I’m trying to finish my next book and I’m not sure what I want to say. I’ve been working on it for the past two years and it feels like I’ve been avoiding saying what I really should be saying. I’m not sure what that is, though. That’s a lie. I should be writing about grief and depression and what it means to be stumbling through whatever this is – trying to make sense, trying to keep my head above water, trying not to turn my whole life into one long mourning-fest. My father died five years ago and for the past five years I have felt like I have no muse, no audience, no reason to write. Soon after he died I fell in love. The combination of his death and this great love changed me. Sometimes I think the change was for the better; I can bear myself more than I ever have been able to in my life. My sense of self-loathing very rarely reaches the nadirs that it used to. In the past five years I have grown in size. I am taking up more room in the world. Inside, though, I either see myself as a huge fat slob, or as a really tall and skinny firm model type of guy.
I tell people that I write in the mornings. Days go by and I write fuck-all. Today I wrote fuck-all. I read three mediocre stories and I saw a horrendous piece of theatre called What We Did to Weinstein at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Every fucking cliche about Jewish life in London and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict was used in the most unimaginative and predictable way. I’m discovering that I enjoy being indignant, I enjoy being angry when crap writing is put out into the world. I think about the fucking torture it is to create one fucking decent sentence, the amount of energy it takes me to actually sit down and write – and the amount of energy that goes into resisting writing – and I think: How dare you put facile prose out into the world.
I did, however, enjoy going to the theatre with a friend of mine, and we enjoyed rustling our sweet wrappers.
Maybe I need to turn this into a testimony of bitterness and hate.