I Am Paralyzed

I look down the uneven street and finally say, “Yap, you might be right. I should start writing something and should practice it. I’ll try to write something tomorrow after reading a book. Thanks, Gerardo. Well, I want to smoke, you can go upstairs.”

“Why? Let’s smoke at the apartment.”

“Yeah… but I just want to be alone for a while.”

“Okay… see you up there, man.”

I light a cigarette and look up the sky. I can see only few stars tonight, and the night is a wee bit chilly. I am peeved because what Gerardo has said is true: I am scared to death of writing. I know why he asked me about writing – because he is worried about me. I know that Jorgito too is worried about me although he did not reproach me directly, but I am very sure that he is still wondering why I have not gotten started. Gerardo knows me very well and must have been feeling that I am scared of writing – that is why he wanted to encourage me and push me to get started. They are true friends. I should have composed myself and should have accepted my inability to get started. However, I could not stop defending myself to him, because I know deep inside that he is absolutely right: I am afraid of starting to write. I very much love writing – I always write long letters to my friends and constantly write my own thoughts, but alas, whenever I try to write my book, I suddenly become paralyzed: I just cannot write anything. I didn’t want to acknowledge to my friends that I cannot write. This is my weakness. They are my true friends, so I should show them my weakness as well, but if the thing concerns writing, I refuse to show my inability to write to anyone even if they are my best friends. Because if I admit, all my strength, belief, and faith will be gone. Perhaps, I still cannot believe in myself fully; therefore, I defend myself obstinately whenever being asked about the progress of my book. I know that I have to use the worthy circumstances fully to start writing something; however, I am paralyzed. I am not able to write. And I am not ready to admit my weakness to even my best friends.

You’re Afraid of Writing

He is shaking his head, “No, no, Shogo. Three years ago or two years ago, you said these things – I believed you. But now I don’t believe you, because everyone knows your English is great; you’ve studied hard these past nine years, so I assume you have enough knowledge to write; you’ve traveled around and gained a great deal of experiences. I know you are ready to write. I sometimes wonder when Shogo is really going to get started or wonder if Shogo might never start writing. I think you are scared of writing.”

I am a bit agitated at his direct affront and defend myself involuntarily, “Gerardo, listen. I’m not scared of writing, as you said. You’re definitely on the wrong track of thinking in that way. No, I’m just waiting for the right moment to write, and every writer needs enlightenment. Besides, I really need more study and research to get started. I know what I’m doing. As you know, I’ve struggled in vain to write for years, because I need something more, namely, my own style and my own voice. I’ve been trying to figure them out for years. Thus, just wait patiently and give me the time to understand myself. As soon as I find them, I’ll start writing, that I can promise you; however, I can’t promise you when. Meanwhile, let me do it on my own way, and I’ll read more books.”

He is not convinced, “But, Shogo, even if you can’t figure out your style or your voice, you should write something. Let’s say, just two hours per day. You know, you can’t write a book without practicing. So, just try to write something tomorrow. Furthermore, I really think you don’t need to read books anymore because you’ve already read a great deal of books. Shogo, you’ve read books these past nine years. I really think you’re afraid of writing. Maybe, you don’t want to be disappointed in yourself. I really think so, man. If you want to read more, it’s okay with me, but please start writing something.”

I’ll Write Like a Madman

“That’s the different matter totally, my friend. I am in love with her, but not the ordinary way if you understand what I’m talking about. I am in love with her spiritually. I understand the spirit of a whore. She is my sweetheart; she is not my girlfriend. That’s the huge difference, Gerardo.”

“Ha-ha-ha, maybe, maybe, if you say so.”

We arrive at the parking area and get out of the car. We walk to the apartment. He suddenly stops in middle of the way and turns to look at my eyes squarely, “Hey Shogo, did you write something today?”

I am a little surprised of his sudden question and reply, “No, I didn’t. Why, Gerardo?”

“Nothing, my friend. I just thought why Shogo hasn’t started writing anything past two weeks. Shogo, why don’t you start writing something? You have a lot of time now and have a place to write.”

“I might start writing next year, Gerardo. Because I have to study, improve myself, and develop my art of writing more. I need more time to get started.”

