Invisible Ink


“There comes a time when you swim or sink/so I jumped in the drink/cause I couldn’t make myself clear/maybe I wrote in invisible ink/Oh, I’ve tried to think, how I could have made it appear… but another illustration is wasted cause the results are the same/I feel like a ghost who’s trying to move your hands over some Ouija board in the hopes I can spell out my name…” -Aimee Mann, “Invisible Ink”

I kept hoping he would go away, but not even the stark red of the editor’s pen could redact him. I hate red pen. It felt like erasing his existence would be easiest because I no longer knew how to create dialogue for – or with – him. As though he were a living, breathing person.

Things became strange. In the deflation of his persona, all the conversations I invented for him became less realistic, full of long explanations no one would ever voice. My hopes for his intellect, and even for his very fictive soul, were dashed with no way to refashion them. The long bout of silence created only a stilted awkwardness that could never be penetrated; his character would have to die once he became incapable of a simple conversation.

But my red pen and I could not kill him.

Yet, when I tried in my own silent but sweet way to make amends for this erasure, for leaving his character idle and adrift, not even affording him the finality and closure of a dramatic, storied death, reaching out with a nice forest green or autumn-leaf brown footnote, my hand was swiftly cut off.

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