The Encampment Diaries – ‘The Emptiness Is Too Much’

The Emptiness Is Too Much

21/04/2021

It’s been a while, to quote the band Staind and their only known artwork.

What’s been going on?

Nothing

I mean, nothing for this work. I’ve had no drive to make anything. I’ve tallied no further with editing, with drawing, with conceptualising in the last 6 and a half months. I’m a failure.

What has happened?

Well, in the summer I was asked by a friend to help with a short film script, so I took a week to compile that, then waited months for feedback, wrote a little more for a few days, waited months for feedback, and helped him push it to an ending. Then that project got a little development funding, so now I’m a professional writer of scripts. I wrote something and have been paid for that work, professional. Whether it goes beyond development is still up in the air, funding is still being hunted down for, but it’s out of my hands, out of the country I’m currently held hostage in, and out of my wheelhouse as I don’t understand humanity, the connection of art to commerce and the ways to make things happen. I just study people, emotions, connections, and how one thing can lead to another, and try making realistic things simultaneously engaging and exciting for the potential reader/viewer. It’s all I really know. I can’t go out and work a customer-facing job because I cannot comprehend the people in that environment. I can’t go and be some sort of loud yelling producer because I don’t know how to form relationships and be in any way good to spend any time with. I’m a sub human at this point. I’m beyond broken, as the world tries to open up (way too early) I’m not sure I can go back out there. I don’t know how it’ll be to sit with someone for a time.

Last week friends of my parents came for a stop by in the garden, on the rare sunny but cold day in a miserable year, and they stayed for maybe twenty-five minutes before rushing off. Nobody was ready to deal with people again, even ones they’ve known for longer than I’ve been alive.

For me it’s now over 13 months since I locked eyes with a friend. And although maybe once or twice a week I may get to speak to someone for like an hour, and mostly recorded for podcasting purposes, there’s a lack of time to really connect anymore. I’m only being used to dump everyone else’s baggage onto. I’m stuck in this place where I am drowning in everyone’s problems, strangling on my own, and man… I wish I had a place I could feel like I could feel anything without anyone around to judge me, or make me judge myself from their perspective. My mind is fucked.

I haven’t written anything beyond that script in the last 9 months. I’ve opened a word doc this week and beaten out some of my big feature ideas with intent to write short film versions of them, some collection of 5-6 stories between 10 and 35 pages long to just put things there, see if they warrant expansion, if I can compress them, and to push myself to create again.

Instead of that, I have spent the months ingesting all the content. So much TV, I finally did The Wire. Eh. And The Americans. Eh. I watched all of Ballers – Rubbish but not as disappointing as the other two shows listed. And also seen a lot of the films I should have seen by now that I hadn’t seen. Guess what? The films I liked before are still the ones I like, and the films you’re meant to see? Homework. Offered nothing to nourish the soul, just a lot of technical decisions. I can imagine an old uni lecture wanking over things for ages whilst the group wonder what’s better about, say, Rashomon than The Rock.

The Rock, by the way, still so much fun.

Let’s just watch The Rock right now.

And repeat every line like Sean said it. I’ve been doing a lot of Connery lately. Not when he died, only the last month or so. And it’s fun. Roll the ‘r’s as well as doing the shhh thing and you’ll nail the accent.

What next?

Fuck knows.

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