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Stardust to Stardust, Ideas to Ideas

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Hassan Tahir Latif

A writer’s journey through a creative impasse.




Without warning: an explosion. Something comes out of nothing. Amorphous. Can you really tell what it is? But you probably didn’t know a complex universe was going to be the result of all those hot gasses when the Big Bang occurred. Let the stardust settle.

Oh Stardust! That reminds me. Michelle Pfeiffer was a splendid villain in it; was Hugh Jackman in it? Or is it the Mandela effect all over again? Wait, what was the Mandela effect? Let me look it up on Wikipedia.

Huh? Wikipedia doesn’t have an article on it—not per se. This, however, is what they do have:

In psychology, a false memory is a phenomenon where a person recalls something that did not happen or recalls it differently from the way it actually happened. Suggestibility, activation of associated information, the incorporation of misinformation and source misattribution have been suggested to be several mechanisms underlying a variety of types of false memory phenomena.

False memories are a component of False Memory Syndrome (FMS).

Why was I looking this up again? Oh, Hugh Jackman and Stardust.

(Proceed to smack your head and remember there’s a universe in gestation).

The idea is simmering, matter is forming; there’s still time till galaxies form and then star clusters will take a bit longer. Hmmm, five days to the deadline. I guess it’ll happen; you can’t rush genius after all.

Hold on—I never figured out if Hugh was in the movie or not. Turns out, he wasn’t. Henry Cavill was though. No one else can be Superman. Henry “is” Superman. Why is he trending on Instagram all of a sudden? Man! Henry Cavill fixing his computer is more engaging than I thought it would be. 2020 is weird. Sienna Miller was also in this? I loved her in ‘Factory Girl’.

(Proceeds to pull up several tabs on the browser): Sienna Miller; Edie Sedgwick; Andy Warhol; Hayden Christensen; What is Hayden Christensen up to now? When did Andy Warhol die? Can you still buy Andy Warhol prints?

Golly! Look at the time. It’s 3am. Must sleep; the subconscious will do its part.

The subconscious failed; typical. The universe is in disarray; it collided with several others at night. The quantum physics of it all is messed up; does it even make sense anymore?

Find the train of thought again. How did you not write it down, dumbass? Even Hansel left a trail.

But first, coffee. Shoot! Coffee jitters.

Walk it off, walk it off. Some music will help.

What is that in the corner of the bookshelf? Must. Clean. Bookshelf.

More coffee. More jitters. Walk it off.

The universe in question has successfully extricated itself from the others. Galaxy formation: commence.

Ignore those phone calls. Lie to my editor. Don’t lie to my editor. Perhaps a book will help? ‘To the Lighthouse’ — huh, more like ‘To the Procrastinator’. I bet Woolf didn’t even know what she was writing when she first wrote this.

What is Twitter up to? Tragedy upon tragedy. Close Twitter. Whine to a friend. “I hate everything.” “You’ll never be a writer.”

There’s a tick in my eye. Restless Leg Syndrome.

Galaxy formation has sped up. Please wait, I can’t jot down the ideas that quickly! Write; write; write.

The planet is almost ready. BOOM! An asteroid hits. This planet was too personal to share with the world anyway.

1 day to the deadline: HOW?


Grab a paper and pen. No, computer is better. Nope, paper and pen it is.

Star clusters have formed. Time to create planets again and let loose the miracle of life. This piece will be my magnum opus; they’ll equate it with my name.

E* is calling. Better pick up. 6 hours pass. It’s 5am now. Do it tomorrow.

Even the Big Bang took billions of years for life to form.


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