Personal

Things to Come

Nothing dull ever happens at [redacted] even though most days pass at a slug’s pace. Friday, however. Man, fucking Friday. We often joke that life at [redacted] could fuel a television series for years—I imagine a cross between Seinfeld and The Office (UK or USA). And if our work life were a TV show, it goes without saying that Friday was the cliffhanger season finale. Maybe, one day, in the distant future.

Back in February, I started thinking about writing again. Something other than this blog and press releases for work. I’ve written a poem here and there. Nothing major. Just lines on the page that I hope will grow into something more. Of course, this gets me thinking about returning to college for an MFA in creative writing. It’s a thought that’s popped up several times in the past, but my bank account just doesn’t see it in the cards. Besides, there’s my relationship with Shaun that can be affected. My time is already divided between work and him with a splash of social life here and there. Throwing school into the mix will just place more responsibilities in the way. And right now, I’m trying to figure some shit out.

Then there’s the whole rust factor. This December marks the ten year anniversary of my college graduation. And all I have to show for it is a couple of press releases published in a weekly that doesn’t even hold my byline, one short story published in a college literary magazine, an essay published in a newsletter, this blog that only a few strangers read, and a job at [redacted] that becomes uncertain as the days go by. I’m not complaining. Not really. But something needs to give, right?

And, again, the realization sets in—all I do is complain about it. Complain about this stagnation. No one told me to stop writing. I chose to. No one told me to stop going to poetry readings. I sheltered myself. No one told me not to spend time on reading old works for revision purposes. I hid them away. I created the creative block—this Trumpian wall—in my mind to hinder myself. I don’t need a muse—shit, I wrote volumes of work before Jeanna. Before I even got laid in high school. And, yes, inspiration is nice; it’s just no one said it had to be romantic. Shaun inspires me every day to do things. I’ve painted more since he’s been around than I have in the years prior. I’m not good at it, but that doesn’t matter. I still do it.

Writing has always been my thing. As has storytelling. In elementary, I penned my The Munsters/The Addams Family-esque short story about a haunted house in which a family of weirdos lived. In high school, countless of compositions books went filled (and unfilled) with bad poetry. (I still have several of these, but I’m too afraid to even open them.)

It seems the trouble, lately, is getting started. That’s where the outline comes into play. In the past, I stood firmly against the outline. Writing should be a wild ride, a road trip without a planned destination. For instance, at the beginning of this post? No idea that I’d end up here. Just look at the intro paragraph. And I’ll by no means change it because that would mean changing this paragraph and I’m already done with this paragraph.

Will the outline help me? Who knows. But I’m willing to try anything. Either way, even with a road map, writing will still remain a wild, wild ride. It’s just that now I have an inkling of where I want to get to.

Doldrums

“Lately, everyone is making fun”

Do not continue before you listen to the heartfelt song above. The post isn’t going anyway. Go ahead. Push play. I’ll wait.

Now that the song is stuck in your head for all eternity and you’re damning me to hell, we can continue. This post is about nothing and it’s about everything. It’s an episode of Seinfeld, y’all!

Cue song.

(Okay, not really.)

Jenny Owen Youngs 5
Exhibit A: Jenny Owens, who isn’t Jenny Lewis as I said earlier at work.

Ever get the feeling you’re living a Jenny Owen song? No? Neither do I. It’s just something I say every once in a while. Ever feel like you’re living a [insert name here] song? Last week, the end of March, marked the second [redacted] poetry reading hosted at [redacted], and already I managed to [expletive deleted] things up already.

Now, I cuss like a sailor. When kiddos are present, I always have to clear my throat and state that my story contains images of sex, drug use, cussing, dissing god, junkies, alcohol, and the possibility somebody’s gonna get killed but everyone’s gonna see it as just another day in Boroughs, Texas.  Why should I sugarcoat the world around them because a couple of swear words bring tears to their eyes? Maybe it’s [expletive deleted] – oh fuck no! Expletive deleted my nutsack! Expletive so not fucking deleted – time they grew a pair and accept the world around them, rather than just bitch about it.

