Why don’t you write more? Everybody always asks me the same question over and over and once more for good measure and once again when they’ve remembered how long it’s been since they’ve asked it last. It’s flattering and kind. It’s sweet, with undertones of wanting, complementary, but naturally so and not forced so–all of the things I’ve ever wanted anybody to say about me. To feel about me.
Why don’t I write more? Because sometimes there isn’t a more. Because sometimes that’s all there is and my hands are sated and my fingers no longer map things out with the surety I need to keep going. Because I write when my mind is overflowing and my heart is flooding, and I’m afraid if I write any other way it would be less than. It would be inorganic, fluffed up and artificial and like everything else anyone who likes me wouldn’t like.
Because it takes hundreds of tabs in my browser, over tens of topics and many more Wiki pages. Because it takes one artist, one song, repeated over hours and drowning in the immersion of someone else’s cadence. Because it’s uncomfortable and sometimes painful and more than. Because I don’t know what part of me will come out and how and if people will like me still or if they will no longer and if I’m okay with all the permutations, or if I am afraid, still. Because when the answer is the latter it joins the twelve drafts in this WordPress and twenty-two in my hard drive.
Because a single piece of writing means thousands of choices between words, phrases, commas and pathways and things people who’ve written anything that has been scrutinized and graded and scored has a natural, rational fear of.
Because, god, I want people to like me, but I still, always, want to like myself.
Do you remember falling in love for the first time? Remembering it was everything and nothing like anyone’s ever told you it would be like?
How young you were, how foreign and real and right it felt? Like the first time you’ve ever petted a cat or a dog or held a stuffed animal; how you’ve never experienced it, but when you did–it felt like the most correct thing, the most right thing in the entire world? And when you did, it was hard to remember what it was like before it, and you know, (even when it hasn’t ever happened), that you are, somehow, so terribly frightened of what it’ll be like after it?
Writing feels like falling in love for the first time, but every time. Every piece of work, every singular phrase I birth that I can’t stop repeating, singular phrases I force people to read an entire article for so I can point it out and hear it rolling from their mouth, instead of my own. Except it’s not the first time and I can feel the velocity of the reverse waiting for me at the end.
Conceptualizing your own art, loving what you love, even with the possibility of someone else not loving it at all. That’s when you know you’re really falling. When you’re really in trouble, but out of it, at the same time. Because you care so much, for the first time, you don’t care about anything else.
Because there’s purpose, and this wavering questioning about sensibility but this unwavering idealism. Because you know, or maybe you want so much it feels like you know, that there might be something more, something other, than just you. Something more than just me.
You press ‘publish’ and ‘share’ and you wait for affirmations. The kiss, the ego stroke, the raining of praise, the feeling of someone staring at your insides. It’s like this sickening need, this sickening nagging, sickening hoping that people will confirm everything you’ve always ever felt, even though you tell yourself you don’t need them to.
I’ve written bad things and dated bad men and have discovered, similarly, they teach you equally important things and lead you to equally important places. I’ve learned, early, that chasing an emotion is not growth. I’ve learned, early, that exploring them has always been more painful, more frightening, more awful and more satisfying. That sadness, fear, loathing and the emotions that polarize them are the reasons why.
It’s feeling. It’s always been just feeling.
What if I write too much, feel too much, and suddenly there’s no juice? What if one day you stop falling in love, and the last time you fell in love was sincerely your last but you never knew it, but you’ll never know it?
Then you fall in love again, I think. But with something else, in the same way, in all the same emotions but different quantities how you always have but never.
Because life is boundless, maybe.
Why did you just start writing more? I want to be able to be asked next year. Because I’m wrong–because I was wrong–because I can admit it.
We are always editing. Always creating. In our happy little medium, scribbling the highs and lows. Figuring it out. I don’t know what happens next, or what happens later, I just know we need to happen now: the things we put off, the things we say we’re going to that constantly stays the things we have never.
Maybe one day we’ll stop falling in love, but until we are there we have purpose to keep falling in love.
I thought I was at the end, until I met you. And I know it continues, every morning, with your blackout curtains and the smell of your Madrinas coffee and rap music distorted through the sound of the shower head.
I thought I was at the end, until I met you: my every morning, my favorite, singular phrase, my ‘write more‘.