“Do you like writing?” she asked me after having watched me scribble pages of barely legible words into countless notebooks. She stands at the door genuinely awaiting a response. The only problem is I don’t understand the question.
I often ask myself, do I even like writing? Every time I write it’s like stabbing an artery and letting blood leak onto paper (except my blood is black and tastes like ink). Being a writer doesn’t mean throwing eloquent words at a computer screen, it means telling the world all your secrets no matter how painful.
To her, liking things is simple. She likes to play outside, she likes watching movies, and she likes to be with friends, but for me it’s not that black and white. I like playing outside, but only in certain weather. In the summer, the color of my bare skin warrants stares as my pigment is blinding to everyone else on the blacktop. I like watching movies, but not ones that remind me sadness is contagious. I like being with friends, but it seems I don’t have many of them left. It’s what I get for surrounding myself with dead poets instead of heaving lungs. I really don’t “like” either.
To “like” something is such a tentative, borderline word. Do we ever truly like anything? It’s nestled between indifference and love, but is it close to hate at all? If I ‘like like’ you, is there a line separating my concern with obsession?
I am unsure how to explain my predicament to a little girl who loves all subjects equally. So instead I refer to my writing, my default prose and lyrical way of speaking in riddle. If this were a story, what would my character say next?
“I love writing.”