short short story

Spe[aking] (on the purpose of writing)

By speaking he realised he could live, after all, without the physical affection he still would have clearly flourished round; even so, despite all, what hurt him the most was to talk about futures and find himself with people who found it so hard to do anything but look to the past that had haunted the ghosts of their ghosts.

It hurt him to think he could have another life, and maybe that life would not be just different but actually, objectively, better than now: but he had to limit himself to living in the real world where dreams cannot always fly as we’d like, and perhaps it was as well that this be the case: he had, in any case, hurt as much as he had been hurt, and the balance and credit of life could not be any other than this might indicate.

And speaking ameliorated in a way that ached slightly, for all his needs and the things he valued most disappeared in an understanding that people were worth more than the wants he had placed to that date at the centre of his life.  And if he could help others to realise themselves, in a sense he’d be realising himself.

And this was clear, and this was right.  And finally he realised, absolutely too, that he wasn’t half the man he had ever striven to be.

And this was clear, and this was wrong.  He still wished he could do far more than he had done.  But this wanting and then the doing traversed such an abyss that he felt to himself there was little he could do if it meant he was alone: without the support of someone, he really knew not where to turn.

And if his writing righted no wrongs at all, what was the purpose of writing anything?

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