On the clearest tequila, I can see forever.
I recently found a freakin’ stack of notebooks filled with – for lack of a better descriptive – a buncha shit I’ve wrote.
…part of it reads like the journal some crazy person leaves behind before they take up with a cult and go missing: doodles and half-snippets of half-thoughts that something possessed me to jot down. Sometimes, though, the half-thoughts are clever – I laughed when I read the tequila one, and was even a little impressed. Despite how I got the (original) quote slightly wrong, it’s got a Hawkeye Pierce flavor to it, if I may be so bold.
…part of it is kind of boring. I’ve on-and-off did the “diary” thing, but never stuck with it for too long because shit like “Today I went to the store and bought an avocado because I wanted to try something different” gets a little boring after awhile. And sure, I can jazz it up a little, but my brain never knows where to stop and “jazzing it up” eventually becomes a strenuous mental exercise and by that point it’s become a short story, not a diary entry.
…part of it is silly, and almost embarrassing. Mostly lines of dialogue from characters who’ve lived in my head for years – the transcripts of conversations that once seemed so compelling become flat and trite and downright laughable on paper. Everything is SO. FUCKING. DRAMATIC. Seriously. I could write for a soap opera with this crap. Actually, no. Not even a soap opera. A “reality” show, maybe.
…and part of it ain’t half bad. I found slight promise in the beginning of a story… except I cannot remember ever conjuring up this idea. I read and read, and turned the page and found… nothing. HOW DOES THIS END?! I thought. Which is funny, because I started the damn thing. But completely lacking any memory of its beginning, I can’t even begin to imagine where I intended it to go. Disappointing. And strange.
All of it, though, was inspiration to write more and without abandon. The stuff I’ve got in these notebooks does not a Pulitzer make. But it is a physical manifestation of the Thing with which so many of my friends and family have associated me for years. So that’s something!
Despite the guts I spill on this site, I’m not usually very wild about the idea of letting other people read things I’ve written until I’ve had the chance to polish it – to death, maybe. But I’m toying with the idea of sharing a teeny bit more here. Mostly for accountability purposes, I guess.
So here goes. Here’s the thing I don’t remember starting. A raw, extremely unpolished scrap of an idea that I don’t recall having in the first place.
* * * *
It all began with a lottery ticket.
Years from now, is that how she’d begin the story? Or would she even have purpose to tell it? Would the whole thing, the last eight-ish months, sort of disappear into a pleasant fuzziness – “Oh I dated this guy once. It just didn’t work out.” Or would the wound stay fresh and festering long after that first (final?) gash had opened up? “That fucker broke up with me over a fucking SCRATCH OFF!” Or would time focus the hindsight, and she’d sighingly recall months and months of gradual apart-drifting with the sort of wisdom only cultivated through time and distance?
Whatever. He was jumping – taking great, swimming leaps, really – much too far ahead of himself. At the present moment, he stood in the hallway of the apartment they shared, and hated her with a frightening, nearly-homicidal, intensity.
Why the hell had they decided to move in together in the first place?
The living room window overlooked a municipal sports complex. The day they toured the property,
* * * *
…aaand that’s it. I didn’t even finish the goddamn sentence before I folded up the paper and stuffed it in a notebook.
Story of my life.