They’re everywhere. You’ve seen them. You know who I mean.
They’ll be in a restaurant, furtively casting about for the sordid enablers of their habits: a pencil, a pen, a crayon from the kids’ activity box. Then begins the begging for something – the back of a receipt, a crumpled serviette – as long as it’s portable and papery, to write on.
Soon, not caring if there’s a conversation, a meal, a concert – completely and rudely oblivious – they will hunch over, head down, lips moving silently. They can’t help themselves; they’re addicted.
Confession time …
My name is Andrée L, and I am a writer.
It’s the usual sordid story of bitterness and woe: I loved to read and draw as a small child, and my earliest memories have me cornering innocent visiting relatives at birthdays and holidays (here’s where the bitterness and woe comes in: my immediate family members would callously and routinely leave their own kin to this fate).
Caught before they could make a seemly escape, they stood like deer in the headlights, frozen by a blue gaze and lisping wheedling: “ Hey, Auntie/ Uncle/ Cousin so-and-so – want me ta read ya my new sthory?”
Unhappily for them, we were a close-knit family
… and met often.
A few years of this, and finally some desperate kinsman gave me my first One Year Diary, complete with teensy faux gold key for locking up the treasured bon mots of 10-year-old life.
What a great gift! Lovely blank pages with which to record my daily ruminations about school, favourite TV shows, and annoying siblings!
Even still, there were limits …
I often ran out of lines, my writing getting more and more cramped as I tried to squeeze in additional pivotal details before the page ran out.
But there was a price. There is always a price, children.
The more I wrote, the more I wanted to write.
Was this some sort of a dependence? Or worse still …
Soon it became an addiction, one which served me well in school essays, but as mentioned earlier, sometimes could cast a pall on certain social gatherings.
So that’s how the whole sordid thing began. If you know a writer, have pity on him or her. Know he or she is doomed to give in to craven scribbling urges in even the finest of establishments, amongst even the most scintillating of company.
It’s not you. It’s me.
A writer’s gotta write.