Killing Time with A Blank Page

She has lost her voice. Which is what usually happens when she is concentrating on doing this profession that she had trained on.

The truth is: she is an excellent faker. She had convinced everyone that she is a competent doctor even if the reality in her heart makes her break in sweats every time she gives advice or performs a procedure on another human being.

There are a ton of paperwork attesting to her qualifications. Diplomas, certificates, letters of recommendations. But what do they prove? For her, nothing really. But they were her key to getting this high-paying job, her passport to leaving her life of financial drudgery.

She has always detested poverty of the material kind. Of course, there is a part of her that romanticizes poverty… the virtue of sacrificing a cushy life for a principled one — and all that BS. She appreciates having a full stomach; the capacity to buy the clothes, accessories and gadgets she wants;  even the presence of a hot shower in her flat. A part of her, though, wishes that she had been born with more backbone. So that she can withstand the inconveniences and indignities of standing up to her dreams.

She had given up dreaming (she thinks). Mostly because she lacks the time. Typing away random nothings on her laptop seem like a luxury. Stories used to come from her “random nothings”. But one has to be practical. Her stories have never brought food on the table. They have never helped her pay her taxes or given her a mode of transportation. Certainly, they have made her happy — the same way sex makes one happy, the anticipation, the dance towards an orgasm, but …  after one is done, after one types THE END in Microsoft Word, what then? “Post-coital ennui” — if there is such a  term describes her writing much more than it describes her sex life.

She used to treat her stories like her children. Each one a product of her dreams, characters and images lovingly nurtured in her head. She used to think that writing is her reason for being; much more than medicine, much more than her non-turbulent lovelife. Putting words on paper (or typing them on a word processor)  has always made her feel connected, less alone; a part of the universe and all its mysteries.

Writing has always made her feel … alive, renewed, reborn.

In fact, she once made a poem that boastfully claimed that she had given birth to herself. (She probably would not have written that poem if she had actual physical kids. Human progenies tend to make their mothers consider them as the ultimate performance of her life, beyond any other creative endeavor. A singer may have made the most beautiful song in the world; but if she had a child, she would consider the human as far more important than the other product of her dreams. Which is, maybe correct, depending on how one looks at it. After all, a human progeny has the capacity to make other progenies … a song will never beget another song.)

Acts of creations are tricky things. Sooner or later, they will find their own agency. And when that happens, the god that created them is fucked. One can never have one’s life again when one has a child. One is forever bound to that entity which one has created. (So, there is a part of her that pities, or empathizes with God — the one that created Everything.)

***

The problem with her is that she took Khalil Gibran’s poem too seriously. Specifically,  the line that says: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself … etc etc

Seriously! She believes that. Between believing in the Holy Trinity and that poem, the latter would win hands down. She feels more affinity towards this poem than towards any genetic imperative to propagate her chromosomes.

The irony is that she specializes in a field that helps women propagate their chromosomes. So it is always an awkward question when practical strangers ask her why she does not have a child (as if it is any of their business). To avoid long-winding explanations, she often lies and says that she and her husband have not been married very long (in the grand scheme of things, considering that the Universe is 5 billion year, her 9-year marriage is not that long.) Or she would be flippant and say: God has not willed them to have any kids yet (that reason would usually shut anybody up — nobody wants to argue about God’s will). Or she would say jokingly that she is too lazy to go through the efforts of having a kid.

In any case, today she has no genetic progeny and no literary opus to her name. What she has are a ton of books; a  collection of mishmash in her hard disk drive; a bunch of letters after her name;  a decent and steady salary (something that she can pat herself on the back for); and a patient, and kind husband who is the love of her life.

Taking all that into account, maybe she has not done so bad after all.

But she still, as yet, has to find her voice. She has to find it or else she will be that drowning person groping for her life-vest, flailing and gasping in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

She has to find it, a voice — her voice — otherwise what will be the point?

from pinterest

 

 

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