Heiko H. Caimi – The Blank Page


Now is the time.

     On my monitor, the input line flashes on the blank page.  So many nice characters in my mind, and a good story too … But…BUT — DAMN not a line!!!
Seems like a “Writer’s Block”, a people’s way of defining something undefinable. But TRUTH is the problem is here to stay. Naming problems doesn’t solve them…That would be nice, really nice!
But no way, man, no way.
CHRIST! Half an hour has passed, and still nothing. A big F nothing!  I’m scratching my lazy hairy bum and no clue. Douche! “It was a spring night”… yeah, I might as well start with “it was a dark and stormy night” – sure, spring my ass!!
I thought I was damn good at writing but when I decided to dig my teeth into it, BINGOOO, all faith in myself collapsed like a castle of cards. Whoooo… This sucks!
“You have to believe and invest in yourself”. Yes, “Mr. Best Seller”

     All I hear is this talk about style, but how can I find a damn good style, nice and original, so that my ass would be covered in front of an editor. That he wouldn’t laugh at me at first sight!
Many authors come to mind. My beloved ones, the ones I grew up with, the ones that forged my childhood so full of dreams. But truth is, the more I read the more I feed bad. Maybe my dreams are too high, higher than “cloud nine”. Maybe I should try to write like Sidney Sheldon or Danielle Steele. “A female driven saga of lust, passion and love”- where men use aftershaves and care about ladies with hello kitty panties.
Jeez— My keyboard is a real mess. Nicotine and chocolate chips ahoy! Let’s clean it up before all this soil messes the keys forever. Where the hell is Mr.Clean?! Here it is…
Yeah let’s do it.
+pètreyu+ùpè qwe+àèùioqew we
+ewqdrftgkjilòàùòhgfhòàùàòlòlkjlkòkòlklloookjijhgfdfdsaAS qqq°àààùàòùòùòlgfdsefàù§-vcxzzxbvnm,.-ANB ,KM_°§_.,KJMZXC§KM,N,KJBVZXJNM,K ,
++++ BVVCBNM,.-,VNB X CJH Opòàè
Holy mother of crap! I forgot to lock the keys and now my best seller is PoOp Art!  Thank God for the CANC key! Now where was I…?  Shit, losing time on this wasn’t all that necessary, don’t you think?! My mind is going bonkers. I want to scream how hopeless I DO feel. Where’s my fucking enthusiasm now?! Where’s my joy, my talent?! All lost! Bygone! Now I want to cry.
Have I ever REALLY had talent?! Positive?! Maybe I’m living my own illusions wrapped alongside my keyboard. Maybe this is a way to fill the void, to write about this and that like feeling cozy about feeling nothing.
Talent my ass! – Who the hell said that to me first!? Poetry maybe, but that’s easy. Like talking shambles: Bu bu badida buh! Those who said I was talented now have a disgruntled soul on their backs.  You F sadists! All of You!!!  My so called friends. You’re all my Torquemada.
Engulfing the pain of a tortured writer on the loose, who has many stories in mind but no strength to finish them. Do I have that courage? Do I really want to play this game?! Maybe I do not want to write anymore.  Maybe I do not have the basics I need.  Should I stay on the surface or go deep trying not to breathe?! Inhumane pain to achieve less than nothing, worst gibberish of novice pawns. But, hey, I AM a novice or do they really expect a masterwork from me straightaway?!
You have to write and write A LOT before getting used to it. With your own writing skills and not those of Dos Passos, of Fitzgerald, of Saramago, of Kundera, of Céline, of Pirandello, of Cechov, of Pavese…  Regarding Pirandello, I remember when I was a kid asking my father “What is a Pirandello?!”. I wasn’t aware it was a surname; my knowledge wasn’t that good on surnames of famous writers.  How can I achieve the skills of a writer when I write more e-mails than short stories?! I have to be confident in writing: with love, calm and patience. No tension of expectations from myself or others, I am ME. I’ll write MY WAY! And to hell with Dos Passos, Fitzgerald e Kundera. But no, Pirandello no. I’m too fond of him. So be it. I’ll write as I like and stop whining. If only one guy has read through all this and is still here god bless his soul, I have a reader. Even with all this flaws, a style full of stupid aestheticisms and no substance. I cannot go further with this bullshit. I cannot write with anxiety. With fear of writing. Maybe I can do something good, apart from having it here. I can use it for something fresh. Let’s see…Ok now…Give it a try!!! “He woke up in the middle on the night. Again. A broken scream down his throat…”Mhhh but what if he’s mute?! A mute scream in a mute throat?! Whatever. I’ll check it later or if I stop here I can never go back and finish. Stories must be finished till these are in our mind, before they get lost in thoughts… So…
“A mute scream was trapped inside his throat. Blankets like a shroud glued to his skin. He felt engulfed in fading images of a dream bygone, leaving him feelings so horribly true. Arms like in a straitjacket, painfully keen to those sensations: Trying to get free, to pull him out. But no way. A mouse trapped, now he squealed like one. A sound pale imitation of the grotesque scream he had still inside. In despair, he hitched again from the silk cage. A right move, then, suddenly, finally free!!! With his hand he pulled himself out and broke his white pale cocoon. He fell off the bed. Rested on the floor watching the bed undone. Touching his forehead, trying to stop the emotional bleedings, pearls of sweat from a dream that still haunted him. A dream he couldn’t remember. But how could he know it was the same dream then!? He tried to give himself the answer, nothing came to mind. He was so damn sure: same dream, same mysterious images. Why those wouldn’t come up to mind then, to finally free his conscience. What kind of darkness was his mind protecting his soul from?!

Translation by Gino Udina (edited by Chiara Canova and Robert Mardle)

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Heiko H. Caimi
Heiko H. Caimi, born in 1968, is a writer, screenwriter, poet and teacher of fiction writing. He has collaborated as an author with publishers Mondadori, Tranchida, Abrigliasciolta and others. He has taught at the Egea bookshop of Bocconi University in Milan and several other schools, libraries and associations in Italy and Switzerland. Since 2013 he has been editorial director of the literature magazine Inkroci. He is one of the founders and organizers of the traveling literary festival Libri in Movimento. He collaborates with the news magazine "InPrimis" keeping the column "Pages in a minute" and with the blog of the writer Barbara Garlaschelli "Sdiario". He published the novel "I predestinati" (The Predestined, Prospero, 2019) and edited the anthology of short stories "Oltre il confine. Storie di migrazione" (Over the border. Migration stories, Prospero, 2019).