A Tiny Short Story by Marcel Gagné
Mervin was depressed. The down to the wire existence of his work life, the floundering bank account, and his disastrous love life had all but pushed him over the edge. Though he hadn't gone to the doctor, Mervin strongly suspected that his cough might be a sign of consumption.
His dream of being a famous writer had left him like a scorned lover two years before when everything in his life was going extremely well. The president of his company, then delightfully impressed with Mervin's work, increased his salary to a comfortable seventy-five thousand per year. Catherina, his lovely and devoted wife, was lovely and devoted. With all this cash coming in and life being so amazingly marvellous, Mervin put aside the pen, er, word processor.
Then came the layoffs and the cutbacks. Mervin, now far too at ease in his position, layed off, and consequently was layed off. He took another job with their competitor for less than half of his accustomed salary. He became miserable and drank a lot. Catherina left him because he was a constant downer. For her, it wasn't the money. It was Mervin's attitude.
Mervin retreated further into himself. Friends stopped seeing him–not that he had any more. Convinced that things could not get any worse, Mervin went home to discover that the bank was giving him two weeks to make a payment before they foreclosed.
One day, when all seemed lost, and Mervin was ready to jump off the Second Street bridge into the icy cold Fast River, he was seized with the desire to pour it all out, to scream out to the world, "I have suffered. My trials have been hard and this is where they have taken me!" Struck thus, he climbed back over the railing and headed for home where the nearly violent desire to forever ensnare the words that were his pain could be satiated.
As he walked, words flowed like a raging emotional river. Their raw, naked power filled him. From the depths of his torment, a fervent excitement began to take shape. Excitement. Purpose.
This was the heart of art, he knew. Pain. Sorrow. Depression.
By the time Mervin arrived home, he felt so good that his muse left him for someone more distraught.
Note: This 'piece' is the result of a quick response to yet another incarnation of the 'all writers are basically demented, emotionally scarred, verging on insanity recluses' discussion. A group of netizens were arguing that these failings were somehow necessary to feed the muse and allow True Art(tm) to flow from the obviously tormented psyche. Now, I am a generally happy person. My life has its ups and downs but that's part of life. According to the discussion in progress, it was clear that I should give up writing now because I was far too well-adjusted to ever pen anything worthwhile. While "Minds Writing Minds" may not be worthwhile, it was however my response to this discussion. Strangely enough, the discussion came to an end almost immediately afterward. Hmmm….. Incidentally, this discussion, and me writing this story, happened many years ago.