The Trial of a Writer

I was finally able to stick to a habit in writing. And drinking. Every day, around 8 p.m. with two or three bottles of beer. I would write a few lines, sometimes a paragraph or even a page…

I would watch my ideas blossom and develop from day to day, from one arduous writing hour to the next…

Who said writing couldn’t be tamed? It felt good to cease control over this immaculate beast.

It gave me satisfaction, pride – the closest feeling to perfection. It amused me, the way I could fondle my laptop keys the way I wanted and toy with the elegant art of writing. Twisting words, altering sentences, it was delight to my eyes.

But then it happened. One night, as I carried my bottles and placed them gently on my writing desk, I felt devoid of inspiration. Short of ideas. Lacking the wit and cleverness to stroke my magic fingers and conjure up a few lines. I looked at my clock and sure enough, it flashed 8 p.m., the time for writing.

But how could it be? I was doing so well so far. I was soaring, like a majestic phoenix reborn from its ashes. Panicking, I started drinking, swallowing gulps of beer, my neurons aching for inspiration, crying out for the writing muse that had deserted me.

Nothing.

Emptiness crept in on me, and I felt cold. I shuddered on my room floor, my teeth crackling, my palms cold and sweaty. What would I become if not for a man of words? Was this the end of my triumphant siege on the craft of writing?

It couldn’t be. Perhaps it was.

But I was not one to give up, not me the great writer! So I loaded up with more booze and sat in front of my laptop screen as I so often do. I rehearsed a few lines in my head before typing them on screen. I kept the momentum going with more swallows of beer.

But it was forced writing. It was hard writing. And most of all, it wasn’t honest writing.

I erased the whole damn thing. Time to start over.

But just then, something peculiar struck me; my laptop, my loyal and trusted companion, appeared to be moving. I knew then that I could be hallucinating, going mad, or that I simply had too much to drink. But alcohol had never been a worthy enemy; its delusions could never get to me. What then, is this type of sorcery?

I swear by the life of me, I could observe my laptop crawling back, further back from me on the desk. It kept crawling till it finally got far enough for me to readjust my desk chair and extend my hands to arms length in order to reach it. But it evaded me, now moving to the right. I re-positioned my hands, like an experienced sniper trying to lock on its helpless target. But it was out of my reach again. For now, it had quickly crawled to my left. What madness is this? How then was I expected to write now that my most faithful servant had abandoned me?

I called mutiny! I rose from my chair and tried to cease the demon machine. But believe me when I tell you it evaded my grasp again! For now it leaped from the desk, jumping over my head and landing behind me on my bed! I grabbed a half-full bottle of beer, drank it empty, broke it in half to use as a weapon. I called out at the evil forces at work, the demons taking control of my laptop. Show yourselves, vile beasts! Jealous forces from beyond that look to stand in the way of my creation and art!

But there was no answer. Just a taunt transmitted by way of my laptop still dancing and wiggling atop my bed. I shall not go down in flames like this, I shouted. I shall take control of what is rightfully mine and assert my dominance once and for all!

So I leaped toward my bed, swinging the bottle of beer frantically in the hope of killing the soul inhabiting the laptop. But I missed. So I tried again. Missed again. The thing wouldn’t stand still for me to hit it!

Finally I managed to anger it. The laptop roared like a powerful motor and charged me, ramming me in the head. I collapsed on the floor, my weapon crashing next to me. I was disarmed, helpless and defeated.

The laptop, standing mightily on my bed, looked down on me, mocking me in all my weakness. Its screen started to jumble, dance, until finally the storm of bytes subsided and a giant clock appeared. It said 9:30 p.m. There it was, my faithful writing machine, my loyal companion, adding insult to injury, rubbing salt into my wounds. My time for writing had expired, the train of creativity had officially left the station.

As I lay there on the floor, full of booze and the smell of defeat, I was still a bit hazy from what had transpired; my mind was shuffling incessantly, my thoughts scrambled and my vision blurry. But one truth lingered over me, overshadowing the confusion, the doubt, the uncertainty: writing is a trial, an unbearable assessment; it solemnly chooses to conform to its writer when need be, but whenever pushed and bullied it fights back and prosecutes the perpetrator.

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