They Call It The Lonely Profession

I have a long conversation with a friend late in the night. It begins right before the day ends, and another begins, but it does not matter what the time is when two friends talk. We talk about so much keeping track is of no use. All I remember is a blur of happiness—that is what I remember about most friends. If I have to remember something else, I try to remember the bits I can use in my writing. But then, that is, if I am writing. If I am on an intermittent break, with words here and there but nothing concrete or worthy of saying like I am in these days of late March and early April, days of mundane busyness, days of rains and sun alike, then whatever nugget I can get from that conversation to begin the next sentence is of little use.

I tell him I have not written lately, and immediately, without asking why like most have done in these past few days, he does what a friend does, what takes me aback and catches me off-guard. It must be hard, he says to me, to do it for yourself for so long. I am guilty of not reading what you write, too; there is no explanation for it. But I do understand. I can offer you that much.

I tell him that it is quite alright, that I understand the dearth of time that we all have in this life, the lack of inclination that most have at the end of days that look more like battles leading into war. But then, I tell him I have written in a chamber all this time, and my words have bounced around the walls. I tell him it is green and thriving. I have sat there, doing my part for years, doing the due diligence and doing what they told me to do: do it for myself. But all I have heard is more of myself. I tell him daisies may grow in the cracks around me, but they do not hide them; the cracks remain. I tell him there is colour all around me, that it should all make sense after all this time, but I have never been more lost.

I tell him it is not enough. There are other things. No matter how you decorate a prison, it remains just that. I tell him I have not stopped, that I still think of words, but it breaks my heart: I do not see the point of putting them down—not today, not tomorrow, or anymore.

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