Lost Creativity

30 – 09 – 2014
Dear you,

I hope you have recovered from the shock of me not being who you thought I was. Well, to a certain extend I was, I am just a little older, a little greyer, and maybe not as wise for my age as I seemed to be – as I am older than 15, much older – but still quite likeable and still the writer that I was or am, I hope. You may have gathered that my name is Felix Bent, I was born 02-09-1968, which is a pretty good year to be born in if you’d ask me. I guess that I am happy to have been raised in a time without modern technology like mobile phones, Internet, and what have you. If we wanted to talk to each other (even though I wasn’t very talkative) we’d just talked face to face and only the happy few had a Mum or Dad that would let them call someone up over the electric telephone. That is, if they were really lucky or rich, because calling somebody was rather expensive. Not having all that technology was also one of the biggest problems while jotting down my memoirs as Arthur. I had to find a way of not letting it be known that I lived in an era in which mobile phones had not yet been invented, at least not to our knowledge. It was a thing of the future. It was something we saw on Star Trek, but couldn’t dream of having it for real one day. Best thing most of us had were two cans and a piece of string. Do kids still make those?
I said I hoped to still be that writer that I was and used to be. Sometimes I wonder, if age takes away that youthful creativity. To me it seems that a lot of grown-ups have forgotten what it’s like to be a child and to have this world of imagination in which anything and everything is possible. A world in which you can carelessly run about not thinking about what might happen, that feeling of having no responsibilities and thinking that everything is going to turn out alright. Skies can be purple, clouds can be blue and if I say there are three suns orbiting the world, then there are three suns orbiting this tiny little world, because I am not hindered by knowledge and facts. Sometimes I feel that grown-ups have lost that creativity because they have been too busy with acting all grown-up. Some people need to child-down.
Maybe that was what I needed to gain from reading my memoirs and writing down those long forgotten stories here on WordPress: that youthful creativity. I guess I had to relive a little of my childhood to remember what it was like to be that child and get back what was lost in the process of growing up and becoming that responsible adult. And even though my childhood was mostly spent in my room looking at my neighbour Unice and poking fun at her by putting up posters to let her know how I felt about her and her peculiar behaviour, I think it the way that I dealt with that situation was just a great display of what I needed to regain. I think I have found what I needed and hope to continue what I started in more or less the same way I started it: writing. That is it for today … see me tomorrow.

