A Struggling Artist

Here he was at his favourite bookstore with a coffee shop in it. A cup of chai tea latte, his laptop covered with stickers and music in his ears. Nothing fancy, just a struggling artist.

Nothing out of the ordinary, really, another writer with utterly unimpressive work, which he rightly labels as “absolute bullocks keeping me at peace”. One would say a cliché of a sort – aren’t all untalented struggling writers seeking for a coffee shop to sit in all day long and write about things nobody wants to read about?

He is right. He knows it. He has been doing this for years. And apart from his immediate family, a few close friends and,23.7 people read his short stories or essays on average. He will never write a whole book, a novel pretty much like Salinger’s Catcher In The Rye. And that’s ok.

Albeit his rather unstructured ways, pretty much like his semi-kept long beard, the writing was never meant to bring food to the table. There is something else he searches for every time he sits behind the keyboard. A peace of mind, an escape from reality, a fantasy…

He has almost made it once. At least that time, it looked a lot like it. A few thousand people have read his essay. Congratulations were flowing from left and right. He took a step back and enjoyed. This would be the peak of his struggling writing. Everything else he published after that was just spiralling down in quality, pathos and structure – endless nonsensical rumblings.

He took it personally claiming it wasn’t his fault for some time, people couldn’t see talent even if it hit them in the head. The sulking went on for weeks, months, years. Then we accepted that he is yet another dull person with dull thoughts boring everyone with his dull writings.

Nowadays, he writes for a fictional world where he, in fact, is the Frankenstein of writing combing the simplicity of Albert Camus’ expression, the engaging words plot twists of Stieg Larsson and the eventual vocabulary of Irvine Welsh.

In that fantasy world, everyone applauds this writing Frankenstein’s effort. Men want to be him, women want to be with him, and elderly ladies want to have him at their book reading soiree. Invitations to toga parties, nouveau-riche extravaganza on Monaco’s shore or the morning show on some local Midwest town TV station are frequenting.

His imagination does not stop there. He is also slightly taller, somewhat leaner and muscular and puffing from a strangely shaped pipe. People find him attractive and sharp as a razor there, too. Dressed like a dandy, with the manners of a 17th-century French nobleman. After all, everyone can be whatever they want to be…in a fantasy.

Suddenly, the daydreaming vanishes and the struggling artist finds himself, eyes wide open and lucid, in the middle of that very same coffee shop in that very same bookstore. The chai tea is long gone, and he hasn’t typed a single sentence that made sense.

Nothing new to him. He knew from the get-go that this would be yet another sit-down resulting in the rubbish. But he never expected anything else, only in his fantasy, but not in real life.

What a cliché he is, isn’t he?

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