“What is it?”
“That would spoil the surprise.”
“Oh come on, give us a clue.”
“No! I can’t say.”
“Just… because. Now stop it! I got this especially
She finished leading me to wherever it was, somewhere in the house; okay, I knew it was the room where we kept the computer. I wasn’t that easily led.
“Now open them,” she said.
I did. I was right; we were in the room with my desk and the computer in the corner. In fact, we were standing right next to it. The desktop had been tidied up, papers shifted and filed away somewhere haphazardly but I wouldn’t say anything, I couldn’t, after all, she’d bought me a present; and there it sat, in between the keyboard and the screen.
“Oh thank you,” I said. “What is it?”
“Don’t you know?”
Of course I know, I thought, I just like asking lots of idiotic questions when I could be writing… But I refrained from voicing the sarcasm, we’d been going through a rocky patch on our relationship journey and I needed to be nice, hold out a helping hand.
“Is it a…” The gift was a rectangular, boxy, oh, I don’t know… thingy sort of thing. “No, I give up, what is it?” I stretched out a hand to touch it.
“It’s a writer’s block.”
The bottom fell out of my world. My face couldn’t hide the fact either. I quickly withdrew my hand, luckily I had made only the slightest of contact with the wretched thing.
“You don’t like it?” She asked, an air of defeat in her tone.
“It’s not that I don’t like it…” I said, struggling to find the exact right words. “It’s more that I don’t need it.”
“But I heard you say you didn’t have a writer’s block.” Her voice wavered.
“There’s no ‘a’; ‘a’ writer’s block, it’s just writer’s block,” I said changing my helping hand into a consolatory one to gently touch her shoulder. She shrugged the badly-written gesture away.
“You’re always correcting me! Just because you can string a few words together… who do you think you are?”
For once, I was lost for words. I hate that during arguments: when questions that can’t be answered are thrown at you. Okay, I could have given a stupid answer but rather than diffuse the tension it only would have stoked it, so I never said a thing as she grabbed a case, threw in a few clothes and stormed out of the house and my life forever without so much as a ‘fuck you’.
And that was it, I’d just witnessed the closing of one chapter of my life and the start of another.
I was free. I could do anything I pleased now, whenever I pleased, whatever…
* * *
My life has been put on hold for the moment while I get over this thing, you know… I haven’t written anything for ages. In fact, I can’t even see the computer any more; it’s taken over – I should have got rid of it straight away, not the computer – the thing: you see, what they don’t tell you about writer’s block is that it gets bigger every day. Just sits there festering and feeding. I’m afraid now. I don’t go in that room any more, I can’t, the block has taken over. I avoid blank pages,
I can’t even hold a pen, I don’t pick up the phone, I haven’t spoken to anyone for weeks,
words fail me.
I may as well be dead.
That’s it, my lowest point. I’ve made my decision and there’s no going back – I’m going to end this thing now; not my life, but the ‘not writing’ thing – I’m going to get rid of the writer’s block. The stupid writer’s block, it’s voodoo, it’s psychological, it’s bloody heavy – I can hardly lift it.
But I’m not going to give up. It’s either you or me.
I stagger, straining my back, muscles on fire, scrape my knuckles on the doorframe getting it out of the room, tighten my grip, blood wells, teeth gritted, my veins about to pop, breathing heavy, pain in the chest, the stairs, spinning, sound diminishing, darkness.
* * *
The body of a man was found in his home today.
It is believed he was struggling with a writer’s block.
Following a thorough examination of the evidence,
police issued a shorter than usual statement:
“There’s nothing more we can say really.”