Being a writer means that reality is almost always a film, and you’re almost always the narrator.
Within the last few days I’ve published some very honest stuff about myself and the things I’ve been through. I felt this incredible urge to be straightforward in the grand hopes that my stories might help people who suffer from the same issues. One essay was called You’re Not Alone, and it was about using monsters to symbolize sadness. Another essay was called If You’re Blue where I talked about passing depression on to my sons.
My wife enjoyed both of my columns, which is great since she means everything to me. However, she did say that I tend not to tell her these things. I keep a lot of things hidden from her, like a sewn-together creation buried in a cobblestone wishing well. It’s not out of fear of trust or laziness. It’s not even a product of my Midwestern upbringing where you bottle up your emotions like one of those model ships caught in a perpetual prison of round glass. As life happens, and you actually want to be honest to what your heart desires, the ship tends to get torn out of there like a backwards maelstrom, leaving just empty air for spare change and a pile of rubble nearby. It’s painstaking to rebuild.
I won’t say my Minnesotan passive-aggressive behavior or my fear of confrontation don’t contribute to not sharing these emotional anchors dotting the water-worn graveyards of my soul. They aren’t the main culprit, star attraction, or featured horror though.
The main boss is simple and ironic, it’s me being a writer.
When you’re a writer, no matter the environment you’re physically in, the world is constantly happening around you to the exponential degree. Past, present, future, probable, improbable, fictional, nonfictional, taste, sight, sound, hearing, touching, poetic, lyrical, literal, and factual are all colliding together like hidden particles beneath the echo of the Hadron Collider. Rarely is there a glimmer of lucidity when the breathing tapestry of life is surrounding us, and bouncing us back and forth like a never-ending game of pong.
But put us in front of paper, pixel, or paragraphs, then we have control. Then we have our voice. Then we are whole.
So many times when emotions run high in reality, I have a hard time constructing a simple sentence about the subject. When I want to talk about peeling the skin away from my body with a half-dirty fingernail, emotions, memories, and details invade me, and the room rearranges itself to memory like a scene out of Silent Hill.
Here though, on this blank world of endless possibility, I have clarity.
I wish. I wish I could tell you things like they’re meant to be heard in the present. I’m sorry, baby. Say you were looking into a haunted mansion with dust designs hanging on old portraits and curtains. The crazy chandelier swinging back and forth on the top of the ceiling powered by some phantom force, well, that’s my mind most of the time.
Always moving. Always writing. Always dreaming.