Sometimes I wonder why I wanted to write. What inspired me? What set me on this tumultuous journey that drives me mad with passion and anger? I wrote down notes before I remember why I wrote down notes. I “published” short stories using blank sheets of paper stapled together. The word count didn’t matter during those days. Writing as a child was easy. Writing as an adult means making time to write. But writing, like the ornery child, does not wait for scheduled hours of the day (or, in my case, nights) for my attention. It screams out at me in the middle of the night, during my working hours, when I’m out with Shaun at the park, or in the middle of browsing the shelves of Barnes and Noble. I kept journals. I’ve graduated from lined paper to blank sheets to quad pages. I jot down thoughts. I scribble quotes that catch my attention or poems that I want to recite by heart. Scrawl definitions to words just introduced to my vocabulary or ones that return to me like an old lover. In these pages, I etch in chicken scratch tales of romance gone amiss or fuck fantasies in which I come in the depths of teachers, professors, old and new lovers, or random characters I’ve fallen in love with.
There are times where the passion wanes (or is it waxes?). Where I think that the last piece—the last good piece—I wrote was my exit music for a film. I contemplate that maybe this whole training to hone my writing skills was really working in my editorial favor. What if I’m not meant to be a writer? What if I’m a editor in writer’s clothing? Isn’t it true that I’ve edited the works of friends and coworkers more than I have my own pieces? And like a tsunami of thoughts and ideas and plots and characters and voices and narrators, it drowns me and I’m back at the keyboard pounding away. I try to keep focus what needs and deserves it and a break in the massive wave comes in the form of, “Daddie luk!”
I may not believe in god or anything mythical and magical, but my son cements my belief that we are capable for such beautiful miracles. As we stick our tongues at each other, I am reminded of the Dr. Manhattan monologue paraphrased as this: Of all the possibilities, he was the strongest outcome. That I met Jeanna and convinced her to love me and…well, you know…led up to him. Of all the people who could have stood in his place, he was the one who won.
Or maybe the Richard Dawkins quote is better:
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
I love this quote so much that I’m now requesting my friends (who are surely reading this post) to read it at my funeral should I not be the last one standing. (Future friends, in case I am the last one standing in my current circle, take note of this request.)
Much to the disappointment of every one of my creative writing professors, I don’t think I’d mind it if I never get published. I enjoy this thought process. I love the feel of pen to paper. My cock gets hard banging on the keyboards of my laptop or desk top. I come to the sound of a typewriter doing its damnedest to keep up with my prose. Okay, none of that is essentially true. It’s figurative, not literal.
I’ll end this with an anecdote (as oppose to an antidote). A short while ago, I snapped the picture to the right (or left, I haven’t decided where to place it yet). I sent it to Monica because we’re having an ongoing feud of who can find the best For Dummies or Idiot’s Guide to books. She quipped how we’d both benefit from the book. I think the only relationship I managed to keep afloat is the one with writing. It’s far healthy, though. Far, far from healthy. But what’s any relationship without complication? Superficial. Oh. That was meant as something rhetorical. I’m not even sure if this is considered an anecdote.