Being faced with a keyboard is one of the most terrifying and most exciting points in my day. You look at it: its potential, its words, its indifferent jumble of letters, its arbitrary arrangement, see how your fingers fit across it, spanning in one hand half the English language. And it looks at you; cold, indifferent, a sneer. What is one to do when faced with such a belligerent challenge? Write? I daren’t.
Yet the need to tame this terrible beast is great. Words must be forged. It can be futile for all I care – an impotent and thoroughly pointless exercise. This. Stabbing at keys to string the words together just to know that I cannot be bested by a set of plastic squares emblazoned with a humourless font. Nor can its stalwart ally, the blank word document, sway me either. Both will perish beneath my nimble stubby fingers as I regurgitate words from my vocabulary in a mechanical, automatic flurry of linguistic vomit.
Then disaster strikes. Inspiration evaporates like a bead of sweat in the desert. My vocabulary dwindles to less and less words. Have I used them all already? Suddenly I’m groping for a synonym, unable to catch my breath, and any attempt at looking up alternatives in Word yields only antonyms and a bitter remorse. Words cease.
So, is it finished? Was there more? Or is that all there is? If there are no more words, there are no more words. But is that completion? That depends on one’s outlook, I suppose. Is the glass half empty or half full; half-complete or half-incomplete. Sense leaves entirely now in this void where words shouldn’t be and now are. Is this part of the former, or an addendum? Should it be a footnote? The fact that it isn’t tells us something. So, the thing could not have been complete because this commentary was required. Or is this as fundamental as the original treatise? More so? Perhaps. Perhaps it is this, with which we are now engaged, that was the real meat and drink of the exercise. The rest merely foreplay to titillate one’s grammar… I can not say at this juncture. Maybe there will be no other juncture to do so. And we shall never know. Unless we were to look back upon where we have come. To read back. As dangerous as starting in the first place. Don’t you think?
Edinburgh Fringe 2013
4 years ago