Intention and the Desire to Write

roilingWaters

You say you “want to write,” but what is your intention? At your age, you’ll need to consider and weigh every move against how long it will take to get there, with how much effort, who will be there at the end – “who” in this case being you.

You start with desire, of course – the love of words. How they taste in your mouth. What your tongue does when they melt.

He could – he would — resist this. She gave him warm salt water and he tasted ocean and he swallowed and the waves came, inside, but he held them back. He kept them in.

You find your past splayed wide open in those words. Pull the past forward into your better self, like some giant rubber boot you snagged from under the pier while fishing. You will describe it and love it better than it was ever loved. Maybe you’ll find something about a lawn-full of clover and the bee you picked with your hand, or maybe the way your mother smelled like gardenias, or, more likely, potato peels, or maybe you just notice that she’s absent from every story you tell. It’s a fine occupation, delving. You write and explore. You cast out demons. If you do this at a coffee shop, then you are “writing” and if you have any kind of history and much time, you can sit there for a long while, delving.

He only opened his mouth a little bit, but the raw egg whites slipped past his lips and down his throat, a gelatinous invader. He gagged but held it. Now a neighbor lady was in the bathroom along with his mother. They were talking about time. It was time. He would be strong and he would not throw up. Sick people threw up. He was not sick.

When that memory tugs, though, do you know what it wants? It’s not a screaming child, more like a tapping one, on your elbow, a child you hadn’t met before. What does he want? You must ask, and you ask by writing.

He remembered the car ride, and the blue wash bucket held in front of him. Why were they taking him to the hospital when he hadn’t thrown up? He was a good boy, except for this time. The way the pills tasted – orange, tart-but-sweet, powdery explosions filling his mouth — they drew him to take another, and another. He knew they were medicine but so what? Every single one of them had tasted like candy, and anyway, Mom wasn’t around.

But so what? You relive, recast the past into words. You walk through it again. Maybe you see something you never saw before.

Maybe you see yourself reflected in the coffee shop window, as though for the very first time.


Note to Yeah Write readers — I’m new here, so apologies in advance if this entry doesn’t quite meet the standard for either personal essay or traditional blog anecdote.

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About David

Prone to musing and to being prone. Father to two, writer, engineer.
This entry was posted in fiction, musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Intention and the Desire to Write

  1. This was so beautifully written and haunting. The opening and closing paragraphs, perfect.

  2. Karen says:

    David,
    Your writing style immediately drew me in. Your love of words is evident in every line of this post. Beautifully done.

  3. christi74 says:

    This is really lovely and thought-provoking. I like how you mix in the memories.

    • David says:

      Thanks! I like the effect of “weaving” especially as it’s sometimes the closest representation of how we are often working things out and feeling things in multiple parallel tracks.

  4. I read this twice. I loved the style for its differences.

  5. theinnerzone says:

    Such a powerful piece – “You write and explore. You cast out demons. If you do this at a coffee shop, then you are “writing” and if you have any kind of history and much time, you can sit there for a long while, delving.” Interlaced with memories, the reflections turning from old to new – Loved it.

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