So, here’s what I’ve been thinking, as I stare at an essay written in the 40’s by James Baldwin. His words titled ‘Notes of a Native Son’ comfortably rest next to my half torn notepad, which smells of hand rolled cigarettes from being left on the coffee (etc) table for too long.
I am thinking about words and their power, especially when put on paper. I use the same 26 letters in the English alphabet that Baldwin, Kundera and Kerouac used. Who am I to use their tools? What makes my sentence construction and phrasing worth reading? Rather than feeling intimidated, I am in a whirlwind of curiosity to find out. Their stories live on. I have found life in them. Death has always left me in a kind of paralytic fright – how it puts me at ease to find infinity in literature.
I lit a candle to ‘get in the mood’. The mood of a ‘writer’. I’m not quite sure what this mood entails, but somehow the closest thing to it, I thought, was a jasmine scented candle, which is now flickering next to the very bright light-bulb-charged bedside lamp.
“I write because, uhm, I can’t not write”. – This sentence sat comfortably on the blank page in front of me for a fair amount of time. I laughed at how my own lumpy sentence seemed to be taunting me with its isolation, as if shouting “You don’t even know why you write, lol”. Charles Bukowski said, “There is nothing more magic and important than lines forming on paper. It’s all there is. It’s all there ever was”. I laughed again at my sentence and thought of how easy it would be if I could just repeat Bukowski’s sentence to anyone and everyone who asks me why I write (an easy cop out, I am aware).
The truth is though, ever since I can recall, my best days ended with the need to record the day’s events. Be it on the fragrance paper of my primary school diary, or the jotted down thoughts of a confused adolescent on perforated paper. Paper stuffed in the back of drawers and hidden behind a pile of clothes in messy cupboards. So, that’s what I do. I write, and my stories are messy and unpredictable and boring and happy and depressing and sometimes ordinary. Sometimes so beautiful I am left in awe.
I don’t know how to say the right words, my sentences are awkward and long, and I ramble about sadness too often. It’s senseless. Confusing. Grammatically incorrect. Awkward. Real. Dwelling in every single emotion, saying things I don’t mean, being confused and feeling it and dealing with it. Whether the stories to follow are from personal experiences or about people halfway across the world. I want to write them and I want you to read them.