150 Words Plus a Sentence

Getting my assignment in by the skin of my teeth, and fearing a solid C+ (at best) will result from this week’s efforts, here is my submission for week # 7 of Master Class 2013.

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Clever how the cosmos can, in a single portent, be ingratiating yet sadistic. Neither one of them would have said it in that fashion, of course. Hell, neither one of them would’ve known the meaning of words such as these.

No, to them it was just all about chasing Happiness. Looking for something that can’t be found unless it wants to.

You see, Happiness is a lot like Love in that it simply pops in unannounced, where and when it wants, only to leave again in a similarly random fashion. You can’t “find it” any more than you could summon a unicorn to do your bidding. Still, they both spent their entire shared existence searching vainly for it’s light. A search, that by it’s very nature, made what was sought after unobtainable. Hidden forever from them both.

The cosmos may have given them each other, but instead of basking in that Joy, they wasted their years together, merely searching for a lesser satisfaction.

•••

“This week, to keep things interesting, I asked Steph to choose the first line from the fifth chapter of any book of her choosing. She chose Three Junes by Julia Glass.”

~ Master Class 2013

Daily News

As the song pumps through the air, my body once again aches. But not with the same ache as last time.

No, last time it ached pleasantly as I traversed the ever-tightening circle of sweaty bodies and hair dye. Swerving through the crowd, I rode the various waves of mutilation, as the tune thumped through the overhead speakers of the dingy club. A club that could have very well been called “Club Whatever You Do, Do NOT Use The Restroom Here.” Regardless, much like “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” it wasn’t the actual art that was the thing; so much as it was the community exercise that built up around its existence.

We were a family of people, all who had no family – or at least family who truly “got” us. We were Tribe. Brothers and sisters, many of whom shared benefits – often times out of convenience, and other times due to sheer lust-love. I can’t think of too many people who would turn down a beautiful, slightly overweight, shapely Goth chick with crazy “Robert Smith” hair and a smile to die for. One who was a wonderful kisser, and down for just about anything under the sun. Well, the moon would be more appropriate, I suppose. I mean, she was a Goth, after all. We were stupid, brash, brazen and accidentally beautiful, and we were going to change the world whether it knew it or not. Not by jumping into The Game and becoming The Man either, no sir. Rather, we were going to make The Man come to us.

Bow yer head, Bitch. We HAVE arrived!

I think of all this as the song plays again, years later, from my tinny little iPod. No “Man” is at my feet however, and no Brave New World awaits me as I listen. Nope, it’s just me. Speed walking on my mother-in-law’s treadmill. In my basement. The basement of the house that sits just on the outskirts of Suburbia. A suburbia that sits just on the outskirts of “Where The Rich People Dwell.” The pain this time isn’t resulting from joy of camaraderie either. No, the pain this time is of a mortal who is one year past being The Answer To Life, The Universe And Everything. A mere mortal who needs to get his non-punk rockian weight back down to a reasonable number, so that his wife might again find him attractive. Or barring that, at least allow him the good health as to live long enough to see his grandkids get married. I mean, he’s got to have at least one, right?

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The Tribe is long gone, as I walk in my basement briskly to nowhere, staying in the same exact spot, regardless of how many miles I tack on. Don’t worry; it’s a life analogy that I am painfully aware of as I write this, just one that I don’t want to address here. You know, to help me avoid breaking into tears, much like a two year old who’s just been found with a soiled pull-up, and no one to blame but herself.

The Tribe is gone, but the song remains. As do I. Life isn’t what I thought it would be. I’m sure you can say the same. Some of it is worse than I was hoping for, and there’s quite a bit that’s much better as well. I’m glad the song stuck around to remind me of a past that I enjoyed and a present that I know now I never will.

Such a power for one little song to have. And to think, all these years later, outside of the chorus, I’ve no earthly idea what Wattie and the boys are even talking about…

Tomorrow

If I turned off my mental radio and stopped, just stopped… If I stopped and really thought about it all, I would most likely burst into tears.

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I would burst into tears like some sort of overly pampered priss, while flailing about in an impotent rage. Rage in all that has passed, and in all that has not. All that has fallen apart, and all that has stubbornly stayed put. I would mourn the death of innocence in two young lives, and the two open doors that I could not walk through alone and, as such, could not walk through at all. I would weep over the pile of bodies that 2012 is leaving behind, and the swath of aborted dreams that were mowed down throughout its three hundred and sixty five days and nights.

So to avoid this, I will not turn my mental radio off. I will instead keep the cacophony at ear-deafening volumes, while I snuggle my mind deep within the distraction and cool warmth of its noise. I will keep my rage directed towards nonsensical things, things hardly deserving the sort of hate to be bestowed upon them. And I will do so in the hopes that in so doing I can slowly bleed it out, run it dry. Empty myself of the stuff in order to fill the newly open void with something better. Something positive.

Before I do so however, I would simply like to add:

2013, I am ready for a fresh start. Please Jesus, please – I am ready for Tomorrow.

If.

If I had to do it all over again…

I would’ve been a female.

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I mean, and not to sound too jaded or anything, but as I troll along Blogsville’s well-lit streets, it does seem to me that it is the female of the species who garners greater attention overall.

I would have also stuck with more fiction. I understand that the idea behind this thing was to work through some issues in the first; but in retrospect that didn’t provide very much for the average reader to come running back for, now did it?

I would have figured out a way to disable my stats bar.

I would have publicized myself as well (just how in the hell I would’ve accomplished that in an anonymous fashion, I’ve no idea, but I’m sure I could’ve come up with something). I would have plugged my site, made sure that it was at least known about within my circles.

