Doldrums

“Is my name on the list?”

 

Frances Fuller

 

It started as your typical shyness, but it grew into something else. My mother isn’t a misanthrope, she’s just shy. Her mother pushed her into socializing, but it never clicked. I’m on the other spectrum. The reason I shy away from people is because I’m easily disappointed by them. Case in point, a local poet writes a book. It gets published. I’ve heard of him through the grape vine. Creative writing professors praise him. Those within my poet circle speak highly of him. By chance, I meet him. We chat a bit. He’s not exactly what I expected. Rather than a down-to-earth sort of fellow, he’s egotistical. Arrogant. He built an entire life of poetry by steal the styles of others. In short, he’s a vampire – sucking off the talents of other writers. He’s poison. A dream snatcher, he built an image of himself based on the ideas of others without the collaboration. Because of my knowledge of his actions, I cannot face my friends anymore. Each time I see them, I want to call him out – have him admit to the public  the fraud he is.

It started early on. I was the shy boy in class. I was okay speaking to my peers, showed no problems making friends. I influenced actions in others. But with adults, I always stammered. I grew past that too, until I hit junior high and things started to change.Then, I just began to feel like the outsider. I developed crushes on both boys and girls. I had my dark fantasies when I thought of just pounding in the face of my tormentors. I had a horrible time feeling empathy for others. Never understood what was going through the minds of others – why was it so important to be popular, to be liked? I hid myself in the world I created for myself. A world where the events of books were more pleasant than the world that devoured me daily. Those I called my friends were just accessories that I needed in order to feel somewhat connected. And I continued that way into high school. I didn’t particularly like my friends. The outcast within the outcasts. I enjoyed their company more because they didn’t want to fit in and mimicking their rituals was easier than any other social clique.

And those I did have feelings for wound up hurting, abandoning or downright disappointing me in the end. Girlfriends and crushes were had. Nothing I quite understood. When I actually got down to know the person, their words fell short of my expectations. It’s not that I’m a douche bag or an asshole – though I very much am – it’s that I expected that click of balance. None of them ever made me care enough.

My mother never knew the things I thought, and maybe it was for the best. But on the way to X-mas present opening at my brother’s house, I admitted that sometimes I wondered if I worried her growing up. Unlike my brothers, I was the only son who didn’t like being around people. I chose to be home rather than hanging out with my friends after school. The parties I went to were few and far between and even then, I’d spend an hour or so there before I called her for a ride home. Even now, as an adult, I only talk to Jyg and her, Binx, Erika and Monica every now and then – and mostly just on the Internet.

And it seems that’s how I feel connected with people these days – online. At least the chance for them to disappoint me isn’t high. I forgot where I was going with this post.

Writing & Writers

Maybe Suicide

 

Via: WeHeartIt

 

We’re crossing the Rubicon. Let hope be our guidance in this new world. We’re facing our demons blindfolded. Let god here our crisis. I loved you for ten  years, hated you for nine. Your words but an echo, a distant fading memory. I’ve dwelled here for too long, harbored these feelings without reason. If love and hate aren’t blind, dazzling with their brilliance, let them ignite the world asunder.

We’re crossing the Rubicon. Hide yourself if you will. The army’s marching toward the dawn. Finding it hard to understand these riddles, feeling caught up in the storm, watching the waves wash over us, destroying all in the wake. For some time, I thought we were returning to our origins. We’re fighting ourselves, tooth and nail. Denying all that we will. Figuring out what we might do without each other; you’re swept out to sea. I cannot reach you and you stopped reaching for me so long ago.

We’re crossing the Rubicon. And I shall fear no evil as I step from this life into the next. Armor cannot protect us from the ugly, still I’ll stand between the both of you. We’re crossing the Rubicon and I feel the shadows closing in. When I’m with you, there is hope; there is safety. Let the tides reside and welcome us home.

I’m crossing the Rubicon. Shed this mortal coil from my skin. Let the water rush over me, carrying me out to sea.

And let your heart welcome me home.

Writing & Writers

Thought Processing

Izzy Hilton

And I’d be lying if I denied Izzy Hilton’s role in inspiring me to alter the story one more time. It happened after a poetry reading, one night, a couple of years ago. El Senor and I started talking about random things as he drove me home. Because I rarely talk about notes on things I’m working on – which isn’t to say, I don’t talk about things I’d like to write about – I spilled the beans by asking him a single question. “Do you know what a Trap is?”

After he admitted that he didn’t know, I explained to him that when I first came across the term online, I assumed it was the same thing as jailbait. I’m not Internet savvy in the lingo of anonspeak, so I only drew to that conclusion because Chris Hansen and NBC’s justice fodder television stints, To Catch a Predator. It wasn’t until I did some good ol’ research that I learned what a “trap” really was.

“Think about it this way,” I said. “What’s the last thing a guy wants to see on a really hot or cute girl?” After a moment’s beat, I continued, “Right, a penis.”

