[If ever I had met The Infected One, this is what I imagine he might look like. Of course he has to be wrapped in bandages because the disease has ravaged him and his features have been eroded. Perhaps he is also just paying homage to the Pharaohs; that would not be unlike him. If he suffers from a rash then it cannot be real, it must be of a purely metaphysical nature. And the glasses, evidently, protect him against the deadly brilliance of the way things are and in turn protect the world from his contagious madness. The Infected One, I’m pretty sure of this, must be a lonely character, one who moves around by night. I wish him all the best, I do.]
And then life, as it does, had just weirdly continued for six or seven weeks without me writing anything. Well, I did write but no fiction, no prose, no analysis, no meditations, none of the types of writing that afford the minuscule inner glow that qualifies as happiness. I began a long thing but in a way that did not and does not qualify.
For five or six weeks I have written nothing in my usual-suspect genres and gotten away with it. By gotten away with it what I mean is that I have lived on without major emotional trauma. It was unsatisfying at times and the thought of not having written anything prose-like or analytical [if you discount the three articles and the start of the longer thing], the thought of not having been in touch with The Infected One bothered me.
But I did not loose sleep at night, I did not start eating less, nor did I begin chewing my nails. Nail-biting, anyway, has never been one of my tics in distress.
What was more distressing, not now that I think about it but at the time, as I was going through it, was the lack of distress. Because this lack of distress might just point to the fact that I am not a quote-true-unquote writer. The true writers say that they «need to»write, that writing to them is like breathing or that they would stop existing if they stopped writing. They come up with some pretty elaborate and at times even beautiful metaphors to point out that writing to them is not a matter of choice. And that for the «natural»or the «natural-born»writer [whatever that might be] it is never a matter of choice but a matter of compulsion. There is an inner force, inevitable as the unfolding of a super-nova or the infinite chains of causality that are our destiny, and this force gets them to sit their asses down by the type-writer [for example Pessoa] or the computer [probably Stephen King, I am guessing] and then begin writing.
The way I understand it, it’s not necessarily that this inner force majeure is what gives them the idea or that it helps to make them particularly creative or anything writerly advantageous like that. No. Instead it gets them to sit their asses down in the right place and begin trying to write something. Which they usually end up doing because they are, among other things, disgustingly talented and strong-willed and disciplined and a shitload of attributes I openly dream of at night.
Since that is not the way I usually experience writing, as this overwhelming force, and since I tend to split my mind on stuff like this, a number of ideas have occurred to me to make more sense of it or at least begin teasing some meaning out of the «necessity»to write. First of all: writing long and involved and good stuff is such a daunting process that to think of it purely in terms of being an effort of the will is just begging for feelings of hopelessness. To get a fuzzy, comparative image: it would be like an IronMan tri-athlete counting all the swimming strokes and pedal rotations and running strides of their deathly competition and then, just after diving into the Pacific on a lovely Hawaiian shore, beginning to count backwards. That competitor would go monkeyshit after a couple of clicks of biking or even earlier, swim off course and get washed up on a time-traveling island. Secondly, the need to write describes the type of «a higher force made me do it»idiom that fiction writers, for some psychoanalytical reason I have not figured out yet, are wont to employ. The other known manifestation of it is «This is not the narrative I had in mind. But then, BOOOM, my character [turned on me and] did this totally unexpected thing. This guy has a mind of his own.»This line of thinking is evidently a bit self-flattering, meaning one has created a character so rounded, so 3-D [which in these days of cinematic horror is sort-of a dirty word], so flipping organic that the character, low and behold, much like Adam or Eve or, more appropriate in our times, an AI has taken on a life and consciousness of its own. It is in fact no longer just a constructed thing on the page but has leapt off of it and into life. And also, this claim of the alleged independence absolves one [at least a tiny bit] of any potential future narrative shortcomings. Because if one is delusional enough to claim that the protagonists have begun a life of their own independent of the writer’s imaginative engineering then why not take this scenario to its logical conclusion and lay responsibility at these protagonists [pretty damn fictive] feet? Certainly there must be yet more reasons why fiction writers so eagerly pull of these imaginary displacements.