The Caitiff came out today. I took a long walk in Mesnes Park, in Wigan, and sat there for a time, despite the cold and the eventual rain which forced me to seek out the shelter of a nearby podium. I hadn’t intended to sit at all, simply to enjoy the act of motion; to entertain my body whilst my mind focused on other things, but my ill-health turned those steps after my three thousandth into agonising, lung-bursting things, which sent pain coiling around my ankles and I could barely breathe through the onset of a cold and the aggressive movements of the wind’s jaws upon my bare face.
The fingers of my right hand were numb, as they had to hold on to the strap of my bag rather than ape my left hand, which was buried deep within the pocket of my jeans. I wore fingerless gloves, as I always do, to combat my insufficient circulatory system whilst allowing my appendages to remain functional. I found it difficult to hold my pen, and I had to spend some minutes simply flexing my fingers, straightening them and curling them until they dug into my palms, before straightening them again. Eventually, I felt sensation return, in waves of icy-fire which crackled like electrical impulse.
It is a chill morning, in mid-February, and I am sat here watching a water fountain. It is a two-tiered thing, of red and gold and composed of bulbous components which protrude into the air. In recent weeks, the water which should have dripped and flowed and spat from the fountain’s rim has been frozen, locked solid by the whims of nature but today is one of the few days when it runs clear. The wind still batters at it, and there is a long streak of wet ground behind it, where the wind’s ire has left a daring imprint upon the fountain’s efficiency.
It seems, to me, that nature mocks the fountain’s role, that it repeats humanity’s desires in a falsetto and laughs as it ignores them. It seems, to me, that man and nature are engaged in an eternal war – Man claims how things ‘should’ be, and nature decides upon how things ‘will’ be. And, in my narcissism, I cannot help but feel that my role should be to decide upon how things could be. For a long, long time, I have argued that I am not a writer; that I am a poverty-stricken drunk with an internet connection and an inarguable obliviousness to my own pretension.
Today, I think, I want to be a writer. I don’t care that no one else might offer me that title; I want to look in the mirror and say that ‘Here; here is a man whom has said something which needed to be said, here is a man who has said that which he wanted to say, honestly, without selfless motivations.’
I don’t think I’m a writer yet. The Caitiff came out today and, though I should feel pride, or hope, or worry, I can feel nothing but the vague unease and apathy against which I write. Forever, I believe, Friday the 13th of February, 2015, will be the day that the ‘Meh’ reverberated around my body and spewed from my fingers, through the filter of plastic and ink, and onto paper.
I am not a writer; I am not a drunk; I am a modern man. I am a healthy, if currently physically frail, modern man, and The Caitiff came out today.