Discover more from adamrw
“Only write when you’re hungover,” Dolores tell me when I’m hungover one morning.
Alright, I think, and set about it. I am adventurous in my constructions - building mountains and temples with words alone - syntax my hammer and vocabulary my nails. Nouns and verbs can be some sort of concrete - I don’t know, you can finish the metaphor.
After some time, I turn back to her and ask for her thoughts.
“Shit,” she spits, not spitting shit spittingly, but shit spit spat as word alone.
“Oh. I thought it was good.”
“No. You’re not hungover enough. You need to drink at least,” she pauses, “twice as much next week.”
I nod, keen and eager to please her and make my mark.
“Next week, then,” I say. She acknowledges my words with a wave of her paw but says nothing further.
The following Friday, I commit myself to total obliteration, all with the intention of being devastatingly and painfully hungover to write on Saturday. I quaff beer, down wine, gurgle vodka then realise I should swallow it sharpish. I do so and come back for more. Unsteady on my feet, my friends and colleagues look on with concern and fear.
“Easy there, Nelly, go steady on that poison.”
“My name’s not fucking Nelly,” I burble unintelligibly though they seem to understand. The night ends early for me and I am told later that I am carried to bed - half naked and alone, red wine stains dribbling down both sides of face like an alcoholic vampire.
Then the day and she comes again. This time she has her cane - left idly ominous leaning against the wall by the door. She does not need to brandish it - mere presence is enough. Then I write incandescently until the ink and the blood drip down my arms and shins. Page after page is filled with more and more - far more than last weekend. Even cathedrals not enough this time - there must be characters so richly-drawn and coloured in. After some time I rest and look back on my work. It’s difficult to make out amidst the blood smudged in the margins but I suspect that I may in fact be a genius.
Hand trembling from alcohol and fatigue and nerves, I offer a single barren leaf of paper to her and turn away as she reads. I hear nothing from her for quite some time. I close my eyes, hoping and wishing that there will be something - some acknowledgement or chuckle or flittering sound of satisfaction. But instead - nothing.