Friday, 10 April 2009

Coffee on the stove, sun filtering over the roof behind me, evidenced in a feint glint of fresh yellow leaf on the growing tree opposite. Waking was greeted with the contradictory desire to admit – through prose – that writer's block might be a problem. Of course, anyone with a modicum of intelligence believes that writer's block is impossible for most. There must be something to say in the first instance.

Construction work is still occuring in this apartment. The corridor landing have old iron frame windows full of small uneven squares of glass. On the outside, plastic sheets to protect them from debris. The corridors, and therefore apartments, are always full of dust, white plaster streaks lead to each apartment door, to each threshold. The paint inside the corridors is new now, a pale yellow for the walls, deep red for the doors. The floor is torn up, uneven, scars of instruments striking against the wood. Many doors are open, apartments presumably being renovated. Some days I want to look inside. Have I ever seen any neighbours? Can I be the only inhabitant in these thirty or so rooms? I stand on the thresholds, flaking paint gathering at my soles and want to go inside.

The problem is not with impotence, but boredom. I can write all day of doors, birds, paint. We all write of nothing, we all hold five years, six years, seven years of writing of nothing. This journal here holds an embarrassing testament to my ability to write of noting, as though it were an art. I have been placed here, on this profane earth, to say nothing, I would shriek for mornings on end.

There are those that freely admit they will never think, that they attempt only to emulate, that their lifetime of writing is little more than one way conversation, hollow words drifting into the night. There is no crisis for them, these administrators, lecturers, parents. They do things the right way, holding onto dreams as dreams, holding onto non-writing as an evidence of a path once possible. That aphorism attributed to Churchill, if you are not liberal in your youth, you have no heart, if you are not conservative in your old age, you have no brain, can be transposed to the will to write too. If you are not optimistic in your youth you have no heart, if you are still optimistic in old age, you have no brain.

Boredom is the toll, it is the echo spreading out across the day, getting louder and louder until it merges with sleep. Those that prosper do not allow themselves to become bored. Those that are happy have choices. Those that feel they are with direction fill their diaries with appointments which, fecund with chance, bloom into new possibilities.

Shutting doors, always shutting doors. Each time I receive a glimpse of a room I want to enter it. I stand on the cracked wooden threshold, flakes of white paint rising up under each footfall. Slowly, I move inside, move inside from the uneven, bare dusty floorboards of the corridor. I try to think of what I will say if I am caught, what German utterances could I come up with. But to translate excuses in a foreign language, there must be something to say first.

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