This book has already been written. There’s already a story that I want to tell, but it’s already been written and rejected— deemed as a derivative or not worth telling. These words have already been thought, agonized over, and written by someone else, somewhere else, some other time, because everything is already finished. The pen was where I left it on my desk, Jen was asleep in her purple paisley sheets, and the leaves were in the ugliest state of autumn: wet and on the ground. I stayed in my dorm bed, with my phone close to my face. It was a morning in October, and it felt like every other moment in my life, yet it marked the end of what was supposed to define me against all of the others. It was a morning that so many people had already reached.
A simple news update lit up my smartphone screen, filled with tributes to specific monumental authors who contributed meaningful novels to our society. Margaret Atwood, Herman Melville, Jane Austen, J.D. Salinger, most of them were old and white and from a time way before me. However, the feeling in my chest wasn’t like I thought it would be. The end of Original literature had finally arrived. I thought it would be earth-shattering. I guess I was selfish enough to think that the world would end when I became one of the millions of Idles who had their future careers robbed from them. I wondered who the lucky person who logged the last original work was, and why it wasn’t me.
I rose out of bed, careful not to wake Jen, and walked into our kitchenette to make my coffee. As I poured the half-and-half, I considered what my life would be now that I didn’t matter. Coffee tastes better when you’re hungover.
There was a name for those who lost their purpose because of Arrhythmia; Idles— or some people call us Snubs. All of our human potential was technically snubbed by a machine, which ironically enough, was created by man. I expected to be a Snub in my late fifties, helping my children find meaning in their own lives, but I felt strangely relieved. To live means to accept because if you don’t, there is no reason to be. Calling my mother today to tell her that I need a new path was something I never wanted to do, especially after all my parents have done to let me pursue writing in the first place. What do you do when you work for something your whole life, wanting, wishing, only to discover that it will never happen? You accept the alternatives. Snubs in the movie industry started re-filming existing movies with different shots, directing tropey sequels. Astronomer Snubs still think humans can live on Jupiter, despite what Arrhythmia has logged to be possible. They either continue their futile research or they help develop Mars. The truth is that writing has been snubbed a long, long time ago— at least it feels that way. To be a creative, you have to believe you’re the chosen one. Even before this October morning, it was impossible to read everything in the world, even if you read 100 or 1000 books every day of your life. Humans have been writing and telling stories since the very beginning of time, we have just reached the end of forms.
Doing keeps me existing, but that was yesterday. Last night, I was different. I squeezed my tired eyes shut and remembered the night at the bar.