(scroll below for links to other Serious Writer stories)
The serious writer grazed his chin with his left index finger – all fingers of his right hand still hovered over the keyboard – and retraced the small dimple that separated the point of his chin from his lower lip and which he had come to think of as one of the centers of his creative powers. Whenever he lost his confidence he put pressure on this spot.
He slowly moved his attention away from his face to his pants and to the white napkin stowed in his back pocket for a single purpose: he took the paper towel out, felt its thickness with the same care he had earlier given his chin, opened it and put it on the table in front of him.
He reached for his fountain pen, a burgundy Mont Blanc that had been his mother’s, whose small fingers the pen had fit perfectly, underlining her natural grace. When he put the pen on the tissue, a rill of ink trickled down the golden nib as if it had a mind of its own and created a minute black lake on the paper. So the serious writer turned it over and started afresh. He quickly wrote the word ‚FAITH’ before the ink could inadvertently blotch his canvas once again, sheathed his pen and let the fertile loneliness he knew so well take possession of him.
He was aware that none of his previous work meant anything anymore to him though it meant something to someone somewhere, which was a comfort anyway. In the nascent light of a new novel, which had begun to stir inside him like a newborn begotten in an act of poignant paternal love, all his old stories were just that: old stories. Joie de vivre was to be found in things undone, unwritten and unread.
The new novel might begin thus:
Once upon a time there was a cantankerous curmudgeon of a writer who lived his life by one rule only: to calmly move on to the next thing whenever it was time to do so. This man’s best friend was an ancient cetacean from a colony swimming off Capitola whose sorrow was that he loved movies more than anything.
“What’re you writing these days”, said his wife after they went to bed.
“I don’t know yet, my sweet, I’ve only just heated the cauldron up”, said the serious writer and held out his arm so she could cuddle up to him.
He looked forward to his dreams.
published 31 October 2011
click below for more Serious Writer stories: