Wednesday, September 10, 2008

10 September 2008

There’s a very nasty TV commercial doing the rounds just now. It’s little story begins with a husband saying goodbye to his wife as she leaves the house. As soon as she’s gone, he rushes to her bedroom and starts trying on a succession of absurd and ill-fitting outfits, before fixing on one that makes him look utterly ridiculous. Then he puts on make-up very badly, squeezes his feet into stilettos, and goes downstairs to the computer.

Why, I can’t remember. It may have something to do with on-line bingo.

What struck home to me was this sense of being a ridiculous being. An out of place being. Someone without dignity or worth.

It’s very profound in me, this sense, and often leads to absurd errors in judgement. A really shocking incapacity to look after myself or my interests properly.

This all gets tied up with my identity as a writer. I think it was four or five years ago, at a conference, that I first introduced myself as a “transgendered playwright”. I felt proud and defiant to do so.

What I was doing then was making explicit something that had always been implicitly true. And it has to do with the special quality of my voice as a writer.

Also to do with how prolific my writing is: because I have been trying, through writing, to gain a sense of the self-worth that has eluded me in living.

And I think now it also has to do with my difficulties with this play. My voice, here, feels so isolated and alone.

But I finished one of the two poems. The other I sketched and abandoned. I had the feeling no-one will like it.

Which is why, I think, I now need to finish it.


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