I wonder why I don’t write anymore. I used to spend hours writing, attempting to come up with prose that resembled that of the next great American novel. I forced myself to take creative writing classes that were beyond my level, blogged about the life of a girl newly conducted into the real world, spent nights fiddling with words and ideas in my diary. Even when I knew I completely sucked, I still kept going.
I was proud of my sporadic shining moments: the day my voice trembled in front of a crowd at Amici’s as I read my microfiction piece, my constant yet fruitless efforts to write a complete story in that graduate creative writing class, those gems of sentences I composed in my own private writing, a few lucid lines of poetry here and there in my letters to lovers. The wit I exhibited in my blog.
But all that is gone now. I never write anymore. I mean, I write for a living. I research cats’ dirty bathroom habits, reason their cooky behavior, and find the best gifts you could award your kitty with for the holidays. I whip up clean, fun nonfiction pieces that play a minor role in cat owners’ lives. I write about food, too, cooking, and recipes. It’s writing, but it’s not the kind of writing I did then. It doesn’t lead to the same kind of profound soul-searching that writing from the perspective of an artist raping a little girl, recording the last humorous thoughts of a voice from the deathbed, or perfecting a description of drunken events that underlies frustration, does.
I guess my voice has changed. I am out of the teenage and young adult phase. I paddled down the river of experience and took it all in, held onto rocks at times, pulled myself up grasping at branches, and finally reached the threshold: 21.
I’m 22 now, and back then, I never would have thought my life like this. But our values have changed since then. While the little girl delves in mystery and looks up in wonder of the interloped strands of misery and imagination, I type and pause to eat a slice of brie or take a bite out of a tart green apple.
I guess it’s quieter now, but we both still harbor feelings for the keyboard and spend long hours behind the flickering screen.