And finally, I would’ve left Jesus out of it. I can’t help but feel as if He’s rather upset with the idea that I spend a portion of my time telling you that He’s giving out (((hugs))), while I dawdle about the remaining posts, throwing f-bombs out and sulking in a general state of oft times unwarranted pissery.

If I had to do it all over again, I would start totally anew. In a new place, with a new name and a new focus. Simply to entertain, nothing more. I wouldn’t put my heart out so much so. I wouldn’t expect that anyone – busy with their own lives and concerns – would ever need to know of mine. I wouldn’t be so “me.” And hopefully, the resulting output would be better.

If I had to do it all over again… I just might.


Here’s a link, should you prefer to forgo the “live experience,” and simply listen to the prerecorded version instead.

An obligatory NaNoWriMo post

No, I didn’t have one of these last year. As I was still relatively new to the blogging game (a mere 5 months old at the time), I honestly had no idea what “NaNo” was when everyone first started chirping about it.

This year however, I was wiser – less wet behind my bloggerish ears. This year I was with the “in” crowd, and had actually signed up with NaNoWriMo. I even went so far as to write a post about it. One that would, in the final analysis never leave the status of “draft.” Well, not until now, that is:

Holy Christ.

I just created a NaNoWriMo account.

Now, what in the hell did I go and do that for?

I can’t write. I mean, for a sustained period of time on one subject. Oh sure, I can blubber on and on about any number of random topics – made-up or real – but I can’t actually write an honest-to-God story. Or at least I don’t feel as if I can. I think we can all see that, in the “Stranger Things” tale that is spinning slowly out of control (that’s right, part 2.2 is currently sitting around with a very sour look on it’s face somewhere in “drafts;” being very hard to please and even harder to talk with). With it, I can feel myself falling into that old trap I constructed all those years ago, wherein nothing I create is ever truly good enough. “Sins of the fathers” sort of thing, you know. As a result, each installment is getting harder and harder to beat out through my battered keyboard. True, my “100 Words” tale is coming along nicely, but I’m none too sure if that’s because of me, or more because of the community involved (that, plus the fact that the 100 word limitation makes you work really hard to get your point across!)

So then, why’d I do it?

I have no idea.

Which of course means I have a very good idea. I think it all comes back to that concept about bettering myself. Finding my way. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. I’m finding my way, and in so doing, I want to share my story. A story that I just can’t believe isn’t up there in my grey matter somewhere. I know it is. I can feel it, taste it. I can glimpse it even, but every time I go to write it down, it simply disappears into the ether of my mind, hiding out until it thinks I’ve forgotten about it. But I don’t forget. I keep coming back. Trying to find it again, so that I can plunk it all down, and share it with you.

My fear?

My fear is that my story – the one so rudely involving me in a game of “hide & seek” that I didn’t ask to play – is pornographic in nature. C’mon now, stop laughing, I’m being serious. I believe I’ve mentioned before just how important sex is to me. Hell, look at how many tags I’ve created involving it:

And I also think I could spin a pretty good yarn revolving around it. But you see I wouldn’t want it to be porn. Or perceived as such, at any rate. For me, sex is way too important – and enjoyable – to be muddied by plastic boobs, bleached hair and canned dialogue. That, plus I’m still not sure just where exactly J.C. stands on the whole “sex thing.” I know for a fact that the folks claiming to follow him have it all wrong, but seeing as he nary said two words on the whole subject, I would just never be sure if what I wrote was somehow sinful. Again, stop laughing. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to “play it safe” and as a result have my story perceived as some dime store romance either. Sex is way too important – and enjoyable – to be flounced by bullshit rainbows, happy-ever-afters and over-the-top dialogue as well. You see, it’s somewhere right in between the porn and the romance. Smack dab in the middle of “real.”

Now wait, what in the flip was that last bit all about?

This post is supposed to be about writing, not sex (dammit, C is right, it IS all I ever think about). Anywho, sorry for falling off the map like that. Moving on…

So, there you have it. I signed up for NaNoWriMo. And I did so – I believe – in the hopes of forcing my story out of its hiding spot. Once done, I’m hoping that other stories will come easier. I’ve a darling blogging buddy who wants to co-author with me, and I’ve been a very bad person, blowing her off as a result of this current trepidation. I’m terribly afraid that, similar to my solitary work, I’ll start to short-circuit while writing our story together, and attempt to bail on the whole thing. I simply couldn’t do that to her. Well, I could. So I won’t. Hell, even when she asked me what we would write about, I blanked. I shut down. It’s been over a week since the question was asked, and my mind is still stumbling all over itself in the dark. And I really wanted to do this with her.

Maybe my fear isn’t that my story will be pornographic, maybe it’s that it just doesn’t exist in the first. Maybe what I feel, taste and catch glimpses of isn’t a story at all, but rather a ruse I invented for myself, something to keep me occupied. Who knows? I suppose we’ll find out this November when I’ll have to slam down umpteen words into a fashion that creates some sort of a yarn when they’re all laid out. I still have no idea what that yarn will be, so it had better come out of hiding soon…

•••

As I think we all know, the story didn’t come out. But it’s not because of any failure on its (or my) part. No, instead school came out. And two additional kids came out. And work issues came out. And C’s (continuing) health issues came out. And – well, I could go on – but I’m sure you’ve got the idea by now. Life looked me square in the eye and said, “Son, tain’t gonna be no NaNoWriMo for you this year. Not if you want to keep your family, your job and your sanity.” Duly noted, Life. Hell, if I’m still around Blogsville next year, I might give it another go. Maybe Life might cut me a break. Until then, best of luck to all of you who are participating – I hope your keyboards are still speaking to you by month’s end!

Now, here’s a little ditty – the BEST song the 80’s EVER produced, I might add – to help spur you along…