What happens after you finish the rough draft?

There is this moment,
A moment found in the eastern hemisphere of the period that is preceded by the simple words “the end.”
For that moment, It doesn’t seem to matter the size of the font,
It doesn’t seem to matter what the seventy-thousand words prior to that period are.
What matters is my right ring finger, on instruction from my brain, but more on instruction from my heart, finds itself poised on the key, and with more pomp that that finger normally receives, it is asked to thunderously hammer a small round dot to the end of an adventure.

That moment, that elation, that rounded railroad spike of finality, hammered through the keyboard with purpose and resoluteness, reverberates back through your finger, your hand, your arm, your heart, and your mind – causing a cascading feeling of accomplishment that is as strong as any drug, any kiss, any manufactured moment of joy, to wash over you.

The first step after – the answer to the question – is to climb back onto the ledge from which you leaped seventy-thousand words prior. To find yourself back, looking over the world you built, the lives you created and destroyed, the passion you felt and instilled, and appreciate being able to look across that great plain of experience and seeing off in the distance the curve of that final period as it drops off into the horizon.

Take a minute, take a day, take a week to appreciate yourself… and once you do… get back to work. There’s editing to be done.

I know the truth

This is about my daughter, when she wasn’t yet one. I wrote this sitting in a chair in her room while she slept.

I know the truth.

I know that when I’m not looking she dances, she frolics, she leaps, she jumps. She pirouettes and does perfect toe points. She straps on roller-skates and glides around the house. She’s not fooling me at all.

I know the truth.

I ask her questions, and she looks at me with her big brown eyes and smiles, feigning she doesn’t understand. She’s toying with me. Eventually she’ll stumble. She’ll remark on the weather, or tell me she doesn’t like the outfit I picked out for her. It’s only a matter of  time before I catch her.

I know that she wakes up in the middle of the night to dance in the moonlight and sing beautiful arias. I’ve heard her beautiful song in my sleep. I’ve seen her tiny legs practicing complicated steps. Once, I stayed up extra late to catch her, but she must have known I was watching and pretended to peacefully sleep in her bassinet.

I know the truth.

I know that she speaks five languages and is a covert operative for the CIA. She’s taken down foreign governments. She’s assassinated assassins. She’s foiled jewel heists, stopped industrial espionage, and defeated evil countless time. Being my daughter is just a cover story; her alias. I’ve been looking for evidence, and I’ll find it eventually.

I know that this helplessness is just an act. The smiles, the laughs, the big eyes…none of this can be real. She’s not fooling me at all. I won’t be swayed by her simplistic beauty, her small hand in mine, her warmth as she lay on my chest.

I know the truth.

Me and my daughter, Mazzy – September 2006

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Reflection

Context: Something I wrote for a class in 2004ish. It’s so campy. Here’s more:


Someone is watching me.
They see me like only they can.

It’s been said that I am an egotist.
Not something I would classify myself as,
Impression is perception when it comes to others.
Sitting here, thinking over both my online life, and my real life…
All I can think of is the times where I’ve said the wrong thing, the hurtful thing, the egotistical thing,
Which life is which?
Impression is perception.

It always hurts more when the names you get called are true.
I’ve been called many names, and I thought I had grown a skin against them.
‘Insults don’t matter’ I tell myself.
‘Insults don’t matter’ I lied to myself.

Why is it so easy to accept an insult, and so hard to believe a compliment?
Why is it that when someone tells you that you look good, you immediately go to the mirror and see everything that’s wrong?
There is always so much wrong.

Then we enter a place where there are no faces, only avatars.
Everyone’s pretty, everyone’s handsome.
Judged solely on character, on wit, on humor.
Turning your head from the cruelty of one perverse world, for the ignorant bliss of another virtual one.

I remember my old self.
The anger, the rage.
I run my hand over the now healed bone that shattered when I hit that wall,
wishing it was her perception.
Her argument.
Her inability to agree with me.

What I remember now, is that she was right.

I remember my old self.
He comes in a clenched fist, a solemn tear, a rapid heartbeat.

Walking the line of humility takes effort and strength.
It takes compassion and faith in more.

I think I stumbled off that line somewhere.
It’s so confusing though.
I waste so little energy on myself.
I waste so little time, so little love.
It’s always them before me… But it’s my own self worth I’m bartering for.
I give to feel good.
I peddle my emotional wares for a teardrop of happiness.
A second of pride.
An instant of eternal happiness.

I often wonder if my kindness is out of self glory, self gratification, self preservation…
Or is it genuine favor towards someone’s well being?

Its there that I am a true egotist, I can’t help but wish I was a better person.

My life is distorted, reflected in a funhouse mirror.

 

Trip

Context: I wrote this while, for the first time, experimenting with hallucinogenics.

Life is a beautiful thing.
As I lay here,
feeling the fire course through my body
I am reminded of that simple fact.

My fingers dance an electric ballet across the keyboard,
guided by the orchestra of simplistic pleasures.

Voices rise from downstairs.
They lurk across the ceiling,
down the wall,
and eventually find their way into my head.
They call my name.
They ask how I am.
What a perverse question to ask.
I am beautiful,
I am hideous.
I am perfect,
I am chaos.
I am me.

Time moves slowly across the desert of the mind, never quite stopping or dying. Possibilities.
Light, music, people.
All is needed right now.

Must go dance with the wolves.
They are calling.

 

Strangers Dancing

He stood on the corner as I approached.
I didn’t know the man, but he wore a t-shirt I’d seen several times before.
It was yellow in the sunlight, but in lower light I’m sure it appeared white.
He casually stood on the corner, repeatedly pressing the crosswalk button.
The light pole,
greyed silver,
dusted from the Arizona air held upon it several lights, all of which were red.
The one he was was most concerned with,
the one I was also concerned with,
a square box,
the size of chair button, illuminated with a solidly lit red hand.
I looked to my left and saw emptiness.
I looked to my right and the horizon.
We waited for
Something…anything… to happen.
He pressed the button again. And again. And again.
And again.
It sighed a metallic sigh as it plunged into its groove
Trapped by the redness of the light,
unable to proceed across the road which had been clear the entire time we stood
He said nothing to me.
I said nothing to him.
We waited.
The light turned green,
A green not dark like a forest green, but the green of grass.
The red hand disappeared and was replaced by white.
I waited.
He waited.
I started.
He started.
It was a dance we did.
I wonder if he knew I was leading?