East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

I should be writing, and I’m not


I should be writing, right now: I have a 7000-words story in the works, right now, and I’m on the right track. I’ve got the characters, the voices, the sequence of events, the right imaginings. The deadline looms closer, I have lots of other things to do, and I’d like to post the story ASAP to the editor.
I should be writing.

But I am in no condition to do it.

This afternoon my brother went to see some clients of his – they have a food joint, and he’s doing their website, and went there to discuss some details, including his payment.
A person there laughed at his work, and said he could get paid in food.

This person in question has nothing to do with the business my brother is working for, but he’s a representative of the local administration. A person that knows quite well our current situation, and that knows full well my brother’s qualifications as a web designer, web master and software engineer.

But we are poor.
And to some people, being poor equals having no dignity.
You can be made the butt of every lame joke that comes to mind to any wanker, because you are nothing. 
It is not so.

My brother has a different character than I have. He shrugged it off, and went on discussing his work with his clients, focusing on the job at hand and on his payment – that will be long in the coming.

I got angry. I got angry because nobody deserves to be treated like that. Because joking about another human being’s situation is cruel and wrong and I despise anyone doing it, especially if he is in a position of power.
I got so angry I was physically ill.
Because it’s been almost three years now. Three years of people thinking that because you are in need, because you are working hard to pay your bills, because you don’t have “a real job”, then you are dirt.
I got angry because this shows me there is no way out.
You will get no help, no respect, no hope, no assistance.
You are poor. What a laugh.
You could always work for food, right?

I will write a book. A book about all the small violence and the brutality you are supposed to accept with a smile from certain people when you are poor. But I won’t write it now, because my hands are shaking.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “I should be writing, and I’m not

  1. I’ll read that book. Please write it. But for now, if I may , please stop telling yourself you are poor. You are a writer and you have some trouble with money. That’s it. I believe we embody the stories we repeat to ourself. Above all when the surrounding is hostile. That fucking.idiot…


    • I am a scientist. I deal in facts, even when I write fantasy.
      Fact: I am below the poverty level at the moment.
      And I am perceived as such – not as a PhD, not as a writer, not as any other guy.
      People label us, and act according to the labels they have tagged us with.
      This is the reason why everybody is so frantic about looking “successful” – because they are damn scared of being labeled as unsuccessful, commonplace, poor… it’s the curse of the mediocre.
      But I am not mediocre 😉


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