The Beast

Familiar glow of the monitor and I’m surrounded by clothes stacked, unfolded, in laundry baskets.  Utility room, computer room, spare bedroom all describe the uses of this particular space.

I am a little chilly, my bare body though covered by a layer of male hair in many places, still is not immune, so I pull a sweatshirt from a nearby pile and enjoy the fabric against my skin.  I am still bare from the waist down, but not so chilly now.

It is 7:21 a.m. on a Saturday.  My wife is still sleeping.  She sleeps soundly in the master bedroom across the hall.  We are on the second floor of a two-story town house.

I am a writer.  I don’t do this professionally, but when I ask myself who I am, what I am, I am first a person, next a writer.  All other identifying traits fall after this–gender, profession, marital status, family tree.  These are secondary.

The chief problem of being a writer is learning the patience that is required to actually write.  With patience comes the perserverance to write despite whatever other distractions hit.  There are a million tentacles and the beast is so large that you cannot see its entire bulk due to the curvature of the earth (and the fact that it’s a metaphor), and all these tentacles grip and grasp every part of you.  They pull you, suck you in until the writer in you has been devoured.  But it happens little by little, so that you tell yourself it’s not too bad.   You still recognize some of the writer left and you still have those lingering ideas, though you feel less and less like putting them into action.  Then years go by and you realize that there is only a shred of the writer left and that the only way to recover is to pursue the beast and win back the pieces of you that have already been stolen away.  But the beast is so large, so all-consuming that you realize there is no way to win back the shreds of the writer that have been torn bit by bit over many years.  So, there is only one solution and it is terrible, horrifying.  You must sacrifice the rest of the writer and yourself to the beast, throw yourself into its gaping jaws.  Once inside the beast, collect the shreds of the writer, piece them together like a patchwork quilt and bail out of the metaphor altogether.

The truth is – a writer is born and can never die.  The beast can suck away all it wants, but the unending energy of the writer’s soul can feed the beast without being destroyed.  The writer tames the beast and takes it as his pet.

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