Bailey Jay: The Line Trap Years

Because the most famous “trap” of the time – possibly still is – was one known as Linetrap – who went off to be known as Harley Quinn and, currently, the porn star known as Bailey Jay – I set off to learn as much I could find out about transgenderism in popular culture, fetishism and, well, porn. Along with this came the term pansexual – the term could be blamed for my philosophy against sexual labels.

Linetrap eventually led me to seek other traps, landing in the midst of one known as Izzy Hilton – who, by the way, isn’t the lost Hilton sister as some might believe (that was a joke, by the way). It didn’t take me long to realize that Hilton’s cuteness was accredited to camera angles – as most “cute” girls are wont to use for online pics.

After I sought out all that I could about the transgender community – and the fetishism – online, I put it to rest. I started writing the “Dear Jenn” phase of the story I’m working on later that year. Several opening paragraphs later, I gave up on it and went to bed. Now I have the tendency to write my dreams, and that night it hit me right smack in the face. “Kelly needs a  penis,” I shouted – now I’m not sure if I shouted this out loud or imply in my head. It made sense, though. All that business on transgenderism wasn’t just for knowledge, it was meant to be used.

“How you going to go about that?” El Senor asked. It was true. Up until that idea, I wrote about things that made sense to me – not that transgenders don’t make sense to me, but I can never fully grasp their identity struggle, the prejudices they face, etc. Not even on the observer stance, can I know. This is one of those groups that I can’t put myself in their place.

“The main character’s definitely not going to be the transgender,” I said. “He’s definitely going to learn early in the story so it’s not too much of a shocker – for him, or the readers. I don’t want another The Crying Game, I want something a little more authentic.”

Admiral Ackbar said it best

Because I’d written a short story called “Ash Wednesday” (at the time, currently it’s called “Digging Graves”) in which I introduce the character Dick Masters as a loud, obnoxious conservative – his name was just a sad pun. In the story, the Poet kills him, asking the narrator unknown to help him dispose of the body. It seemed that Dick Masters would play a role in the new version of the Poet’s story, I decided to alter his characteristics and wondered how he’d walk into a trap that would get him killed by a nonviolent character. In the updated version of the short story, Dick Masters is already dead, leaving how it happened open for interpretation. Narrator Unknown described him as a young, feminine indie rock kid that all the girls would love. It made sense to me that if Dick Masters was going to play a vital role in the Poet’s story, he would have to have some connection to Kelly. And that role, it seemed apparently clear.

It’s not like I’m going to tell you now.

Music · Writing & Writers

Gender Bending Confusion

Remember when they had us all fooled?

You know that old writer’s saying – something very few creative writing professors will actually recommend to their students – that whole write what you know business? I prefer to write what I want to know. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of writing at all? With The Poet of Boroughs, Texas – which may or may not remain the title of story I’m working on – I’m writing a subject I’ve never ventured before – gender identity.

While, yes, I’ve written about homosexual characters – mostly men – before, I’ve always implied they were rather cisgender, or gender normative. Just because they liked sleeping with men, didn’t mean they wanted to be women. And while I’ve been known to put on a skirt in the past, doesn’t mean I know what’s going on in the minds of people who were born into the wrong gender role.

Transgenders fascinate me in ways other than creepy fetishism. It was only a matter of time before I opted to write about transgenderism. It’s not an activist tale I’m transpiring; it’s more of a love story gone awry. It’s not just gender roles I’m focusing on, it’s the sexuality business that has tainted media culture for a while now. Because my narrators usually the play the role of the what-I-know in the story, the Poet doesn’t subscribe to sexuality – much like the god (me) who breathed life into him. This unlabeled sexual group was – inevitably – labeled pomosexual. His social group is made up of the openly homosexual, Michael Quinn (shorted to simply Mike in this version) and bisexual Fiona (who went through several names in the other versions). There’s straight guy and musician, Steven Michaels (whose younger brother, Peter, is a character bit I started up in high school). Possible lesbian ex-girlfriend, Jennifer de la Cruz also plays a role in this version of the story – the girl was named something else in other versions, but I combined her with the name of an only mentioned character of later drafts). [Note: I based the original Jenn on an Internet acquaintance who acted as the main character’s moral compass. She was only mentioned at the beginning of another version as a salutation – “Dear Jenn.” That version of the story was a letter to the  unknown character, and I felt her importance was insignificant. This version, now named Jennifer, doesn’t serve the same purpose, and, obviously, not based off of anyone.] Dick Masters serves a role as the Female-to-Male transgender, while Kelly Winters (formerly Richards) serves as the Male-to-Female transgender.

