Writer’s Block (2)

He knew he had to start with a descriptive scenario that would be followed up with a catchy occurrence, and then continuing on the path of an interesting storyline, (where he would narrate some things and highlight a few, while keeping some things secret) the reader would be compelled to go on to the next sentence and the one after that. Even though by then not knowing yet the full intention behind what was being read, they would continue if only to quell their growing curiosity to find out where he, the writer, was taking this.

He did not intend to write some ordinary piece to be looked at once or glossed over, never to be read again. Neither did he want to write a predictable one in which the first few actions and next couple of words would easily let on where the story was headed. But in doing this – or in trying to do this, anyway – he kept in mind that he was human and could do things only so well; and that a story was actually only as good as it was made to sound and as interesting as it was narrated. He knew also that depending on how well he could tell it, he could even present to his readers the styles he would adopt as he set about writing it, and yet keep them interested enough to continue to read.

He knew this would give some of his readers a knowing smile as they began to realise what he was about, while some may yet be lost as to what he was trying to do. He was wary of revealing this too early in what he wrote, as their interest would definitely wane. Some would believe him to be taking them on a condescending lecture. To counter this, he had constructed the nice backup of an interesting ending whilst wisely believing in the good sense of humour of his audience and their legitimate need to be entertained by whatever benign means, even if it did mean a self-explaining exposé on what it was that he intended to write.

Once he had gotten all that aside, he determined he would get into the crux of the issue, banishing colloquialisms “sharp-sharp” and being wary of clichés, avoiding their use like the plague. He would not use many verbose or grandiloquent words to portray a gargantuan preamble of omniscient magnificence, neither would he talk about details ad nauseam: to the point that bored his readers, though they already knew what he was trying to explain but continued to do so to very minute and unnecessary detail to show how deeply insightful the one sentence would possibly have been, that is, perhaps in an effort to create more words, albeit unneeded, to bulk up the writing or to make his readers interested in what they would never have been normally; now, less so, that the same explanation was being pushed down their throats when all they wanted to do was to read something fresh and not discover anymore ways in which a single word or double word or phrase of a sentence could be explained to further understanding.

By now he would have been assured of his readers’ amusement and good humour, though receiving mental flak from the very few that still had not yet understood what he was about. He saw that at this point he would have to include an actual element of the story he had so far been trying to fashion in his mind. Kamso picked up his pen and notepad and he began to write. He had returned from his interesting outing at Decroire and had decided to get down to putting a story together before lethargy that derived from a sense of the pointlessness of things began to take him over as it was often wont to. He took a sip from a glass of water that he had kept by his side.

“Who would have thought that writing a simple first chapter would be so damn hard?” Kamso muttered to himself “especially when you already know what is going to happen in it?”

He drank the contents of his glass neat and suppressed a cold belch. Feeling refreshed, he replaced the glass on the counter and then he bent down to continue to write.

“…Girls are funny…” Kamso began aloud as he scribbled “…and the pains they give men are manifold…”

Kamso stopped and looked at what he wrote. He was mortified.

“What the hell was I thinking?” he said in disgust “…Girls are funny..??? That’s how all these hungry authors of two kobo books begin their chapters!”

Kamso tore off the page and squashed it up, even though he had an eraser beside him. He never wanted to remember that he had once tried to begin a line for what he knew would eventually turn out to be the greatest novel ever written with such a classless sentence as “Girls are funny”. He looked at the squashed up bit of paper beside him and he got up to throw it into the dustbin. He sat back in his chair.

For a while Kamso couldn’t do anything else. He shook his head as he steadied himself to think, but he couldn’t. The three words haunted him. He hated that beginning. He hated that he could think to pencil down something so banal. It left a bad taste in his mouth. He hated the words so much that he could not bring himself to write anything else on that same page of his notepad.

After a while Kamso had an idea.

“A woman has only one thing to think about” he started “And that is how lucky she is not to be a man…”

He stopped in his tracks. The words had a nice ring to them, but he knew they wouldn’t fly. That opinion was all well and good when they were muttered to his own hearing while he was bent over a book on his table alone in his room, or maybe when they were bandied about during a drinking match with his beer buddies. Kamso could imagine a wave of feminist-cum-men-hating protesters throwing eggs at his mounted picture outside the venue of his book launch and spewing off vitriol in a more than ordinate amount to the perceived gender-maligning. Damn this political correctedness forcing him to limit his creativity; as though if he had been a misogynist he would have at all felt the desire to write a book to encourage women in the first place.

“Women, your time is now…” Kamso scribbled “…it is time to rise above pre-conceived gender roles that…”

“Kiss arse much?” Kamso’s inner critic immediately shot at him. Yeah. That was going overboard. And besides, he couldn’t relate that opening with the amusing incident with those pretty girls at the bar. That was an opening for another day, then… Oh well.

“I will start like this…” Kamso scribbled “…there are women, and there are women…”

Kamso considered the sentence. It was neutral enough, so it wouldn’t offend anyone. But that was the problem: It was neutral. He didn’t see it catching anyone’s fancy. He rubbed it off.

“She was not an ordinary woman…” Kamso wrote

He began to shake his head immediately the image of a woman holding a broomstick and clicking her heels before adjusting her wrapper and giving a maniachal laugh as she flew about on a moonlit night, flashed before his eyes.

“The life of a woman, through a man’s eyes…”

No. Too reflective. He didn’t want people thinking he was writing some sort of pseudo-psychology. And besides that, he would have to introduce a strong character for the man. Creating the character for the woman was hard enough.

A few more pencil bites and an hour passed and Kamso still had an empty page. He began to sketch once again. There was no rabbit this time around. It was the silhouette of a man hanging limply from a fitted noose. Damn it… The depression was coming back.

Kamso stood up from his chair as he ran his palms over his face and through his hair. How would he be able to use writing to handle his depression if the same could be got from trying to write? But hey, the doctor had never told him to go off and try to write a best-seller… She had not been very specific about what Kamso should use to pass time actually. “Things of interest” was what the bespectacled dark haired young lady had told him.

“Things of interest” Kamso said as he remembered his doctor and how her lips moved when she said it.

Her lips were pink. Not too pink, just enough to get your attention for a while. She didn’t use lipstick; that made it all the more appealing to watch them… To look at them as they invitingly formed their words as she spoke. They sat just nicely above her chin. The right distance; not too far, not too near… With her chin above her graceful neck that ran down slender and svelte to end at the slightly protruding points of where her collar bones met. Down once again into a plain, into a valley that bespoke the beginnings of rhapsody, as before Kamso’s eyes was now the sight of her silky black hair, only by this time it was spread wildly all over the side table where she had often kept her medical jotter and pencil, those occupational items having been flung to the floor by mutual consent.

Kamso immediately picked up his cellphone to book an appointment with her. He stopped scrolling when he reached his doctor’s mobile number, and his thumb hovered above the screen. He stared at the phone for a while before he turned it upside down and ran his palm across his face once again.

“There are many things of interest, actually” he muttered to himself and shook off the growing feeling. “But the thing is that they never fill time as well as one might hope they would”

Kamso had already gone down the road of trying to substitute his emptiness with pleasant company. It had made his condition bearable for a while. He had done his distractions and pursued his escapisms… and they had all left him emptier and more unfulfilled than he had ever been before doing them. Now Kamso knew better. As for little Kamso, he was nothing a cold shower and a few press-ups couldn’t handle.



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