It has been months since I was able to write again. I was subdued by vices and distracted by temporary earthly attachments. For a while, I wasn’t me. Each time I try to re-establish my good habits my phone would talk to me, “Open me for a bit”. Then the next thing I knew it was 5:38 in the morning and I haven’t caught drowsiness yet. Whenever I have something in mind and promise myself to write about it later, I often forget about it after a succession of “laters” that would eventually turn into tomorrow and lead to next month. The next thing I knew was my rank in Mobile Legends has become Mythic IV but my writing skills have dropped to Warrior I.
One night, I forced myself to write and open my laptop. I was thinking of what I was supposed to write, then after a couple of minutes I’ve come up with a decision of writing a poem, and so I did. As far as I could remember, I wrote about plants that night which metaphors my friends. In midst of it, I was meddled by a missing word that I felt I should’ve known but I couldn’t. It hindered the way I think, and I thought to myself that I have to relax – and one way of doing is browsing YouTube, and so I did. I scrolled and scrolled for interesting videos until I stumbled onto a documentary about Hannibal Barca’s greatness as a man who single-handedly conquered Rome. The channel was “HistoryMarshe”, and I’d tell you, it’s worth the watch. They’ve presented an animation of how Hannibal Barca planned his attacks and eventually outwitting the Romans on their own soil. And the coolest thing? The documentary was divided into twelve parts. I was hooked up. The next thing I knew was that I forgot the file name of the poem that I was writing and where I’ve saved it.
The next day, I overslept and wasn’t able to attend to my tutor. At 6 PM, I went to the bathroom. It wasn’t that usual bath. The moment I closed the door, I was alone. Free from the intervening distractions and woo of my phone. I undressed, pushed the shower lever, and stood at the raining warm evening water. I stood without moving nor blinked. I was staring with delimited vision, shrouded by the water that passes through my very eyes. Several minutes later, I shut the shower and stood still. I listened to the sound of the draining water for quite a while.
At that moment, I thought to myself that I should’ve realized something but nothing was kicking in. I just felt – nothing. I reached for the towel and enveloped it in my lower body and went to the sink where I brushed my teeth.
When I came back into my room, I had nothing in mind and nearly grabbed my phone again, but luckily, I was able to stop myself. I opened my laptop instead and listened to some of my favorite playlists. There was still nothing kicking in, I felt no motivation nor interest in doing something except checking my phone, which I have successfully deprived myself of for hours. I opened Word instead and tried to write about anything. But it was futile, I couldn’t write about anything and always end up erasing what I have written. I gazed at the blank page for several seconds, and later I realized that it was like me – empty.
Maybe I have nothing to write about, but I badly wanted to write. Or maybe due to the days that I haven’t been writing, I subconsciously lost my eagerness and my mind just wouldn’t allow me to regain it. I scratched my drying hair and crouched at my desk. I closed my eyes and resigned to nothingness.
When I woke up, I was still at the same desk and the same room, but my laptop was closed. I opened it, it was still in the same Word but wasn’t empty. I looked around the room, tracing for evidence of who could’ve written on my laptop. I even went outside asking my sister if she went inside my room but she denied it, they didn’t even know that I have risen from my bed since last night.
I went back into my room, marveled at what has happened. I tied the curtain on my windowsill and stared at the melancholic stars, silently burning and watching me from below. They might know the truth behind this mystery or witness how this piece was written. The next thing I knew, was to think for a title in this piece that mysteriously appeared.
I pondered for quite a while and mumbled to myself “When nothingness wrote for me.”
Michael Jig L. Salvador is the eldest son in his family and has been writing for 2 years. He is currently taking up Bachelor of Arts in English Language in Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges. He was also a ‘zinester’ in the 2019 Zinefest held in Tacurong, at Primart, wherein his poem The Ocean Made her Salty was featured in their zine Neflibata. He started reading novels, poems, and short stories at the latter part of his adolescence, and took literature seriously with the aid and guidance of his former creative writing teacher, Sir Adonis Z. Hornoz.