There is a blank page in front of me and a whole bunch of little letters at my fingers. I can hit them, bash at them as much as I want and they never run out. This is wonderful. It is a wonder. I can bash them out, reverse over them, and make them vanish. I have the power of several minor gods and am indebted to Visa and the beauty of bills that pay themselves.
I’m looking for my voice in a sea of others. I can feel yours burning in my throat. Yours I cannot take, cannot emulate, there are things about you I like too little and, alas, they are so great that they cancel out the good. Yours I will not take either. I do not fawn. It is not in my nature. Nor do I want it to be there. I need the humour. I need to laugh in the darkness, the fundamental pointlessness, the dark purity of nothing. I need the nothing. I need to laugh at it.
I read and steal and for five seconds I have it. By the time I find a pen it is too late. The computer is slow. It’s never enough. It’s never fast enough. I’m not sure I know enough words, have enough meanings, have read enough. I don’t know the people, I’m not connected, I have a strange aversion to acting the drama I attract. Attraction and repulsion are funny things. I can find both in a few dozen words. I can do both in a few dozen words. Or less. Much less.
This then, is power? Have I wielded it correctly? Am I thinking too much about what it is and is not? I am. I know it. Being self-aware is a curse, truly. We can be unconscious. I believe we can. Eyes open, brain disengaged. Too busy being clever and à la mode to think. Beyond thinking. Wrapped up in a smug blanket of better-than-you. So very sophisticated in half-arsed sophistry. There is a way, I can see it, I just cannot see the way in.
It’s easy, isn’t it? So very easy. Move all the boundaries to places you like. Make your likes the norm. Make the norm necessary and all other behaviours are abhorrent. And you are good and you are liberal and all your attitudes are in the right place. They’re so right, you’re right, you’ve listened to the people in one little elite and you know how right you are. You cannot be challenged. You are right. So right and you know it. A world unmuddled by love you for what I am not. A simple case of like attracts. And like must like. It is right.
There is white bread. It’s hard not to like white bread. Bland but satisfying. Made better by topping. Quite a lot of things are made better by topping. It’s clean and pretty and unrelated to anything. What was I speaking of? The joy of the bland. The clichéd girl on the bus. The hair just so, the clothes just that right mixture, the technologies as they should be, the very model of a modern girl generalised. There’s no dirt, no flies, no danger, and no lies. The imagination is lacking. The vocabulary is ordinarily orderly. Words flung about to make new worlds are allowable only if sanctioned by publishers. You can fall in love through words. You can fall into people and places and ways of being. They require no sanction. They require nothing but themselves and a will.
You can fall through the cracks with words. In words. Words alone can make you fall and fail and fail to see the light and cry out to the gods of your making. Oh god, gods, make me. And when you cry out into the night and in the darkness, when you cry out so quietly, so desperately, when you cry out in a little girl voice do you think they hear you? Do you think they care? Do you think they’ll do what you want, what you need, or what you have asked for? And you think, with all your cleverness, that what you’ve said is what you mean. And you think that no-one else sees the meanings arcing out like multiple worlds of words. I have been in that place. I have seen those worlds and been paralysed – through indecision, not fear. I stood on the footpath and walked a tight square of indecision as all the possibilities lay before me. I did nothing. I do nothing. I stand here laughing up my sleeve at your need and am perplexed by my own. In the end I disengage. I find nothing of value. I am oddly troubled by that.