tale of the used-to-be damn good writer

i used to be a damn good writer, she boasts as she takes a drag from a particularly strong smelling cigarette and releases it in my face.

uh… i replied. i have never ever gone all flashy about my writing credentials before, but this is the closest i have ever been to rubbing it all over someone’s face. i wanted to show this bling off. blind her with it. not destroy her, but incinerate that bloody ego of hers with it.

and honestly, why the hell not? i worked damn hard to get it. all those years in grad school. all those years of being battered by skeptical editors. all those cups of coffee. all those months wondering when the next story would be publish, which translated to when the next check gets posted to me.

so here comes someone who, fine i’ll say it, has practically flushed her life down the toilet. partied like it was perpetually the saturday night of 1969. dropped out of school. lost job after job. partied and partied and got wasted some more. when was it that she was this damn good writer? – oh, a teacher once gave her an ‘A’ for english compositions in form two.

yes, you can shoot me right on my nose bridge right now.

the thing is, i know loads of people who think that writing is the absolute easiest job in the world. oh joy is the life of the travel writer! perpetually on holiday and paid to brag all about it! reality check: there is a reason why so many travel magazines in malaysia has closed down in the the past two years. we’re running low on good writers. so there is the difference.

i’ve had ‘professionals’ – oh you know, those in suits and ties and waxed hair (executive zaman sekarang tak pakai gel rambut dah. depa pakai wax) – who already suggest to me that whatever they do is more important than me. now i got to deal with bums too?

she looks at my latest feature. a full coloured, double page spread in a leading national newspaper. my byline black and bolded.

hmph, she turns away.

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