She interrupts me for coffee, reminding that I’d promised, and reluctantly I follow her down the stairs and drive her there to shiver with her on the patio chairs outside and talk about the possible existence of angels posing as the ghosts of dearly departed loved ones. His call interrupts the phone line, and I let it click over to a message of my voice, apologizing. Time itself in the car beckons me: you need to write this down.

I come back to this room, this little box on another box with a chair in front of it, framed on each side with items of comfort: my ashtray, the little boom box, a glass of iced tea with a dried ring of brown at the bottom, and a waste can stained with ashes, piled high with paper, but not paper that I’ve written on.

Write. Write what you’re thinking right now. It may be important, even though it’s not what you know you should be writing about. There’s that book you want to write, but write about these random thoughts first. Yes, get them out of the way. That’s right.

Any time I leave the room, what I see and hear tells me I have to write more, so much that I’d rather not leave at all, so I can be left alone. There is so much to write, and so many words to use, that I use everything I can find to push it out of my head. But it is of no comfort, because more will come in to fill the void. Words are what I use when there is no hand to hold mine, when there is no kiss, no smile, no laughter. Writing is the blanket I wrap around me to stay warm. It is how I get by being so alone.

My friends who read what I write wish for themselves that they could write more, that they could write like me. I feel like Louis from Interview with a Vampire: You do not know what you are asking. I am on no platform here, lamenting this gift I’m supposed to have. I am thankful for it and honored to have it, but more often I wish I could simply live life instead of feeling this need to write about it all the time.

Everything is so important. Don’t miss a thing. Everything is material, you said so yourself once. Every conversation is dialogue, each room a scene setting, every gesture something that can better inform your audience of what is going on. And what is going on? You left this out. And that. And that. And that.

I could never write fiction. The characters would eat me alive.

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