SHORT STORIES: I Simply Must Write A Story

"Hell, I’d say I’m the smartest person whose head I’ve ever lived in, he says."

He listens to the drug deal going on outside. Swigs some beer and thinks, I simply must write a story. I really must. As I have so many brilliant ideas, he thinks. Hell, I’d say I’m the smartest person whose head I’ve ever lived in, he says.

And he goes to work and thinks, ah fuck this, is this life? And he figures, well, I’ve a house and I seem less depressed, and his muscles are a little bigger and he can do pushups. And he jots down – I must write a story – and he thinks I’ll do it tonight. And he cooks spaghetti bolognese and it is half 10 and he’s up at 6 and maybe I’ll just have a wank and a sleep, he thinks.

And he shaves on the weekend and does the washing up and hoovers and goes for a walk and he thinks, I simply must write a story, and he reads some and thinks, it’s been awhile since I wanted to kill myself. And he sees his parents and thinks, ah, yes, that’s why I moved out. And some days he wakes up and thinks ah I’ll do it today, just watch me.

So he does. Writes it down and thinks – shit – this is the worst thing I’ve ever read! And he thinks, well, at least it is something and if they ask then yes I wrote it, I am the great Bandini you fucks. He reckons it must be nice not to be a creative. But mustn’t whine. He goes for dinner with his Nan and cousin and thinks well isn’t this marvelous, to be happy. I simply must write a story.

So not to be arrogant he thinks on a walk, I certainly can write, I know that. And later he has an almost panic attack and then – he is so happy! – because look at this, and he thinks, I’ve not been so happy in so long! I simply must write a story! So he sits and scrawls and the usual comes out, it’s usually depressing and usually American and he thinks about all the people he misses and thinks, oh shit, right, it’s on me to be successful. But he can’t think on that for too long, and sometimes at night he thinks, not so long ago a swift hit from a train sounded marvelous! And now he notices he stands back from the edge, he eats better and imagines the future – and sees himself there, and he simply must write a story about it!

Ah, he thinks, but who writes it? We are all multitudes, no? And sometimes he reads it back and might as well be holding a mirror and he thinks – ah, fuck it – and throws it to the winds and people like it and he thinks I’ll write a story about this. He has lists of ideas and first paragraphs and he thinks my god these stories, they’ll be bloody marvelous.

It all gets a tad self indulgent at times and he writes about himself. He thinks – I am the next undiscovered great! He marvels at how adored his work shall be, how clever he is. I am the best writer there ever was and shall be! And he makes a joke with his housemates and goes on living outside of his head, and at points, he stops and realises he is present and living, and maybe it isn’t so bad to be a cog.

I simply must write a story. It’s hard to write happy when you’ve always written sad – he thinks – and then goes for a drink with his friends and laughs with his sister and smiles and smiles and smiles – he simply must write a story!

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