Stage Lights

Short Story

Coffee and cigarettes
Are the way people star their day
When there’s nothing new to do
But more of the same

Ardency turns to
Urgency turns to
Complacency turns to
Impotency

I’m always the one to say this, and I think I’m about done.

It’s not fair that I’m the one on the stage, trying to make new thoughts and ideas just to be judged by others. The ones who are in their chairs, watching and whispering to each other.

And pointing.

And saying someone else said it better.

But everyone likes it when I say I can see their futures, and their futures are bright and exciting and every sunrise will be sunrisier than the last. I think I believe that for my own life, but others? I have no idea.

I’m in this constant fear of not meeting expectations that I have something important to say. That I won’t think of something new and creative that will be exciting.

You know you’re desperate for ideas when your art becomes completely self-aware. That out of your frustrations with it, that’s the only place new ideas emerge. It’s terrifying and exhausting, not even considering the eyes on you.

The stage lights constantly on you, because once or twice a while ago you had some amazing ideas, and now you’re always trying to maintain the image that it’s always like that for you.

You always have something to talk about.

I think I’m done with this for a while. Trying to take the experiences I’ve already written about and changing them up to make them seem new. It’s not fun anymore.

The weird part about making art is that each new piece is a piece taken away from you. A memory or thought that once only belonged to you are now for everyone, and then you have to move on.

I need to make new memories and new thoughts. I want something new to say.

So it’s time to just live again.

 

more by TYLER CLIFTON

photograph by Tim Bogdanov

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