Typically Arthur

Dear friends,

Let me start by saying how much I have missed you and I heard that some of you have been worried sick about me and have missed me, too. That put some tears to my eyes, I can tell you that. Tonight I had a very long and interesting talk with a dear friend of mine. A lady whom I hold in high regard. A woman whom I look up to. She inspired me and encouraged me to tell you the truth about me, about Arthur. Though I have no idea if I am allowed to mention her name here. Just take it from me, she’s an inspiration to us all.
You see, it all started December 2013 while sitting home alone for Christmas for the so manieth year in a row. I wasn’t at all satisfied with my life, but I was too busy pretending everything was right the way it was and nothing could be done about it. But, for some reason, at that moment I felt my thoughts were wrong and that something could and had to be done about it for I had been this socially awkward guy for a long, a very long time. It was time for a change. That was what I decided at that very moment: a change. A change like one of those complete makeovers you see on TV, but this time it would be a personality change and I knew I could do it. It was one of those moments of strength …
In that moment of strength I pulled myself together, got up from my couch (you know, the one that you can hardly get out of), and got busy. As you may have read in my work my home was filled with books, bric-a-bracs, collectables and memorabilia. In other words, it was a mess. I was a mess. There was nothing wrong with me; my body was functioning perfectly well (except for the heart attack I had had that one time, I was perfectly healthy). The problems were in my head. All that stuff I had collected over the years, all those knickknacks and ornaments, I could do without them. Tons of books that were just collecting dust, I didn’t need them. Which was why I started to clean up the house. Call it sublimation for cleaning up the mess in my head, if you will. I started sorting out boxes, cupboards, bookshelves, suitcases and crates I had lying about the entire house. That’s when I stumbled upon some of my old diaries. Books I thought had been torn apart, thrown away, or gotten lost while moving house. I had forgotten about them completely. Well, maybe not forgotten, maybe I just hadn’t thought about them for a very long time. Not only were they well hidden away in my house, they were well hidden away in my mind as well.
Reading through my diaries it struck me that the things I wrote down when I was 14 years of age, were actually quite funny, silly, touching and sometimes a bit saddening. Even though the stories were written some 30-odd years ago I could still place the events in modern times. It seemed to me teenagers nowadays were dealing with the same issues I was dealing with when I was a teenager. As if nothing on this planet had really changed in all those years except for technology. Feelings are universal and timeless. Teenagers have always dealt with and will always deal with the same kind of emotions and feelings and changed all of us have been through. Even though they try their very best to make it clear to everybody their problems are one of kind and that nobody understands them, we do. Maybe more than we are willing to admit and that might just be the problem.
With the aid of my Dutch friend that I came into contact with during one of his many trips to England – it was at the end of December – I decided to take my diary notes, fill in some of the blanks and turn it into the stories you may or may not have read here on WordPress. My Dutch friend supported me, read my work, corrected some bits, gave feedback, and helped me get into contact with more people to help me get over my social issues. He also helped me with my blog and my Facebook, because in those 46 years I had only used my computer for me, myself and I; social media had just passed me by.
When the stories in my diary ended – because Mum and I had to go live with my grandmother – I didn’t know what to write anymore. The diary entries stopped and as for my mind it was a total blank. Repressed memories, I guess, and for the life of me I couldn’t reach them, maybe I just didn’t want to. There I was, stuck and slowly falling back into that old socially awkwardness that I loved so much. My Dutch friend visited me last summer to try to get me back on my feet again. I said I needed a little more time to think about it and he said he’d give me as long as I needed. I feel the time is right. I feel the time is now. So, here goes. Thanks my Dutch friend, for your patience, and thank you woman whose name I cannot mention at this moment, for your words of wisdom and inspiration.
The stories that you read were true, yet the dates were different. The boy was really me, but I am no longer a 15-year-old boy and not called Arthur. My dog Cheddar is no more, but is still dearly missed each and every day. Grandma, is still alive, because – and let me quote Rene Artois here – God does not want the aggravation. Mum and Dad are still happily divorced and as for me … Well, I wrote myself into Arthur’s life as his mentor, his guide through life, the father he wished he had and the friend that he needed. Throughout the stories I have always been there and you all know me. I am Mr Bent, Mr Felix Bent.

Kindest of Regards,

Felix Bent – but you can still call me Arthur, if you like.

Dear Friends of Arthur’s

I have got some very sad news for you. As some of you may know I looked up Arthur during the summer holidays. He had lost an awful lot of weight – on the upside, he now had the body he had always wanted to have – and was not very happy with his current situation. His Mum and he are living with his grandma and it is more or less back to the middle ages at her place. You may remember that the TV was ruined during one of grandma’s parties and she has no internet, neither does she have a very good computer.
Besides that, Arthur is not really in a writing mood. His parents are getting a divorce but for some reason this is taking an awful lot of time. His dad gets to stay in the house and Arthur and his mum get something else, but it’s not yet clear what it is they are getting. Arthur goes to school, comes back home and takes care of his mum and his grandma (the stories here just don’t do her justice, this woman is loopier than most roller coasters I have been on – and I’ve been on quite a few).
He was quite happy to see me and I was quite happy to see him. We spent some time at his favourite tea-shop (Yumchaa) which happens to be my favourite tea shop, too. If you’ve never been there, you should. Get the chocolate velvet cake, too, you will not regret it and come back for more. We walked round camden a bit and talked about his life and his future. This kid is going to go places, eventually, but it will take some time.
I am awfully sorry that I have to be the one to say this, but he’ll not be here for some time. How long is yet unclear, but he and I promise you that he’ll be back as soon as he can and (this is what he said) he’ll be better than ever.

As he was out, I took the liberty of reading some of your reactions to his work and they were simply heartwarming and I can honestly say that you are most likely the closest friends he has got and I think you are amazing people. Here’s a quote from one of my favourite films ‘You are okay in my book’. Two personal messages here:
Dear Katie, thank you very much for mentioning me in your blog, I really thought it was great and I hope to be reading more of you as I have added you on wordpress.
Dear Miss Menopause, I understand that you and Arthur had plans to write a book together. Could you please contact me about this on Facebook? Arthur is still looking forward to that and he said I might be of assistance.

Thank you everybody and kindest of regards,

Mike and Arthur