Disheveled Pestilence

By: Lee Almodovar

The addled and frustrated mind of the tortured writer, sitting on his bed listening to one of his favorite movies, typing away on his laptop computer in hopes of working out the next bit of masterful garbage to indulge his friends and coworkers…

But, an infestation of writer's block had entered and muddied his brain preventing any attempt of his creative juices to flow through the veins of the soulless individual. He rubbed his left index finger gently over the letter "T" on his keyboard trying to loosen the small bit of muddy dust that had caked on the lower edge of the key. Several other keys on the left side of the keyboard shared the T's fate since the writer was plagued by a condition that caused his palms to constantly sweat no matter the temperature. It was a source of great frustration, but he had long since learned to cope with the thin layer of moisture that had infected his keyboards, papers, pens, and desk.

It was three in the morning on that oddly frigid day, late in August of the year 2005, when he discovered that his frustration stemmed from that horrid and wretched story that he had so enticed upon the thirsty minds of his coworkers. It was that story, one of several unfinished ideas that swirled violently around the depths of his dark mind, the only story with complicated meanings, a contrived storyline, and multiple dynamic characters. The story had manifested itself into a big headache, but he felt oddly compelled to finish it. Unfortunately, his three attempts thus far to initiate the story had failed. The idea was sound and very different from his writing style and genre, and twitched and coursed through his creative channels in ways he had never dreamed! But, he lacked the ability to formulate anything to remotely capture the attention of anyone outside of his target audience, and that caused him much anguish.

There were three variations of the story floating around on his laptop, and several more interpretations swimming in the vast dead sea of his mind. It was starting to eat him whole causing all of his attention to constantly focus upon the intricate mechanics of the story, searching non-stop for the weaknesses of his coworkers—the main characters of this work—in hopes of capturing each and everyone of them perfectly. In hopes that any reader would be able to envision the two office buildings where they toiled, the inherent hatred harbored for the day shift from the night shift, and the darkness each character bellowed. Each attempt thus far had been a failure in his eyes, the tired sleepless eyes of the writer. He possessed a spirit that screamed to be let loose upon the digital pages of the laptop, but his inhibitions and striving for perfection had built a three-foot thick virtual firewall in the depths of his brain effectively halting any creative activity for the night.

Frustration fell upon him early that morning resulting in an autobiographical recounting of his creative processes, and leaving him with the desire to soak in a warm bath for the rest of the morning. The work day would be quickly approaching in the next few hours, and he knew that he needed this moment to ignite the fires within in hopes of completing a task that he no longer felt like starting. But, he pitched stories well, and had captivated his potential audience before he even started producing any sort of work—digital or otherwise.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, an inspiration that might cause his brain to illicit bloodless dreams that might ignite the juices, but it just made his head hurt and his sinuses play their violent thumping games. Apparently, sitting upside-down in the corner of his room with the laptop precariously balanced in front of him while playing a seething beat of electronic drums and bass tracks—courtesy of one of his talented and cute coworkers—and watching a swirling visually colorful display had proved a fruitless endeavor for the creative process, and an awesome purveyor of sinus headaches.

Useless—utterly, utterly useless. All hope had been lost, and he felt that…wait! It was coming to him! The beginning had been captured so seamlessly, it just needed to be transcribed from the depths of his inner anime theater into words upon the digital page! If only it were that simple. To take the idealized style of his inner visual aesthetics and morph it into something that could be captured in the emotionless strokes of the pen, or in this case, the emotionless strokes of the keyboard. The task seemed impossible, and the story forever lost in the filing cabinets of the darkness of his psyche. At least until later that morning, when the seven hours of his despair ended and the first few words of his new work filtered through the muddiness of his brain, working their way through the energy channels within his body to the blank page and the black blinking cursor.

Unless he became hampered again by meaningless details of the intricacies of the storyline, but he hoped to strive to move past that. There were just too many distractions in the world. The internet. The computers. Work. Videogames. Hot men. Music. Beauty. Love. Desire. Disgust. Nature. Everything. And, this contributed to everything around him, and helped him to harbor the objective negativity that fueled his mind, the energies that kept him striving to exist upon the wretched and torrid planet day in and day out. "Day in and day out." Puh. He was utterly tired of that phrase, and mentally spat upon the word as he typed it. Then, out of sheer curiosity, he glanced at his hands as they sailed across the keyboard wondering if each cell that made of his soulless body possibly possessed any source of emotion, sentient being, or otherwise any source of thought. And if so, he wondered what each and every single cell on his body thought of him. Then, as if the channel had swelled until they busted down the barrier set upon them, he wondered what the atoms that composed the cells and everything around him thought of him. He pondered on what his car might think of him, what his sheets and cell phone might wonder about him, what his clothes might question about his choices, weather his ceiling fan actually liked seemingly endlessly spinning for several hours at a time working to keep him cool. A sinister smirk appeared on his face slowly creasing his cheeks and eyes in hopes that it would spread into a smile. But, the smile never managed to surface. It wasn't in his nature to smile. A smirk was as close to a smile as he was going to get. Besides, the word started with the same three letters, so it had to be acceptable…at least to him.

A random thought had surpassed others in his brain during their mosh pit to the sounds of the ending credits for his favorite movie, a notion preconceived on the musings of a non-rested mass of gray matter, hoping that he could turn these random voices reverberating just outside his inner ears into a functioning work of fiction or whatever sputtered out. He coughed, and held his chest as the forced air moved quickly past his lips. The pain shot through the chest like a searing silver bullet through the hearts of the children of the night. He felt quite content to have become a child of the night. He felt at ease with the nighttime air and environment, and quite shunned by the fortitude of the glowing orb of daytime. He embraced his nighttime acuity, and hoped to hold onto his nocturnal desires for all of eternity.

Where was this piece going? Who knows? It was just a mental exercise in futility; a task set upon him to capture the very essence of his mental frustrations, of his inner desires, of his creative flows. And he had failed in capturing a damned thing, but succeeded in thoroughly warming his lap underneath the computer and demolishing a wall that plagues so many writers and artists…at least until the next writing session took hold upon his body forcing him to walk around in a somber gait hoping to dishevel all the virtual shackles of existence and trudge through the pestilence of humanity.

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