Like with most large projects, I’ve opted to make a playlist to listen to – meditate to, really – when I get stuck. This one kept most of the same songs that original versions contained. Because I’m a sucker for sharing playlists, I’m gonna go ahead and list it:

  1. Post Blue – Placebo
  2. In The Shadow of the Valley of Death – Marilyn Manson
  3. Malchik gay (original Russian version)  – t.A.T.u.
  4. Lollirot – Jack Off Jill
  5. Lenore’s Song – Yunyu
  6. Waste – Staind
  7. Dear Joan – Tabitha’s Secret
  8. Sleep Well, My Angel – We Are the Fallen
  9. I’m a Monster – Ours
  10. Wasted (Acoustic) – Stabbing Westward
  11. Anthems For a Seventeen Year Old Girl – Broken Social Scene
  12. Capital G (Switch Remix) – Nine Inch Nails
  13. Odno I To Zhe (Long Repeat Mix) – t.A.T.u. & Rammstein
  14. Ur a WMN Now – Otep
  15. Glimmer – The Album Leaf
  16. Epiphany – Staind

Because I’m a big fan of music, I normally don’t just play the playlist and write. These last few nights I’ve listened to just about anything. Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, VNV Nation’s Future Perfekt, Nine Inch Nails’ Ghosts I-IV, as well as, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross‘s The Social Network soundtrack, most things t.A.T.u. (both American and Russian albums), the Radiohead 01/10 playlist and whatever my phone just happens to hold.

This story’s heavily infused with gender issues and music – but music always plays a vital role in my writing. As does pop culture, though the references in this story are limited and whittled down to just literature references. I’ll see what direction it’ll take me, and what I take from it in the end. And as I’ve said in the last post, I might just share a piece with you.

Writing & Writers

“I’d break the back of love for you”

I’ve been writing, though you wouldn’t know this because I haven’t been keeping up with this journal. It doesn’t matter. I don’t really see myself focusing on it too much in the coming year. And damn, how is the year not over yet? I don’t foresee 2011 being any better than 2010, but as long as I don’t die, it will be a success. Then again, it all depends how I die, if I should die.

I started writing The Poet of Boroughs, Texas a few nights ago. It’s coming along great, working on no notes because they’ve pretty much been burned or thrown away. Instinct, my friend. That’s what I’m writing with. Of course, it sucks. What story doesn’t suck the first time around? Aside from growing old and getting fat, this is where my heart is at least at the moment.

Forever the romantic, Poet is a love story based on a routine character/pseudonym I created a handful of years ago. What originally was going to be a story of my ex and I, transformed to one about a embittered guy named Poet (whose real name, like most of my characters, is never really established) who meets a random girl at a bar and starts a relationship. Somewhere along the lines, they get into some trouble and blah blah blah – who cares. What I’m working on is a frame story in which Poet speaks to a Detective Mansfield about the events leading to the death and burial of porn star/director Dick Masters – with a name like Dick Masters, there was very little I could do with the character. The Dick Masters story is actually what started the transformation of this particular tale. A few years ago, I wrote a story called “Ash Wednesday,” which is going by “Digging Graves” these days, in which an unknown narrator talks about a burying a body of a Dick Masters with a friend only known as The Poet of Boroughs, Texas – hence the project’s name.

Poet has taken a new persona from the previous versions – borrowing the personality of another routine character/pseudonym I specifically made up for Tumblr. After I feel that the story’s at a good point, I’ll publish a excerpt here – very unedited, I might warn.

Film 365

Things I Learned from Watching Zombie Strippers

A Godawful Movie

The first thing I learned was it was a mistake to watch this particular film. But hey, I’m a zombie aficionado so why not?  All things zombie, it’s what I live undead for.

The movie features former adult star, Jenna Jameson and Nightmare on Elm Street star, Robert Englund. Set in a twisted George W. Bush/Arnold Schwarzenegger world where public nudity is outlawed, the military concocts a virus that reanimates the dead. While it affects both sexes, it doesn’t affect them in the same way. Female zombies are still somewhat cognitive of their situations. Male zombies are just eating, brainless machines – which makes me question the possibility of a penis on one of the strippers. When an infected Marine stumbles into an illegal strip club, things go awry and all hell breaks out. The zombie then bites Jenna Jameson and she becomes a wild zombie stripper that wins the hearts of all the men. Other strippers want to jump on the cash cow so they become zombie strippers. And then there’s a scene where Jenna Jameson shoots out pool balls from her nether regions. And the whole time I’m reminded of the first thing I learned.

So, let’s get on with the list, sans explanation:

  1. Shouldn’t have watched the movie
  2. Don’t watch movies with porn stars, unless said porn star is Sasha Grey – but even that’s a stretch.
  3. Zombies make better strippers.
  4. Mexicans who work in strip clubs are married to women named Maria and have daughters with the same name, not to mention keep donkeys in the supply closet.
  5. Men are attracted to zombies, hence all men are horny necrophiliacs.
  6. The U.S. government, especially under a Bush/Schwarzenegger administration is corrupt and evil, only wanting to create zombies for their own profit.
  7. Marines don’t kill the bad guy, but are hired goons – actually, I’m still uncertain if these guys were Marines.
  8. I probably shouldn’t have watched this movie.

Oh well, I’m going to watch the 1998 “classic,” Great Expectations starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow to cleanse me of the terrible movie I just witnessed. Adios.