“Why? You’ve studied about writing for nine years. I think it’s more than enough. You just have to start writing something. It doesn’t matter what you’re going to write. It doesn’t matter if you write nonsense, but the essential thing is that you need to practice writing.”

“Yes, I know, my friend. Let me explain – as you know, I’m going to write in English, so I naturally have to improve my English more because English is not my native language.

Moreover, I need to expand my knowledge as well as gain more experiences. Just wait, my friend. When the right moment comes and when I get divine inspirations, I’ll write like a madman. Just wait and you’ll see, my friend.”

I Am Very Pure as John the Baptizer

“Ha-ha-ha, idiot! Okay, I’ll do it again. I’ll obtain more information from her and try to tell her about your pure side as you wish, ha-ha-ha…. But I don’t get it; why don’t you ask her out by yourself, my friend? You’d better make your move before it’s too late. I’ve already told you that she likes you and wants to do something with you. What are you waiting for? It’s easy for me to ask her out and go out with you together, we three of us. But why don’t you go out with her without me? Why do I have to go with you all the time? Don’t be pussy, man. You just have to go out with her alone and make a move – that’s all, man!”

“Shut up, man! I am very slow. I have a plan. I’m just following my strategy. I want to give her a Christmas present; that will be my first move, my friend. Therefore, I need you to go somewhere with her to obtain some clues of what she likes. I need some ideas for the present. Understood, Shogo? And I don’t know how you always do it, but she thinks you are very pure and a good person, so she somehow trusts you. Consequently, if you tell her about my pure personality, she’ll believe everything, that I am perfectly sure of, my friend. You have the ability of making women believe you are very pure, son of bitch!”

“Ha-ha-ha, of course, I am very pure as John the baptizer. It’s the fact, my friend. Anyway, I’ll do what you’ve asked for.”

“Thanks, my friend. But, Shogo, you are not pure. I still can’t believe how you could say that. You are crude son of bitch, I know you, man. How about Elaine, man! I can’t believe you are in love with her. I know she is very beautiful, funny, and a nice person, but she is a whore to boot. How can you let yourself in love with a whore? Are you crazy? Why Shogo? Tell me why on earth you’re choosing her over Mexican vaginas? I know some of them are in love with you and want to do something. Why Elaine?”

“Watch out your foul mouth, man! She is very nice – I always have a good time when I see her. Right now I don’t want to have a girlfriend, as you know, because of my mission as a writer. I want to concentrate on writing. I don’t need any distraction.”

He lights a cigarette and says, “Shogo, I know you don’t want to have any girlfriends right now, but how about Elaine? Here are your exact words: ‘I don’t want to fall in love with any women and don’t want have any girlfriends.’ But you are in love with her.”

Just Let Her Know I Am a Good Person

Gerardo and I are coming from Antara Polanco, where we watched a movie because we can watch movies cheaply every Wednesday there. He is driving the car and suddenly asking me, “Have you done your mission?”

“What kind of mission? Do I have a new mission?”

“Of course, man! You have a very important mission. You have to ask Andrea out to obtain some information. I want to know what she likes because I’m planning to buy a Christmas present for her. And I want to go out with her again, man!”

I am laughing, “Again, idiot! I’ve been out with her and gotten some information for you a couple of times already; I have asked her out three times past two weeks. We went out together two times, but you didn’t make any move, idiot! What else do you want from me? If you like her so much as you said, why don’t you ask her out by yourself? My mission is over!”

“What? Son of bitch! I let you stay at my apartment free; I’m feeding you. You want me to throw your mattress out from the window? Do you want to sleep on the street tonight? Ha-ha-ha…. I’m asking you a favor, man. Just ask her out again and go somewhere together to get more information. Tell her about my good things – tell her how pure I am. Tell her that I’ve never cheated on any women in my whole life, because she thinks I always change girls and have never fallen in love with anyone sincerely. No, my friend, tell her about Maria – tell her how I was passionately in love with her and how faithful I was. You know about all my love affairs. Just let her know I am a good person. Tell her I’m very pure, and my heart is in the right place.”