The Journal Of Oliver Ashby | Entry No. 1

the journal of oliver ashby novel 1

My name is Oliver Ashby. A failed writer some would say. The unsung voice of a generation according to others. The embodiment of missed opportunities and broken dreams. And I suppose they would all be right in some way or another; I am indeed a failed writer. Wasn’t always so though; I do recall a time when my words appeared to have a promising aura around them. Although I do confess I have never quite understood why that was the case. Somehow I seemed to be able to capture the ‘in your face’ attitude of Rock n’ Roll and make it flow into a bunch of pointless pages. God… So much paper I’ve wasted. But that was then. Now, my life would give a different book; as apparently it is giving as I put pen to paper once again. Don’t ask me why I’m doing it; I wouldn’t have an answer for you. It does seem rather senseless. On the account of being a failed writer and all. At least, that is what I’ve been for the last few years now. Too much whiskey and cocaine turned the promising aura of my words into the disconcerting gibberish of a drunken and bitter man. Consequently my agent quit, my publisher sacked me and my once faithful readers composed of musicians and whores lost their love for me. Leaving me with the only course of action that would be expected of someone in my situation; I indulged myself, with much dedication, into consuming a cornucopia of drugs and booze. A task that still has my full attention to this day. Falling from grace tends to be an all-consuming occupation. One that has left me broke and in debt. I spent the better years of my life living as a rock star amongst genuine rock stars. Which, for those of you who do not know, is not the cheapest of existences. Finally, I was forced to sell what little I had of my own. All those memories sold to buy remedies that would make me forget the rest. One has to appreciate the irony. Been surviving off royalties for the past couple of years. Royalties that would grant me a simple life, care free and all, were I someone capable of such a thing. But since I’m not, the royalties barely sustain my many addictions. Which, again, for those of you who do not know, a steady diet of alcohol and drugs, both legal and illegal, does not come cheap. In fact it got me living in a shithole that some folks more graceful than I would call a motel. I have the distinct honour of calling the owner of such establishment a fan of my work. Thus; he allows me to linger here for a lesser fee. Of course such generosity comes at the price of constant bragging on his behalf about giving roof to a celebrity. Sometimes more so than my sense of discretion and shame, were I to have any of both, would allow me to be comfortable with. The notion of having my name and decaying fortune associated with such place due to a sickening necessity can be quite the nauseating concept for the mind. Not that I’m one to often leave my room. In fact, my only contact with the outside world comes down to opening my door to the occasional visit of the room service and to the more frequently visit of my always faithful drug dealer. So I would have to assume that for the less attentive person my announced presence in this motel is slowly falling into myth. I can already imagine the legions of tourists, mostly Japanese of course, paying to take pictures at the room where the infamous Oliver Ashby allegedly inhabits, in the hopes of perhaps catching a glimpse of the fabled creature. No less fabled than the reason behind these words of mine. I had forgotten how the simple act of staining paper with ink could ease troubled mind. Were my mind still prone to such effect. Cannot even recall how this started. I must have woken up and immediately turn thought into frivolous action. Hard to remember much in such a state. All the chemicals I insert in my blood make me stumble through life as if it were a dream. A dream I tend to forget with equal ease as the one that made me consume such chemicals in the first place. Which does make me consider the possibility that there is nothing more than these pieces of paper. There is no other reality. No existence beyond this room and no God to judge over what happens inside of it. The entire Universe is reduced to a filthy motel room filled with empty bottles and rusted needles. And this disgraceful writer laying on the floor as he desperately holds on to a worn out pen is all that remains of the whole of creation. The avatar of the apocalyptic dream known as life in the 21st century. But out of nowhere, my thoughts are interrupted by a sudden knocking. Someone is knocking at my door. At least I think so… I might be imagining the whole thing. Could it be that there really isn’t anyone outside my door knocking and shouting my name? I could be hearing voices again. Calling my name and knocking at my mind to let me know it’s time for another fix. And why am I writing all of this? Why don’t I just go see if indeed there is someone knocking at my door? Could it be that either this pen or this paper possess magical properties? Am I being forced to pursue such senseless task against my will? Were I to still have such a thing as will. Or power over both body and mind. Perhaps I have fallen victim to a spell of some devious witch I offended with my words or by mistaking her for a common whore, leaving me caged to this floor and to the apparent need of putting every single thought into paper. I wonder what will become of me once I run out of paper… And still the knocking persists. Calling me away from my mystical prison…

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