by David King
What is the source of inspiration? Can one have it when one is sick?
The page in front of me was blank. I knew a lot of words, had considerable knowledge of varying sorts, some experience and a decent imagination, but the page remained blank. I had no doubt – no real doubt – that I would be able to fill it with any particular data that others might request of me, but from my own initiative there came nothing.
How did other people fill the pages they found? I wondered. Were they all merely following some external compulsion? I too had filled my share of pages to meet demands made by others. This could be noble, I admitted. Duty, a readiness to serve family and friends. Even school or job. But no one seemed to need anything from me now.
What of these drives and compulsions others seemed to feel? Of course, I was sick. I felt few drives – I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be driven! –, but was that all? Was the desire to excel and achieve simply a function of a desire to satisfy some physical lust or craving?
Was this depression? He wondered. Some simple chemical imbalance that when corrected would leave me free to feel the rightness or desirability of some course. Could the contents of some pill let me fill the page in front of me with some sense of naturalness and justice?
I have my pills now. I feel somehow calmer and the page is still there. I can fill it now with any number of words or images, but they would not be mine. I know I want to write, but there is nothing inside me but the desire to be. The pills do not bring the drives back. Sad. Can it be that that is what life is? And I am now dead, at best a sophisticated machine?