It’s closer to the morning than the night, and as I sip through this wine and waste time the way I waste words, I think of indulgence. There is a book on the table I have not yet read. There are scores of books in my library I haven’t even begun reading, yet I buy them, like all of us, like every person in the world does.
A part of us wants to spend and get spent in the process of living. There is nothing we can do about it, and the only rebuttal in this debate is a call to the vagueness of right and wrong. When it is closer to the morning than the night, the rebuttal falls flat, as it has in this room filled with the fruity aroma of wine and classic rock. At this moment, time does not exist. This is a moment outside the zeitgeist. I sit with no wits about me and all the inspiration in the world. The greats whisper in my ears: indulgence, indulgence; it is all a human being wants to do; it is all we want in the end, to drown ourselves in the vivid experience of being alive.
I want to soak myself in every single word of poetry written before me. The abundance of art overwhelms me. Every emotion has already been felt, and all of it has already been distilled into work so fine, so incredible; anything we do seems like a poor imitation. My laughter is not my own; it is not original. None of what we do is original. All of it has been done before, yet we repeat the cycle. We live, feel, and risk the heart and mind, and we do it so often that we can barely keep track of the scars. Our loves overlap, our happiness is plagued by slivers of regret jabbed into it like daggers in the back, and our biggest fear is that we may feel something real. And when we do, we come home silently, no word to friend or stranger; we save it all for the page.
We hope we have drowned enough, that the scars are deep enough, that something new has been felt. Then, we do what countless have done before us. We sit in the dark, our silhouette hunched over the desk, bleeding ink.