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The Death of Creativity (1 Viewer)

thechair

Member
Sometimes there are experiences in life, something that affects you in such a way that, as a writer, you have to write about. These past few days there have been things that needed to be written out. I wanted to write a piece that could collapse the dam in my mind and my heart holding all these emotions back. Something, anything, a piece of poetry, prose, an aphorism, a fucking book; I don’t care, this needs to find a way out. I don’t know how to deal with this; I can’t deal with this. My grandpa died last night.

I sat outside this morning, thinking of what happened last night, connecting them with ideas for metaphors, imageries; somehow I needed to jot these things down. “I don’t want to write a boring narrative, anyone can do that” I think to myself. “Any one can take what they saw and just put it into a mesh of pretty words”. I felt that the death of my grandpa deserved a bit more. A short story perhaps, employing the most thoughtful images and metaphors that I could conjure up. But all I could think about was what I saw the past few days, the images that are burned so deep into my memory that I cannot change them. How I could feel every single bone in his body through wrinkly skin that used to be filled with pride and wisdom. With each breath he took I could feel the waves of fluid in his lungs crushing the life out of him. Seeing the decline of a man in a small stuffy hospital room and trying to stay as far away from the emotional throes of death as possible, as any moment of weakness on my part could unravel me. Bouquets of flowers adorning each room and they are all dying, a clichéd metaphor that seems all too real at a time like this. “Somebody needs to get these fucking flowers out of here,” I think to myself while nervously listening to the beeping of his heart monitor, wondering what I will do if he flat lines.

It was then that I realized, in-between drags from my morning cigarette that these images cannot be changed, and will not be changed, no matter how articulately I decide to write this piece. The memories of my grandpa’s last days have been chained off and I cannot touch them. They are what they are, and turning my grandpa’s death into a two page piece of shit amateur story only cheapens my memories of him. Isn’t the memory of me holding his hand, careful not to ruin the placement of the tubes pumping life into him as he speaks to me, his voice wavering in the damp breeze; but me not able to make out a single word he says enough? What more do you want? I cannot weave this into a more emotive tale than it already is.

Maybe I’m just a poor writer, maybe my mind is too weak, but I can’t write this; I just don’t know how. All I can see is his eyes that used to be as white as the skin of a geisha, turning a parasitic yellow that gnaws its way through all of us gathered around him. In these times, none of us are family; we are all strangers trying to remember who we are. That mustached man I’ve grown to fear is not my father. That woman holding back tears is not my mother. We are all merely human at this point. Grandpa’s body is covered in bruises from the daily blood transfusions that keep him alive. His voice is shaky and his eyes are like a collapsed dam as he tries to say something profound while he can still speak. We’re all sober, with a million thoughts running through our heads but we don’t recognize a single one. We try to hide our grief while in his room surrounded by noisy machinery, trying to think of excuses to leave the room so we can go sit in the bathroom stall to cry. We’re running out of excuses, and I stare at the ground trying to close myself off.

I keep trying to think of a way to be creative, but creativity does not flow through these passages. There is no poetic way to tell you that my grandpa died last night, or that I couldn’t be there with him when he died because I was outside propped up against a wall taking drags out of a cigarette whenever I could gather the strength the stop crying like a bitch. There is no clever imagery to make this sound better or flow easier, and if there is; it’s meaningless. A man realizing that he is going to die soon, seeing him mumbling wide-eyed prayers to the ceiling is too much for me to mend into something an audience would like to read. It is the most depressing thing I have ever seen. I am not a writer, because a writer can take something as blackened as this and turn it into an array of beautiful hues. I don’t want this to be a beautiful portrait, because that is not how I remember it to be. This will always be a moment of regret for me, how I should’ve spent more time with him, how I should’ve said something more. I can’t paint this portrait because I can’t even understand this, I can’t deal with this.

I had a million things to say but I could not form them into a sentence. I have to see my mother come out of the hospital and share a silence with her because she couldn’t utter the words “he’s passed”, and even though I knew that he did, there was not a word I could say to her. I have to see my father leave for fifteen minutes at a time and come back with red eyes, because my father and I have never established a relationship, and even in times like these, we have nothing to say to each other.

I am not a writer; a writer would make these dysfunctions worth his time. I am merely a young man who has failed in establishing anything meaningful within his own family, and my grandpa’s death opened my eyes to that. I wish I could paint you a beautiful portrait for these times of grief, but I just can’t. I don’t know how. I am merely just a human. We’re all only human.
 
Wow...

Okay, first off: bad stuff out of the way for now, then the good stuff. This is my special nitpickery that can be rather annoying at times, but commas are your friends. Use commas a lot. For example, in this sentence:

A man realizing that he is going to die soon, seeing him mumbling wide-eyed prayers to the ceiling is too much for me to mend into something an audience would like to read.

After "ceiling", a comma would have been good. My turn-offs on this piece are mainly grammar-related and debatable; my rule that semi-colons are always two sentences connected by a semi-colon intervenes in places where the second part of your semi-colon structure was not a sentence. Like this:

Isn’t the memory of me holding his hand, careful not to ruin the placement of the tubes pumping life into him as he speaks to me, his voice wavering in the damp breeze; but me not able to make out a single word he says enough?

It was wordy, and the part after the semi-colon started with "but", so it's not a sentence. I'm done with my nitpickery now.

Other than that, I did love this piece; the very rawness and desperation of it were captivating, as was your denial of using sparkling images and metaphors to paint a beautiful picture of a horrifying death. I applaud that.

Lastly, if this is a true story, I offer you condolences for your loss. It's a tragic thing to go through. Keep writing; eventually, it does ease the pain, to be able to express your tangled thoughts so clearly.

regards,
pagemaster
 
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