Watershed

(Note from Nick: This play isn’t new, so I apologise for those of you who have already seen it either in written or staged form. It was performed on 28th May 2011 with Sara Slack as Eve, one piece as part of Proteus Productions. I’m working on two short stories at the moment, which I intend to finish over the weekend.)

Watershed

A young woman, EVE, sits in an armchair alone on the stage. A notebook is by her side, and she cradles a cup of hot chocolate in her hands.

EVE

I have writer’s block. Sorry. I don’t. My therapist says that I shouldn’t call it writer’s block, because by calling it that I’m subconsciously setting it in stone, making it more real than it is, making it an absolute. Negative reinforcement, he said. I asked what I should call it instead, and he said that I should call it something happier, something less fixed, like, maybe, temporary creativity drought or something. I was going to ask him if he told alcoholics not to admit to being alcoholics, but to admit to being temporarily enamoured of mind altering beverages, but I suspected he would tell me that I was just being deliberately obstructive, so I told him to fuck off instead.

Why have I got writer’s- sorry – temporary creativity drought? I don’t know, that’s the problem. Every time I sit down to write I can’t think of any words to put on the page. It’s like the river that courses through me when I’m at my peak has dried up and all that’s left is a pebble bed and the desiccated husk of some poor animal – a gazelle probably – that finally expired of dehydration.

I’ve only had writer’s block once before. It was when my mum died, so I guess that’s an acceptable reason to stop for a few weeks and not produce anything new. At the time it was hard though, because before whatever was going on I could let it out, let it go, by writing about it, so when my mum died and I couldn’t write it was like I’d lost my world in the car accident instead of just part of it. That’s when I started therapy, because I just couldn’t cope any more.

I remember the moment when I decided enough was enough. I was at the supermarket trying to decide whether to get a pint of milk or two pints, and I just started crying. I wasn’t even thinking about mum or any other sentimental thing like that, which was why it was so different, so difficult. It wasn’t wrong. At least, I’m encouraged to think that grief affects people differently and no way is the right way to grieve, but I’m not so certain of all that. I cried plenty of times about my mum, and still do now and then, like when I have to end a relationship, or it gets ended for me, and she isn’t there to make me a hot chocolate or watch some crappy movie on the sofa together. But nothing like that day at the supermarket. That was my watershed.

But I’ve written since then, and I’ve learnt to live with the grief. I still go to therapy and I don’t know why really. It’s just good most of the time. Not right now, though. If I could write it’d be better.

Just a sentence or a poem or something. That way I’d know I was alright.

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