Morning Papers in the Municipality of Medellín




Nothing is happening and it happens over & over. Going a weekend without writing, one believes they might return to the keyboard with some newfound enthusiasm, perhaps a shred of rejuvenated ability from having lay dormant the lust to sit down and patter out some words & sentences. They evaded me then, now they avoid me. They will return, come crawling back. Maybe. They will be drawn from whatever recesses they have scurried into, the tiny cracks into which summer’s dust was blown, the linen at the back of the laundry cupboard where the silverfish swim for crumbs, the curl of my bellybutton’s knot! I will get them. Until then, a journalist in the Municipality of Medellín advises me to write ‘the morning papers’, five-hundred words before breakfast, on everything, on nothing, every morning 500 words, equivalent to 3 x journal pages.
    I thought about it Saturday morning, and it was such a bright morning, but my good mood – which is balanced on me having just the right amount of sleep, not what would be considered a good amount, nor too little – was already precarious on account of me having dreamt of H. Some bad news delivered, and I cursed aloud, walked in circles in the garden.
    How many words on a journal page though? The journals I kept at university, before I stumbled them onto the internet, contained very few words, and always from different pens, kind of scratched, kind of clawed and scrawled. Such an angry young man! Many little illustrations, depictions of dreams, phrases that repeated in my head, nonsense poetry, barely coherent stammerings of a loner who positioned his bed next to the window and looked through the gap in the curtains to the streetlight outside his window. They are in landfill now, or a recycling plant, I cannot recall where I disposed of them.
    The house was full again. My mood, my mood! It appears that here, on the precipice of spring, having weathered winter, my state of mind is as thin as can be, my wellbeing at its most fragile, prone to stress, nightmares, anxious nibblings. I groaned and passed out for a walk. Nothing is happening and it happens over & over. There was something that I kept saying to myself on repeat—‘My emotions are pennies—separate they are worthless—I keep them in a jar—I cannot throw them away—all of them are heavy—if I put them together, maybe I can make something.’ Then I thought of Toby Ziegler walking down the streets of New York with a roll of pennies in his fist. The phone at an angle and the wind could be heard; if I did not call my grandmother now, I never would. I had not spoken to her since her birthday on the fifteenth of June. She talked for a long time, although at first I worried I was interrupting her; a while to reach the phone—‘Hello…?’—and then mildly out of breath, always a kind of static that you do not get on other telephone lines. She kept calling me Sean. At first I corrected her, then after twenty or so times I gave up. ‘Who is Sean?’ I asked my mother when I got home. ‘That’s Bridie’s son.’ Bridie was her sister and best friend and she died last year. ‘She kept calling me Sean.’ I cannot blame her for getting my name wrong, nor can I blame myself for having given up correcting her.
    There you go. Five-hundred and eighty-three words. The morning papers.


Mark

Thank you for reading. It really does mean so much to me.