Sipping on coffee, I look at the bunch of contradictions screaming at each other on the paper in front of me. Some tell my stories with more detail than I’d prefer, while others tell me the stories I’d like to hear instead. Good. It means I wrote it all out, and now nothing makes sense. I laugh, quietly, at the mess.
But the work isn’t finished. Now I need to group and edit and re-work every single paragraph, until no one can tell what’s real and what’s not. This is how you write a book. You hide yourself behind your own words, between your own lines, until they catch a glimpse of you, but can never be quite sure. When it’s relatable precisely because of its vagueness, you can rest. Your world is safe from harm, and people will want to read it.
Pulling my cheeks up for a smile, I still can’t stop my heart from bleeding. No, don’t worry. It’s been like this for a while, and it’s still working just fine. When it closes off, the stories stop too – so I need to hurry, for I don’t have much time. I only have until my heart heals, and sooner or later, every heart does.
You see, I write with my chest open. That’s right. I dip my pen into my soul and write about my dearest continents, my heart’s many little homes that make up my world. I don’t use my imagination enough, like a writer should. I write everybody love letters that I twist into stories, and dream of how one day I will become a book in their hands. Will they understand me then? I can already see the first page.
‘As you read this, you’re stepping inside. Welcome. Don’t tiptoe, don’t whisper, don’t close the door behind you. Inside my chest you can be free and loud and reckless. This is how I am, too.’
Of course, I won’t add that the stories are as much about me as they are about them. That I have poured everything I held dear about them into writing so that I could let go. That I loved them with all the fire in my soul, until some turned into ashes and were soon blown away, and some fuelled these characters to keep writing themselves through me.
My biggest inspiration has always been people at their most lovable, when I want to wrap my fingers around theirs and read with my feet entangled to theirs, and think of never letting go. And then, I let go of them on paper, and my heart bleeds a little as I peel them off, one by one. ‘There you go,’ I tell them when they are nothing else but memories. I say it with love still, but I know the love is peeling off as I speak.
My coffee is cold, and I look around the room. I want to explain myself to everybody. I feel that I owe my energy to the world. But I hold back from telling the truth in its purest form. I don’t trust the world to handle me with the care I need. Instead, I mix it with imagination flakes and serve it hot to everyone who wants to try it – be them strangers or characters run off paper, mixed with reality sprinkles.