A friend of mine and I were biding our time as we waited for our ride home in a coffee shop one Wednesday evening. He was seven years my senior, an accomplished man, much more successful than I in terms of education and probably would be in ters of career as well, although I did not really feel any particular jealousy towards him. Though he was well on his way to penthouses, sports cars, expensive wine, and front page news, my friend was far too absorbed in the throes of a life that barely even served himself. That, as selfish as I am, was something I would never truly commit to. He was settled his drink on the table when immediately he noticed a journal sticking out of my brown everyday school satchel. He asked me, probably to strike out the silence or to kill the boredom, “So. Why do you write?”
“I stop thinking when I write,” I said without giving it much thought as if I had already answered that question many times over before. “It empties me and sometimes I just need to be empty.”
“And reading makes you full?”
“Sure, it does. Like how the street empties at night, when I do my night time journal entries, I empty myself of all the things that recur in my head throughout the day. Come morning everything just sort of fills my head up again. Like reading a book, I scrutinize what I read and I wrap myself around the things I think about when I’m reading the book. I wallow and then I jot it down and then I don’t wallow anymore. It’s kind of like cycle but it’s not the tiring kind.”
He was astonished, but admittedly- all the more was I with myself. I had always been someone who expressed his meaning in small, sparse sentences. He said something I forgot in reply and I nodded back at him. We fell back into silence afterward, returned to sipping our coffee, taking our time until the short hand of the clock struck 6 and we parted ways.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never fully understood the reason behind why I write. It really varies every night. One day I take to the pen just to feel alright and then the next, I spend the night writing to dance around my sorrows. I write to inform others of myself. I write to remind myself of myself. I write to make good humor. To feel this certain punctuation to a thought murdering me in my spare time and to ultimately empty myself of the thousand tangled threads of thought that would not unravel at my command. As I said, it varies really every time and even these reasons I seem to find very difficult to explain to others when I have to. So I write about it, as how I try to write down the invasive thoughts that come every now and then.
I must admit however that I’m disappointed with myself that I had not explained this further to him. I wish I did. It felt great to tell someone even just a fraction of the whole reason why I love to write. For all this time that I had been (all my life), I never really had the opportunity to fully explain why I love to write. But what I’ve left out of my mouth, I place here now instead. For after all, this is just another feeling I need to punctuate and don’t I write to punctuate?