Alone reading Nietzsche, I’m curled up in a nest of blankets to keep out the cold as I glance around my writing room at all of the books lining multiple shelves and stacked randomly in piles all over the floor. Poetry, philosophy, mysticism, stoicism, nihilism, erotica, paganism, porn, humor, atheism, usage/grammar/diction, literature, and on and on. Essay collections, short stories, novels, by the young and the old and the older even still. How many words, how much we are trying to say and still we writers believe there are more ideas to be pinned down and translated, more dreams to chase after in our wild little heads. I have taken lovers, I have taken drinks offered by handsome strangers at fancy bars. I have taken cabs at three in the morning, taken the hands of those who got me high and those who held me down. I’ve taken what was mine and taken even more than that when no one was looking. But the one thing I have been reaching for my whole life without ever being able to quite hold on or quite let go is the word. The word that will capture it all, say everything I don’t know how to say, so that this fire in my veins can at last be sated. It is unstable. It is unrelenting. Writing is an addiction. I want to stop and I never want to stop. I write to keep the demons satisfied and the people who think they know everything at bay. It is protection, it is an ember of warmth in the dead loneliness of a starless night. But it also taunts me, laughs at me while calling to me even when I can’t do anything about it. Even when there is nothing left in me, it wants more. Who are we writing for and what is it we think is so important that it is worth the struggle or the search? There are no answers, and yet there are all the answers we believe can be found if we just keep at it for one more day, one more night, one more year upon year of the passing away of an entire life. There are people who are content in this life with what is handed to them. They follow the rules and do as they are told and accept the punishments and rewards, artificial and oppressive as they may be. I see them smiling with nothingness behind their eyes. But something in the artist cannot bear it. Some strange fixation which tears inside my body forces me to question everything. De omnibus dubitandum. Even when they offer me a hand, I don’t trust any of their reasons why.