I could never be an artist. I think I always knew that. Or at least suspected. It wasn't that I didn't have talent. Though there were days...no, it wasn't that. I just wasn't brave enough, tormented enough. Not enough to be great. And if you're not great as an artist what are you? A craftsman, an entertainer. The silhouette of an artist, all shape and no substance. What Dylan Thomas would call his sullen art. Sullen art. Such a beautiful phrase, that. The kind of phrase I could never...No, I was never meant to be an artist.
They used to tell me all I needed was to have faith. In my talent. In myself. As though faith were ever anything more than a lack of imagination. As if I didn't already have something more important - doubt, and the need to disprove that doubt, the endless circle of frenzy and disillusion, like a dog chasing its tail. And what a tale it was, this unwritten story, the life I once imagined but could never bring to life. All over now, of course, all impossible.
But wasn't it always impossible? Wasn't this the way I always knew it would be? Not a failure of fiction but a fiction of failure? And wasn't that what drew me to it in the first place, the romance of not being good enough? To believe in the impossible. Not to pretend to believe, you understand, but to believe truly, irrevocably, and in the certain knowledge that what you believed could not be true. The passion and the certainty locked together, feeding on each other, like darkness and light. Oh, how foolish the young are, and how heroic. And could it be there is an art to this? To falling short beautifully? But no, I was never an artist. Look at me. If I were an artist would I be sitting here like this, whining and whinging, when really, what has happened to me? Nothing.
No, nothing has happened to me. Nothing has ever happened to me.