Wallie the Imp and I flatter ourselves we do quite well under pressure. This is another story.
Do you know that feeling, when you’re watched—like needles at your neck they say, like pins. Perhaps it is a tickle. Or an itch. But sometimes it is realer. Sometimes when the eye of the tiger discovers you in the wild green of the jungle, you feel it at your back, your chest, your throat. Sometimes it is like the finger of death.
I feel it now. A thousand eyes threaded across the vast web of the Net are nothing to the one pair that follows me here. I sit, my hands limp on the keyboard, the laptop screen a glaring white. I try to compose myself, my thoughts. It is strange how often coherent writing depends on composing yourself, before you dare strike the first note.
“What are you writing?”
The voice is ugly. My hands quiver.
“Surely you see,” I say—“there is nothing written yet.”
“Why don’t you write?”
“I—I haven’t thought of—”
“Think. Discipline yourself. Write.”
Think. Work. Write. I remember a professor who once said writing academic papers is like physically bleeding over your page, losing, perhaps, some ability to live in dedicating yourself to words. It is a troubling image; where there is no love for the art, perhaps it is true. Where there is love, the blood, the fire of expression, never fails. But I have only blood. I try to draw it and find my heart anemic.
“If I write,” I say, half-pleading, “will you let me rest? Will you leave me to myself?”
My taskmaster considers. I know It considers. And I would turn to see its thought, except the sight of that tangled, unnatural ruin will be more than I can bear.
“No,” it says. “You created me. It can never be undone. Write!”
Never be undone? That is so solid a word. Never. But I will write tonight, and satisfy once more the keen appetite of my monstrous creation, my sometime darling, and my greatest disaster—my BLOG.