Afraid of Hemingway

A seasoned writer struggles with his writing and confides in a very old friend.

PAUL: I’m out of touch…lost that pulse, that edge I used to have, I’ve, I’ve become this craggy, shitty, writer.  I used to build worlds and atmosphere and soul. Now, now I just walk around all day with an erection and can’t get it up.  Characters used to open their hearts to me, they used to share their deepest secrets…I would open up my heart to them and listen like their therapist, jotting down what they so desperately needed to say to the world…I was their medium.

Now, ohhh now…who knows?  I feel like Beckett did after his six years…you follow?  And even before his six years when he just couldn’t absorb anymore…I miss my Chekhov days…that bastard could write short stories while his house was packed with friends and family…his creative well never got dry…I’m afraid of Hemingway, well, of experiencing a never-ending decrease of my powers.

What do I do?  It’s not writer’s block cause that was always bullshit, anyway. It’s not that.  It’s a candle slowly going out I’m afraid…my candle, going out…damn.

Let me try, let me try to make something up here on the spot and I’ll show you how terrible I’ve become…okay…

“There was this man I once knew, a face…and I can only feel that I knew him, although I can only see a shadow of him in my mind.  This shadow, the one he appears in, is always black and white, which falsifies the memory of it for me but still, it rings true, like I know this man, although I can only make out parts of his face, like his sweaty hair bangs and the swift smacking his nose takes from their tips when he…he’s doing something, something strange…something downward.  He is hunched over and the sun collides against his white shirt and he is doing something…something…”

(pause.)

You see?  It’s too much now.  (sighs) Gone baby, gone.

Joseph Arnone

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