Exhibit B: Good ol' fashion censorship in the one place where it shouldn't exist.
Exhibit B: Good ol’ fashion censorship in the one place where it shouldn’t exist.

So what’s the deal with [redacted] censoring the poetry reading by posting a sign outside the door? Am I the only one that’s disturbed that was even an issue? Have you read what’s going on in YA novels of late? Girls blowing boys. Guys losing their virginity to suicidal girls. Taking down an entire religion. So my story containing a little phrase like toaster fuck is enough to ruffle the feathers of some blimey bloke who’s offended by what I said? I can’t speak for the real librarians who work at the library, but the fake ones shouldn’t really be allowed to run the show. And yet, they do. They’re mocking the very fabric of libraries because they’re too shitty to act like adults.

Don’t get me wrong, though. If these were five-year-olds, I’d be appalled by my words. But these are teenagers. These kids already know what “slut threesome dp hardcore” before they make it to high school (meanwhile, when I was in middle school, I couldn’t figure out how to get a girl to like me, let alone fuck me).

I have a suspicion whose cage I rattled. I won’t say any names because I’m a gentleman, despite my love for profanity. These poetry readings are supposed to give a voice to the voiceless, to be cliché. And now because of some pansy little bitch, that voice will never inspire a younger generation. Congratufuckinglations, pansy little bitch.

Next time, on this blog:

Exhibit C: Let's just call all Axe products this already.
Exhibit C: Let’s just call all Axe products this already.

Annnnnnnnd closing credits:

Doldrums

“All Roads Lead Home”

I have made you suffer, left you waiting in the rain.
I was chasing demons in the desert of my pain.
You know me better than the poison in my veins.
So, my love, remember when god forgets my name.

She’s girl that makes you believe that god is real. The sort that makes a monster feel human. So when I ask, “Why are you so soft and loveable?” I’m not just saying words. I’ve come to terms with this in my way. I write. I cry. And I sleep. I read books and I buy books. I bury myself in work and I spend time on Tumblr looking at cute pictures of cute things.

The open-ending once comforted me. When Bill Murray whispers into Scarlett Johansson’s ear, a well of emotion surfaces. All these years later, I spoiled it by reading what he said. “I have to be leaving, but I won’t let that come between us, OK?” When a series comes to a close, the open-ending is often used. Luke and Lorelai share a kiss in the rain. Rachel gets off the plane. Same goes for the closing of a season. The Governor isn’t dead and Woodbury comes to the prison. Hank Moody walks to Karen’s door and begins to knock, much like the ending of Sideways. Will she be there? Will she understand? Will all these years end with them, finally, together?

Open-endings comfort us. They help us write our own endings to the stories, the writer’s gift to the audience. Does Sid find Cassie? Does Cook kill Dr. Foster? Do the kids turn out alright?

We want the endings that make us happy, never the ones that make us suicidal. We force ourselves to believe Ross and Rachel are raising Emma happily. That nothing bad came between Luke and Lorelai. That Frasier is happy choosing Charlotte over San Fransisco. The only open-ended finale that set the bar high in reality was Seinfeld, as the show about nothing and everything ends with the characters sitting in a jail cell.

So what has me suddenly both manic and depressed? Inspiration? Caffeine? The fact that I’m listening to Beth Hart‘s song on a continuous loop?

And ex-girlfriend once said I live my life as a movie. An actor without an audience. Furthest from the truth. I’ve often said that life was too much like a TV or book series. Even at the ending, it’s not finite. It’s not even infinite. It’s just the ending of one slice of our existence. Open-ended for our creative responses.

Last night, a friend offered her ear and shoulder. I haven’t spoken to her in such a long time, not in that way. We managed a couple of comments on Facebook and a text here and there, but nothing grander than that. And it’s mostly my fault. Okay. It’s entirely my fault.

So will I take her up on the offer? Let’s see if the spinning top stops.