La Lettre

Dear (implied or otherwise) reader,

If you are still reading this, I sincerely salute you. Let me buy you a drink sometime. For you must be a very patient wo/man to linger on even after I have stopped writing since a few years back. Forgive my temerity for mentioning my absence so many times not unlike a filler episode. It must have bored you. I know I was. Truly, I had no reasonable excuse except that my attention was caught up elsewhere, the trifles of which I shall fill you in with later on.

That, and also the reason why I stopped writing was because I found it increasingly difficult to write. Continually, I question myself. What is Guerrilla Moon’s raison d’être? Is it a vocalization of my innermost thoughts? Or is it an avenue for me to practise my rusting penmanship? How about an avenue to express, not my innermost thoughts, but my views about the world around me. Instead of a inward focus, why not outwards? Questions like these continually plague me. Who am I writing for? Definitely not myself for my act of writing presupposes a reader. Subsequently, who is my implied (and therefore, perfect) reader? Who is the actual reader?

La Liseuse, Renoir (1874)Who are you, dear reader? I do not know.

Perhaps now you know the reason why I stopped writing. Even as I mentioned earlier that I would resume writing, the very act of inscription stutters and splutters as I scribe.

It is not the inkwell that runs dry but rather, my thoughts run to a close. Unemployed, the cerebral organ residing behind my eyes shuts down.

Even as the words leave my pen, I cannot help but shiver. Who are you, reader? You who read what I am writing, are you sure you understand what I am saying? That’s one of the reasons for verbosity, you know? Verbosity somewhat presupposes miscommunication. Of course, this does not apply to your everyday neighbour who repeats the same stories to you over and over again. And again. And again.

In Boston Legal, the main character Alan Shore (James Spader) is known for his long, passionate closing arguments. It is not because he is long-winded or narcissistic that his closings are long. It is because it is absolutely clear that no one in court understands him. As a left-wing liberal, his actions to bring suits against the country has left him labelled as unpatriotic or traitorous. He has few friends. To him, it is more important than ever to get his point across to those right-wing hawks, people who don’t understand him. Short closings just do not cut it.

Unfortunately for Alan, language is all miscommunication. And miscommunication may most probably be the reason for my unemployment. No doubt it is not that I lack the required skills, that I am unprepared for the interview, that the interview occurred before an important, life-changing event (such as my final paper) that failed to get me the job but it is language as miscommunication that tripped me. Language, my best friend. I have worked with you for so many years and yet you do that to me!

Towards the end, my interviewer asked me, “Do you blog?” It was inevitable given that I was applying for a writer’s position. Nevertheless, one cannot help but cringe at the word, “blog.”

“Blogging” is such a discriminatory word. When you say blog, tH|s |s tH3 fiRst th|ng tH@t comes to my mind. I apologise for my poor example. The second thing would be people who actually write down every single event that happened on that day. I am not against that per se but really, do I want to read about that? Prose that proposes individuality amidst generality is an 18th century artform. Daniel Defoe did it in Robinson Crusoe and Samuel Richardson did it in Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded.

On hindsight, perhaps I should have replied, “No sir. Technically speaking, I do not blog. I write. I write in an attempt to explore different avenues of style and content, in an attempt to impress my existence upon the cosmos while not falling under the category of the epistolary form, in an attempt to criticise society which I see as a mode of patriotism. Critique does not necessarily equate to unpatriotic or a “leaver” in local parlance. And as such, if you attempt to label what I do as “blogging,” I consider it defamation and will sue the ass out of you.” Or something like that.

Unfortunately, in that split second I devolved into the maraschino cherry that you get with cocktails (those pretty little things). You could almost imagine a maraschino cherry replying, “Yes sir” and thereafter proceeds to give him its weblog address.

Woe be me! Now my potential employer knows the deepest darkest depths and thereafter, I shall never be hired as a writer by that company or any other for that matter! Despair! It is certain that certain thoughts ran in his mind when he entered this tomes.

“What an angsty person! Definitely not someone who should be a writer for a trade publication! And look at that verbosity! How many pages would we have to give him to accomodate just one of his articles? Even a full page spread wouldn’t be enough! Even so, we probably have to take out all the images just to make more room.” Or something like that.

Words, words, words. They can be so dreadful. They look like one thing but they may mean another. Does A really look the same to you? That “A” which was in the beginning of this sentence and the few “A” which appeared after it? Mee siam mai ham. It’s all miscommunication, I assure you.

Author’s Note: To be continued…this is simply too long for consumption. 964 words!

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