While walking around town, I often came to an immediate halt, took my phone out and jotted a few sentences down. That had always been my process. I seldom sat down to write. I just thought of a lot of disjointed series of sentences and passages. I forgot most. I wrote some down. I used even fewer.
The one secret I knew was if you wrote a sentence with a particular emotion, especially at its peak, and then you didn’t use it while that emotion lasted, that sentence became useless. So, I often discarded old notes. It was a shame, really. Some of those rejected notes were really good, but words were like memories—they blurred with time.
It was an exhausting year.
I sat down on the rug in the absolute silence of post-midnight and set my cup of tea beside myself. The hall was lit only by the beige lamp a friend had sent me as a housewarming present last October. I began to absorb how utterly long ago I had unwrapped and set it up. If I could remember a word beyond disgusting, I would use it to describe the months that led me here. However, I was too tired to think.
As I went about that train of thought, some tiny glimpses of laughter I could remember from here and there made me feel warmer. Or perhaps, it was the cup of chamomile I had been sipping. When exhausted, one couldn’t care less where comfort came from, only that it was present.
I went back to reading my notes and stopped at the most recent one: if there’s a limit to hope, something tells me I’ve reached it. That, perhaps, I’ve crossed it. That I’ve broken something I don’t yet know in the process.
I wonder if there was a better way I could have put the year into words. Never before had I started from scratch so many times. Autumn was awfully cold that year. I could only imagine—and fear—how the winters would feel. I sat there sifting through my notes for the next hour.
Eventually, I got tired of doing it, like I got tired of most things that year, and decided to go to sleep. If I could, I would sleep until the end of December.
There wasn’t much left to do. I had tried enough.