Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Blood not ink

July 9, 1980

I’m fine. Tired, perhaps, but fine.
My feet hurt from standing at work all day after jogging along the river – looking for coffee and inspiration.
I’ve lost a bit of inspiration, a dry spell that seems to come upon me every month like a menstrual cycle – only a period isn’t dry, is it?
Maybe I should use the word infertile, and still manage to fulfill the requirements of the metaphor.
During times like these, I just shove it all out, just to get something on paper I can work with, even when it violates the basic premise of “showing not telling.”
Talk with some of the writers at school at the end of the semester still haunts me. Everybody is hung up on greatness, and forgets to be honest.
At least, I’m still writing, even though I often can’t decide just who it is I’m writing to. Maybe to myself at some future date, someone who has forgotten the minor details I must fill him in on.
My girlfriend is in the other room, getting ready for another trip to the shore, some place remote where she can make some life choices.
I’m glad I’m not in her position. She has her world ahead of her which may not correspond with mine. She says she is filled with odd feelings, and in turmoil over what society expects of her as a woman.
She is looking for her art, struggling to fine meaning that is unique to her – and struggles to sort through her various resources until she comes up with the one that will determine her future.
My future is already written in stone – although it took the better part of a decade for me to find it. My art – if I dare call it that – is this and no more, and so I either ride it to the end hoping it will lead to some real destination, or give up and become a cog in some labor machine destined to be forgotten.
My fellow students at college are consumed with the fear of being forgotten, of ending up nowhere, of coming up empty, just as my girlfriend is, but refuses to let the world dictate to her what she should or should not be, and she is conflicted over how to define herself, what rules to live by, and what mark she will make if and when she fines her calling.
Me, I can’t help what I am, and so it becomes easier to move, one step after another, one word put down, even in a dry spell, until they lead me somewhere, anywhere my imagination takes me.

But ultimately, I will never fit in anywhere as well as my girlfriend will. I ride life by the seat of my pants and by how much ink my pen holds. And yet sometimes, in working out of spells like this, it feels like I’m using blood not ink.

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