The weekend draws nearer and my dread mounts. I have no plans for Friday night. None for all of Saturday. Nobody and nothing to distract me from the godawful emptiness. And Sunday morning looms the way Beast must have loomed to Beauty before she encountered his gentle side. The Alphabet Sambar meet will demand that I produce another feat of words. How can I not? There is no workshopping ennui.
I feel like I’m saying that I’ve lost interest in my lover or husband of 15 years. But I have. I write on auto-pilot often now. It doesn’t bring me the same searing thrills, the same gut-spilling catharsis that it used to. I don’t feel the flush of love anymore. And that is very essential to my feeling inspired, feeling good.
I know what it feels like to be trapped in a loveless marriage. We are not uncivil to each other. But we tolerate each other with the painful sacrifices made by dutiful people who understand that it’s not the other person’s fault, that the fairytales never promised to last a lifetime, that there’s no insurance for love running out, that sometimes you don’t fall out of love but it just evaporates or fades away like paint after seasons of sun and rain.
It spills over into everything else. Friends who enjoy my writing remind me by their presence, that I’m living a lie. That this glorious fairytale they want to believe in, of a passionate writer in love with her writing, is no truer than the bored, harried housewife. There’s no more romance in this than in threadbare bathrobes, faded bedsheets and peeling paint on the kitchen walls. Ennui is not fun.
My much worn, so familiar lover, writing, we must go through these motions until one of us figures out a way to hurt the other enough to see some life. This has been bloodless for too long.