectable job or business under his belt. It also knew it really didn't matter very much to him as long as he held on to that red head and her blue eyes.