This weekend came and went in a blur, a corrugated sheet of gray speckled with rust from the recent rains. On Saturday I sat down and wrote a monthly disclaimer in a bid to lift my troubled spirits... but then I read it again, and I saw exactly how far I had regressed.
I spent Sunday in a daze, as though I wanted to drink myself under the table, imbibe vast quantities of non-prescription drugs, and jump off the edge of a building all at the same time. It was my diet that ultimately saved me -- I haven't had a dose of Mountain Dew for months now, and I'll be damned if I go to that great editorial desk in the sky without having soused myself silly.
It is at points like these that I have to distract myself. I had a lot of alternatives for this in the past -- sometimes I could play a few games of Magic and concentrate on game strategy rather than the events of a turbulent life, or sometimes I could busy myself with running a tournament and shut all other concerns from my mind. Sometimes I could even read -- yes, reading helps -- but after a while it becomes just like that medicine you've been taking since you were a child: Cheap, overused, and completely ineffective.
I am now left with two options. The first is work, and I suppose that it's inevitable. Work tends to drain all personal thoughts from my head; My nine-to-five hours on weekdays are a constant struggle between making my customers happy and getting my colleagues satisfied. Work leaves me with little regard for my own well-being, so short of being discovered dead at my own desk, it probably counts as a definite distraction.
The other option involves writing. No, posts like this don't count; I refer to short fiction, the demon that sits continually on my right shoulder. There are suddenly so many deadlines and so little time -- Dean Alfar's deadline is on September 15, Fully Booked's contest runs until October 31, and Philippine Genre Stories has a Christmas special in the works. You'd think that, with so many months to have filtered plotlines and written drafts, I'd already have something in mind for any of these contests. You'd be wrong, much to your chagrin and much to my desperation.
And now I'm even afraid to sleep. My dreams have colored themselves the same shade of rust-spotted gray.
When life brings you low, it doesn't just bring you down low; It kicks you to the curb and stands there, watching your blood run cold into the gutters. Sometimes it laughs.
Somewhere in the rain, the crows are watching. They're waiting for an old storyteller to pound the pavement and give up.
Somewhere in the crowd, that same old storyteller looks up and feels the rainwater running down the sides of his face.