There was a weight beneath my skull. My brain turned into liquid silver, then solidified overnight. My head was swollen with the feeling. Constellations of color flashed before my eyes, and I froze. I felt as though I were walking through clouds. Everything was hazy and dreamlike. I could not decipher the myths and legends from the tangible world around me. A greyscale slid atop my gaze and everything was dark and smoky for awhile. I was suspended there, held by puppet strings, but I didn’t fight for freedom because I was limp from giving it up. Sing, the sign above my desk said, but I had lost my voice.
Something rushed into my ears like a riotous thunder storm. I couldn't focus. I couldn't write. Perhaps I was on the brink of something wondrous, but I became furious because I did not know how to cross over to that land that shifted and shimmered in the distance like a mirage. Something was stuck. The gears had halted, the hands had ceased to tick. I lost my senses.
I reverted back to bare bones. My language became archaic, sparse, raw. I occupied myself with mindless work. I waited for the muse to strike. But, I kept having this maddening thought. I worried that there were words floating before me, just out of my reach. Like Nabokov chasing butterflies on a lazy Sunday afternoon, fluttering just beyond the confines of a net.
Worse yet, was that I feared that there were holes in my story. Huge gaping wounds that I had never allowed to heal. I tried again and again, but I could not write about those skeletons, those demons. They made my stomach sick. I felt that I would die right there. I felt that, certainly, my heart would break.
One by one, I tackled them. I reeled them in from a nightmarish abysm in the bottom of my mind. I caught them. I crushed them. Every memory that scared me, every thought that caused me pain. I wrote it all down. I wrote through it.
I was Santiago and my words were his great marlin. “Fish," he said, "I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.” The only way to move past my writer’s block was to remove the dead words from my path by writing my way through the stories that I never had the courage to confront.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been a writer. But that was the thing that I was born for.