A Story

The writer sat at the table, completely assured of his abilities, forever certain that someday, he would in fact be able to pay the bill for his daily cuppa, rather than his mother, his wife, his father, his lies. The sheer torrent of words that mulled in his head gave his an all consuming desire to write, and yet the connection between the spongy material in his head and his writing implements seemed once again spotty, if he was a cellphone, his agent would be getting a “Our system is not getting a response from the subscriber’s mobile phone, please try again later”. Not that his agent didn’t call, he did, everyday, hounding him for the next sure-fire sell-a-million book. No, he thought, let me write a bomb for once, let the critics roundly hate me, roundly criticise me for losing my knack, for no longer being able to write, for deciding to get lost in the streets of Shanghai. His own life, had been decided for him since he was born. He knew he had write even as he was in his mother’s womb, or at least in a profession that let him write, law, journalism, even joining an airline, because he heard of the mounds of paperwork pilots had to fill out to get up in the sky. He considered them all, and yet, here he was, a Writer. A poor writer, but still a writer. People wondered, what the hell is he complaining about, he’s only poor now! But the publishers love him, he had the the looks-ish, the charisma, a million girls would kill to be him and a million men would kill him. But of course, they couldn’t know. He was after all, a writer. No writer can continue writing if there wasn’t something gnawing away inside of him. Some repressed urge to express the un-expressable. Some observation that if revealed would shake the very foundations of the Earth. He hated that cliche even, that old cliche that said writers had to be sad, depressed and disappointed with his lot in life. He could be happy, he had just forgone that right when he chose his line of work.

He wrote everything, and anything. From literary fiction, that was the darling of the critics, to solid plotty stories, with heros and heroin, guns and roses, women and more women, men with well, men. He knew what appealed to the public, and seemed to have his finger sorely on the pulse of the popular, the fashionable, and the interesting. He always knew that his gift, would benefit him, and benefit him it did, he was in turns rich as a sultan and poor as a student, had a loving wife, that kept him firmly on the ground, through the good, bad, ugly and vile. She worked herself, as a sucessful agricultural enginner in Spain, so money was never really problem, even though he hold onto the belief that men had to be men, bring home the bacon and have a loving wife to fry the afore mentioned bacon. He was going to try for children, and if that didn’t happen, as often it didn’t if twentieth century media was to be believed, he was more than willing to adopt. Nothing could stop him, and here he was, stopping, sitting at a little cafe along Orchard road, sipping away at his cappucino. He had used up his last million buying that strange little casino down in Monte Carlo, that ended up getting squandered away. He was a poor, but sucessful writer. Money was bound to pour back in at some point, and he just had to wait. He didn’t quite know what was around the corner. And his life for now, was a complete blank slate. He decided to just wait, because that was the card fate dealt him, all he could do was see what game was coming up, hell, if there was a game to be played.

Sarah walked up to him. Kissed him on his lips. He stared at her, and loved her. All over again, he loved her. She started talking about fashion, the police, and the fashion police. Everything she knew, she told the writer, knowing that somehow it would trickle into his writing, and she would get an acknoledgement in his book, with the appropriate kudos coming from her friends, relatives, and taxi-drivers. He was in a light haze. Happy for a moment, and he swiftly returned to his expressionless face, his look of intense studiousness. He knew she was cheating on him, and he cheated on her. They led a 20th century lifestyle afterall, but they were married, and they loved each other only. There was nothing else in their lives worth loving, so along they carried on, in their own merry way. Why not, they asked their friends who held more conservative views, after all, love is all that really matters, and after which they would insert a intelligent comment like, “Oh Gosh, I sound like a 60ies hippie!” Prompting laughter and a subject change. They knew the routine and used it often. Friends loved them, invited them to parties and knew they would provide excellent company, they on the other hand treated it like a mathematical excercise, if you practice it enough, it was no problem at all.

And, so after finishing his cappucino. He got up, paid his bill, and walked away, into the sunset. Singapore’s multitudes soon swallowed him out, and he disappeared from sight. You, my dear reader, would wish him all the best, as him would continue to lead his life ever so typically, ever so wonderfully, and yet so normally. Who’s to say that normalcy isn’t perfectly beautiful, isn’t perfect in itself.


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