An old pub, late at night. Hank, a famous and tired writer, and his friend Paul are having some drinks.
PAUL: So Hank, you haven’t brought it up yet, but I do believe we have something to celebrate.
HANK: And what would that be ?
PAUL: Eh, next Thursday ? You getting this really important award for your œuvre ?
HANK: My “œuvre”, hm ? Is that what the kids call it these days ?
PAUL: Ah come on old man, I know you’re fucking with me ! You glorious bastard are practically living the dream and I’m sure this award is at least of some significance to you.
HANK: You know Paul, sometimes I really start to wonder why we are still hanging out together.
PAUL: Oh, shut up ! I know you writers always try to come across as these mythical creatures that walk the earth just to gift us ordinary people with their stories and consume every single drop of booze ever produced on this planet, but in the end you all want the same thing we illiterate barbarians want: happiness !
Hank sighs and takes a big sip of whisky
HANK: Happiness, Paul ? You mean those nine letters that form a word which once upon a time had a meaning ? Well, let me tell you about happiness Paul, or even better, let me tell you about being a writer. First of all, you are absolutely right, we are no gods, we are no mythical creatures that came down from the heavens. We are shitty fucking humans, just like the rest of you, who shit and piss on a regular basis and yes, maybe most poems are found at the bottom of a bottle. But happiness ? Let me ask you this Paul, do you have the slightest idea of what it actually means to be a writer ? I didn’t think so, so let me enlighten you: being a writer means observing the world around you or even more precisely, the people who live in it. Observing their every action, questioning their every look and diving deep into the darkest corners of their minds through literature. Then you start writing, first some poems, then a short story, then a novella, then a novel and with every word you write you get a little bit more… distant. Distant to the very world you’re writing about, distant to yourself. Once you start imagining characters, worlds, lifes you start to feel weird around people, because you start to understand them, to know the motivations behind their actions. You look at history and all you see is just this really old, broken record player which plays this vinyl labeled “Mistakes” over and over again. This is usually the time when you start feeling like a misfit on a regular basis because people start questioning your behavior. They don’t understand how you can keep loving someone who almost drove you to insanity, because all they know about love ist this endless fuckfest, this never-ending stream of dicks and tits pouring down on a planet that was sucked dry of every real emotion by mass media and mindless consumerism. I tell you Paul, there are a lot of things in this world that I hate, but there is nothing I hate more than that dopey smile on people’s faces which today we dare to label “happiness”. All those pathetic cowards who eagerly trap themselves in “happy” relationships that only justify themselves because they have been around for a couple of years and both people involved have come to tolerate each other over time, an accomplishment which in our society today is known as “being in love”. Bullshit, all of it. You know what being in love really means, Paul ? It means crawling on all fours down into the depths of Hell, right to Satan’s throne, then cutting off your own dick just you can stick it up Lucifer’s ass while you’re blowing his hairy goat cock to then finally get permission to be skinned, salted and then hauled back to earth with a spear trough your asshole just so you can see those eyes one more time. There is no such thing as “letting go” or “moving on” when it comes to real love Paul, there is just being in love and if that means going completely insane in the process, then so be it. He takes another sip of whisky, emptying the glass The problem is you can’t live in this world with this kind of view because it will kill you. It will slowly eat you up from the inside until you are just this ghost of flesh and bones roaming the earth in search of the weapon that will kill a dead man. So you start to become a part of what you write, you become the “œuvre” as you so eloquently put it. Over time you become nothing more than another one of your characters, the protagonist of yet another shitty and pointless story, never to be published. Short pause You know, I’m always very impressed by people who have ideals. I mean it is very easy to just become cynical and not give a fuck anymore, to just spew words at everything until it dies away. But to imagine that there are actually people out there who just say “Fuck that, that shit’s too easy!” is really impressive to me. I really wish I had the strength to be one of those people Paul, I really do, because to have ideals in this world, to have dreams and hope, you need to be a strong motherfucker. Destroying something takes no effort at all, that’s why all the weak people like me do it, but to build something new or simply believe that something new can still be build that asks for strength beyond imagining. Hank sighs I’m sorry Paul for rambling for so long, but over the years you collect some thoughts that really need to be expressed at some point. Do you think I’m mad Paul ? Paul ?
Hank looks to his left. The seat is empty.
Copyright 2017 Tom Weber