I didn’t want to face the harsh, true words of The Voice or put the energy in that change required. I wanted to drown in my ego. I wanted to flip through my social-networks, my validating Facebook page and perhaps consult better advice from my mother. But I knew that he was right and what needed to be done and I was prepared to do it… I think I was. But a good friend once told me that writing is painful and I believe now what he was saying more than ever. In order to succeed I needed to **** the part of myself that for whatever reason believed that I already had. When you cut off your willingness to learn, you cut off your fuel source for which to produce. It isn’t humbleness—no, humbleness suggests that you have produced good work that you must now be gracious and small rather than tower over the meek peasants that grovel below you. What a ***** word. No, you have to know you’re bad. Push each key down with a sweeping uncertainty that flows forward in effortless delight and carnage. You have to be bad. You have to not care, not what they think but what that chattering, high-pitched buzz of ego and “sensitivity” thinks about you, and especially what it thinks about your failure. You’ll have to get used to that. You’ll have to do strange things that are not quite immoral but resemble something close to opening the gates to a dark alleyway of confusion of despair, then going down it on purpose. Sitting down in this alleyway, among the muck and rats and denigrated newspaper, this is where you do your work. So long as the words flow and the mind continues to unravel, you will have the patience and satisfaction to make this your home. Cold, dark and ugly—it’s your life and it’s beautiful. Some see it as a selfish pursuit, but what a funny opinion that is to see from down here in the dirt. I’m sure in some ways it is. But it is also a sacrifice, the offering of a letter written in blood and shards of broken spirit and signed off to the bleeding youth of tomorrow’s heroics. They’ll be the one’s to save the world, they will think as we thought and they will be driven to make sacrifices of their own. But not without a little word of advice from the now stinking-bodies piled against the dumpsters in the alleyway soaked in the fog of time. Not without my advice—or at least this was the thought that kept me burning. Perhaps also why some choose to draw razors across their arms, to cut to the source of life and un-dig the hidden meanings and answer a few of the questions that keep us alive. Even if the answers are not buried here, and we know it. It is enough to dig, and find the bones of other diggers that have died in the sun of their own hole, their skin melted off and liquified but absorbed by the sand. Having their company is enough, in a life of strangers. It is a friendship that extends through time because it is timeless. It is The Voice in your ear that tells you to keep going, and knows that somehow it is worth it anyways.