A short autobiographical story (should have been around 700 words, I got to 550 words and it felt like it was a good place to start, a first draft. The story is about trying to find meaning while being confronted with self-doubt, loneliness, and the seeming futility of effort.
Another one of those days, one of those days he has no goal or the energy to create one.
He asks himself what to do.
“It can’t just be like this, the emptiness, the total lack of passion or creativity”. “There must surely be yet more to come, I read and study about the self, about creativity and finding my own ‘uniqueness’ and yet all I want to do is sleep, watch films - the dumber the better.”
He feels tired and unloved.
The frustration builds.
“After all, the last 30 years I have had a career, maybe not the best in my chosen field but I certainly didn’t go unnoticed”. “How can it be that this is what is left, no calls, no new projects, not even an old friend or colleague calling for a chat, nothing, was it all just fake? Am I really that unpopular among my peers?” “Or is it just a case of me no longer being relevant, it was just work, just business that I misinterpreted for friendship.”
Then the self-hate.
He despises the person he had to become, to be who he wanted to be.
“Well, look at me now, the confidence I once had all gone, the way I used to treat people when I was near the top of the pile, now coming around to haunt me.” “I let my success fool me into thinking I was untouchable, that I had everything under control, I was aloof with the adrenaline of adoration some gave.” “I’m now feeling how it is to be on the receiving end of the wall of silence, of being ignored, silenced.” “All that is left is the emptiness, the endless days of no meaning, one day much the same as the next.”
The rebelliousness grows.
He convinces himself he still has the buzz, the creativity, the will.
“Ok! If that is how it is to be, then so be it, I started once, I can start again, maybe a small change of direction, maybe focus on one of the other branches in this business.” "Maybe that’s the problem, maybe I was too focussed on just one side of the whole scene, I should explore what other talents I have, focus, all I need is FOCUS if they think I’m finished let them think, their surprise will be all the more rewarding.” “FOCUS, discipline, talent, and hard work, it worked before, there is no reason it won’t work again.”
He sits back, thinking of the plan.
If only he had the energy, the self-belief, to actually believe in what he thought.
"Why am I trying to convince myself to do more?” “I don’t need to prove myself, I can just sit here, relax, find new hobbies, live off the earnings I have made, become someone new, even at this late stage.” “Or I should just give myself time to think, time is important, after all, it is limited - none of us really know how long we will be allotted”. “I’ll rethink this all tomorrow, when this is all over, today wasn’t a good day to think about new plans, tomorrow I’ll think of how I can re-stake my claim, how I can be more than just this, tomorrow.” “Knowing that there will be a tomorrow is luxury, after all, it should be revered.”
He relaxes, leans back.
The nurse removes the needle, dresses the small wound made by the needle, she offers a ‘see you next month’, he smiles.