I was in that computer room, moving on to my second hour of driving theory practices, when the memories started flooding back again. A crazy tide without warning. The sweet memories, before everything turned sour. Every breath of your words, every millisecond of your touch. Your eyes so close they whispered to me. So immature, so annoyingly immature, yet so beautiful, mixed with so much hurt. And I dwelled in these memories for some time, and wondered if it was possible to write them out, but the words didn't come like they used to. They didn't want to come, either. They just remained beautiful flashbacks in my head.
My Crescent half-classmate, Jollin Tan, is getting her book launched at the Arts House tomorrow. And so is my other half-classmate, Lixin, who was also my Creative Writing Circle president in AC. And they're fantastic writers and I'm so excited for them. Jollin's still the only writer whose pieces move me to tears. I don't even cry when I read actual professional writers' books and stuff. It's pretty amazing, isn't it, getting published at 20.
And then a small part of me cries out with a pang: and you, Karen? You used to write. What happened?
I mean, I'm far from anywhere near the standards of people like Jollin or Lixin - I feel bad even putting myself and them in the same sentence - but I used to write, at least. I used to spend my mornings drifting and dreaming and hurting, noisy birds flapping around in the cage of my mind, demanding to be written out, and then after school I'd head back home to a computer to set them free. I also don't like to talk about myself writing, like as if I'm good at it, or think I am so. My standard of writing was (and is, of course) terribly far from ideal, but writing was all I could do. It was all I had to do. Now...there's nothing. The birds have all flown away. I can't conjure up anything anymore.
Maybe I used to hurt more. And dream more. And those dreams needed a way out of my head, so I wrote them away. Right now, even if you asked me to write a creative piece, I wouldn't be able to produce anything. Nothing comes. I don't know what that's supposed to mean. I'm happier these days, which is good. When I look back now at my 2011 writings and the portfolio I put together when I was applying for Lit and creative writing courses in the UK, I feel quite disgusted at the way I wrote. Can't stand the way I used to write. The things I write about and my style of writing has changed a lot, from, like, this to this - for the better, or not? I've no idea - but I just don't really care. I want inspiration again, and I haven't been able to find it. That spark of ideas and words doesn't come anymore. I'm scared.
Like, once, I just went about my day, and random things would hit me by the hour. I only had to chance upon a line in a song that went 'you just keep tuggin', pushin', pullin' / on my little heartstrings'. Or to look at a friend who seemed a little mysterious. Or for my friend to talk about saga seeds. Or to have 'Diabolical' thrown at me at a Creative Writing Circle meeting. Or to be at a bus stop and catch sight of a quaint block of apartments. Or even just to hurt, without any inspiration.
If anyone's interested, I first found an interest in writing in Sec 4 - August 2009 or something, after I broke up with my first ex. Previously, I enjoyed writing narratives for English Paper 1 essays, but never put my heart into them, and my friend called my compositions "the kind of essays you find in model essay books - fine grammatically, but with boring plots". That was fine. I didn't really care. And then the first compo Mrs Rupa gave us after my break-up was to be entitled 'Mirrors'. It was the first time I wrote with my heart. It was just a fictional story, but because I was in a lot of pain, it came out on everything, including the compo. When we got our papers back, Mrs Rupa asked me to read it out to the class, and that same friend said "maybe breaking up did something good for you". That was how it began.
I just hope it doesn't die. Maybe my imagination, and the words that come with it, is lying dormant now, but I hope it'll come back soon. I don't want it to be nothing more than something I enjoyed doing in JC. It's only the start. A couple of years is nothing.