It had been spoken of in hushed tones for years in certain circles. No one really knew how much credence to give it–it sounded far too fantastical to be true. A song that could spark unlimited creativity?
The thing of it was: did anyone really want unlimited creativity? If you had asked any of my artist friends, they probably would have told you yes. Not me, though. You see, I’ve already seen what happens when you listen to the creativity song.
My friend Jason was a good guy. Solid, reliable. What he wasn’t was a particularly good writer. I mean, he had the raw talent. He could make words flow beautifully on the page. But he couldn’t come up with ideas to write about. It was like a chronic case of writer’s block.
Jason heard about the creativity song, and like most people, thought it was a joke. Maybe, he thought, it might spur some new ideas, but it couldn’t do anything more than that.
He was wrong, of course. He somehow got ahold of the song. He wouldn’t describe what he heard, only that it was like nothing else he’d experienced before. He deleted it as soon as it finished playing.
Jason was unstoppable after that. He stayed up in his room, typing furiously at his computer. He stopped eating, stopped drinking.
I showed up at his apartment two days after he listened to the song. The smell almost overpowered me when I opened the door. He’d soiled himself there in his computer chair, and hadn’t bothered to change clothes.
“Jason?” I asked.
I walked into the kitchen and made him a sandwich. He didn’t eat it. He only typed.
The next day I went back again. His fingers were bloody and raw from striking the now-worn keys over and over at an inhuman pace.
“Did you sleep, man?” I asked, warily looking at Jason’s bloodshot eyes and pallid face.
“I can’t type fast enough,” Jason muttered in reply.
I tried to pull him away, but he resisted. He squirmed and writhed in my grip, eventually shoving me against the wall.
I left and came back with paramedics. They tried pulling Jason away, but he wouldn’t budge. It took a sedative to do it.
He was never the same after that. In and out of psychiatric care, screaming about ideas that he needed to get out of his head. He only slept when he was sedated, only ate when it was fed to him through a tube. He yelled out stories, begging for someone to take notes. To get it down.
Here’s the thing though: I read what he wrote on his laptop. It was nonsense. Just a swirl of chaos. Dark themes, hazy waking dreams. Impossible worlds beyond description. Those words, they haunt my imagination in a way I can’t shake.