In all my years of reading stories, I remember reaching the end of the book and thinking, “I wish I could meet the author. I wish I could talk to them. I wish I could be their friend.” As the one who has never been “the most interesting guy in the group”, as the guy who has never been on anyone’s list, as the guy who has never been necessary, I thought this might be the way. Maybe if I write a book, someone will feel the same way for me. Maybe I will be on someone’s mind the way I keep my friends in my mind. And so I picked up a pen and began writing whatever felt good to me. Whatever made me laugh. Whatever made me feel more. More alive. More necessary. Perhaps this is why I liked media that broke the fourth wall. Because in a normal piece of writing or movie, you are constantly aware of the characters and the scenes in it but when the fourth wall is broken, you are temporarily aware of the force behind it all. It is because the writer made a choice to make one of his characters aware of your presence that you’re suddenly aware of the person who wrote the story. They broke the wall knowing precisely that you would be made aware of them because of it. Maybe that wasn’t enough for me. In some of my later works, I began writing as if I was right next to the reader, looking over their shoulder and narrating. Even that wasn’t enough. I wanted us to be one. In an attempt to make that possible, I wrote myself into the story. Not as a character who had my characteristics on some philosophical level. Not even as a version of me who lived in that world. No. I wrote myself in as The Writer. An entity who observes and records events that occur in the world of the story. Theoretically, the world of the story exists even without The Writer. So, does he record the events as they happen? Or do the events occur because he records them? Or do the events occur because you, the reader, have read them? This ambiguity in the level and nature of my power and that of the reader, I had hoped, would make the reader feel that much closer to me and the story.
At first, I was happy. I was a writer. I had a reader. One. He was invested in the world of my story. The story of my world. He cared about my world as I did. I had infinite happiness and energy to pour into my world everyday. A new chapter everyday. Thousands of words everyday. He would read it and give me his reaction to it. The places that were good. The places where I needed to put in more work. But I should have known that my happiness and energy were arrogant to consider themselves infinite. The only thing that is infinite in this world is time. And time changed our situation. I lost my reader and could not find another. What is one to do when their one last attempt at reaching out to the world is met with a deathly silence? I am told one must fight. But I was out of energy. I could not fight. I could not push my world into the minds of others any longer. I did not struggle. I went with it. I decided I didn’t need a reader. I deluded myself into thinking I could write for myself. And I did. For a while, I wrote my story and read it myself and I smiled. My world was still alive. It was a short life. When I am not writing, I am distracted. I keep myself distracted. Whether it’s a game I’m playing on my laptop or the music I’m blasting into my ears. I keep myself distracted from my loneliness. But when I am writing with the knowledge that no one is going to read my work, I am made acutely aware of my loneliness. It is hard to exist alone. It is even harder to live alone. To deplete an already drying up well of energy into a task that feels futile. One does not feel the pain of the lack of something until they need that thing. And I needed to know I had a reader when I wrote.
So I stopped writing for a while. That was worse. I had entire universes inside me, waiting to burst out. But they had nowhere to go. I had no choice. If I held them in long enough, I would eventually forget them. Then, I would be at peace. So I waited. Then I fell in love with another story. A game. I even found other friends who loved the game. But as I expected, they had no time for me. I was not necessary. Even so, I didn’t care. The game was enough. I would play it and distract myself. And then I reached the end of its story. A story that was supposed to continue. And my mind jumped at the chance. I built up a story again. I had to write it. So I write it now. But that is irrelevant. If I didn’t have readers before, I will definitely not have readers for this. I am not sure if I should be comforted by the fact that not matter what happens in life, I can always be confident in the one constant that is loneliness. So, yes. My comments are too long. My posts are too long. My speeches are too long. It is fine. I am fine. I will finish writing this one last story I am writing. Then, I will lay down my pen. I will not have to push this boulder up a mountain anymore. I do not want to go out into the world and find friends. I do not want to let the sun shine on me. All I’ve ever wanted is someone who likes the things I like and who will love my creations the way I love them. But the people I create for always seem to move away from me. And I do not know how to create for myself. So this is goodbye. Well, not yet. I still need to finish that other story. But soon, it will be goodbye for real. I suspect no one will hear my goodbye, though. No, not suspect. I am confident that no one will hear my goodbye. And I am confident no one will grab my arm and tell me to stay.