Sometimes he wonders whether the gift is worth it.
Nights alone in his apartment, three thousand miles and three time zones away from home, staring at a blank computer screen, waiting for the words to come.
Once upon a time...
Once upon a time there was a story, a plot, an outline for a novel. Once upon a time there was a purpose to all this, the loneliness, the booze, the long hours spent in a daze in front of the computer turning out paragraph after paragraph to be torn apart the next day. Once upon a time he was still capable of putting word after word, the way a workman puts brick against brick, building something solid, something with a shape.
That was long ago.
Nowadays the best he can do is string phrases together, stray arrangements of words that drift across the page like clouds in a colorless sky. They mean nothing, these sentences of his, connect to nothing. They are unpublishable. They are a way of filling up the page.
But they are beautiful.
Sometimes he wonders whether it's a gift at all.