Teaser – dare you?

I’ve gotten myself caught up in writing a full-length novel that was actually only supposed to be a short story but took on a life of its own, and demanded more space. Much more space. And now that I’ve gotten comfortably far into it to be able to say there’s a significant chance that I’ll actually get to complete it, I think you ought to get something to whet your appetite…

The writing style is a mixture of autofiction, drama and essays. And then there’s this one semi-lyrical piece that snuck its way in. I present that one to you as my chosen teaser chapter because it concludes my thoughts as to the syncretic writing style very well, as well as say a good deal about (my) language and identity:

 

TEASER CHAPTER:

There… there…
no, I failed to grasp it again
but I was close this time…
That word just keeps eluding me…
I have it… I have had it… I had it…
It’s gone…
I speak the things out loud
inside my head
I would have liked to have said
out loud
but even then that word
eludes me…
What was it now again?

I lack that word to describe myself
and what I am…
I have a handful of clichés
and even they don’t even
approximate
what I am…
What am I?
Something indescribable
apparently…

I am a finger hovering over a keyboard for a missing key…

I am a note lingering in the air after the music has ended…
I am the anticipation before the music has started to play…

I am a synthesis – but of what? Of past and future making present? Of art and technology making a future I’m not sure I even wish to live in? But would I rather live in the past?

Where in the world do I belong? In the physical world where I am technically situated I might as well not exist, but I cannot really exist in the virtual world I inhabit. My words come out as nothing but the clatter of a keyboard. As if I was only speaking to myself. I look up and around and think that I might as well be.

But I chose this for myself didn’t I? How can I complain that I am lonely and that nobody understands me when I chose this? I had alternatives. They were worse. I chose this. I chose the keyboard. I chose the clatter. I chose the silence. Because the price of speaking is so damn high.

I chose the computer over the people. Because the computer is logical and follows instructions. It understands the code I write. Humans cannot be relied upon to understand the words I say. They do not always. They do not – mostly. But the computer I can talk to. And it doesn’t suddenly decide that it would rather have its software written by someone more attractive or less needy or less socially awkward or less quiet. It just accepts me. It’s just there when I need it. And I never have to struggle to express myself to it like I have to when around people.

That was my choice. But it was never an easy one.

But maybe it doesn’t all have to be as black and white as I have made it out to be. Maybe I can combine everything. Maybe I can speak to people through the computer. For lack of better options. And maybe they would actually hear me.

If I lack words I must make them. I must re-program the language to fit me if it doesn’t. And it doesn’t. I must reshape my language in my own image and hope that somebody will understand what I mean anyway.

 

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