Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Only airport terminals should have baggage.

"Tonight, I fall asleep wondering if restraint is an excuse for timid men to go without the things that make them burn."

"I think of the phrase 'a ______ I'd kill for' and wonder which one of my neighbors no one would miss."

I found these lines when looking over some old writing. I went through a brief crisis of conscience when trying to decide what parts of history I should internalize and what I should abandon and leave behind like a flat tire and have been fascinated with some of the issues brought up by life's giant red pen of revision.

I have several Secret Word Documents on my computer. They're password-protected and everything. One is a sort of journal-type thing (I don't put everything up here), another contains stories and related things that I don't feel much like sharing, and another is just single lines. If I'm feeling like writing and I don't know where to start, I look at that, pick one, and try to build something around it. These are generally drastic failures, literary jerking-offs in which no truth or beauty can be found. I'm not a good enough writer to synthesize something completely out of the blue; any/everything I have ever written and will surely ever write is either something that happened, something that I thought would happen, or something that should have happened, given circumstances.

I'm generally at my most prolific if I'm being inspired by someone specific. That could be a relationship (romantic or otherwise), a family member, or Jay-Z (current muse). I find it a lot easier to articulate how I feel about someone on a blank screen than face-to-face. I'm able to revise, I can control my inflection, and I've got easy access to a thesaurus. I can temper the more dramatic things I often have to say, and punch up notions that should maybe be stronger.

The problem, though, comes from writing about someone that was once important, but notoriety has either dwindled, disappeared, or been turned to infamy. The issue on my mind, though, comes from lines like the ones I started with; these are things that I'm marginally proud of and that I sometimes wish had not been assigned to the person that received them.

But re-reading some of these things, revisiting the passions I may have felt (or believed I felt, as the case may be and often is) brings me a bizarre sense of detachment from the people/events that may have inspired their use (if not their creation, which, as I said, was often prior and self-contained). I, for some reason, am so relieved to see something I have written that was about no one in particular get un-assigned from the person to whom it was given. That line is a free agent. It's associated with no one, outside of who originally inspired it (no, I'll never tell--but I know you occasionally read these things, so maybe you'll know who you are). And I don't know if that detached relief is a healthy thing or a sad thing.

But I think that the above the final post-mortem examination of the ashes of the last nine months. There are too many amazing, positive things in my life right now that it would be a slap in the face to Fortuna if I focused any more on the past. There's no reason to be angry. Shit, as Bree's bulletin board says, happens. You take your lumps, you learn what you can, and you move on. "Get out from under it," if you will (don't think that was a randomly selected moniker). Unimportant things deserve no attention, be it love or hatred, sentiment or bitterness.

So with this, I close that chapter. Too many blank pages remaining in my book to waste time trying to white out everything destructive and horrible that came before.

I'm driving away now, leaving it all behind. Eyes on the road.

I already feel thirty pounds lighter.

1 comment:

Waif13 said...

Whatever causes you to write, good or bad, I'm always thankful for it. Cause I always love your writing.
Seriously, I get excited every time I see a new post.