Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fairweather Lover

He picked up the pen determined. This was it, he thought. His niche. Writer's block was never a problem but this was a related burden that would be gone, and it was how to write. Thoughts would no longer be dammed. Before there were hesitations, now the ink and the pad were out for a special occasion. This time there was a philosophy founding the method before the paper. No longer afraid to misstep, he set out to write in experimental form. No longer would the words labor, they'd spill out as beautifully as afterbirth. He would go by a rule of thumb stated in cinema, a simple line, declaring "Art should not be used to settle scores." The lines were right, they were. Just as the notion that asks to "Keep personal remorse from the poem." But why, he thought. Perhaps the closeness distracts you from the glorious fairness of objectivity. Certainly it makes you appear more virtuous and selfless. But the word 'appear' is an important part of that prior sentence and only the vain care for appearances. From now on he would write his words with all substance and no style.

What is the real idea with writing, he thought. It's to convey relatable emotions and reach people, amongst other things. Selflessness is just as relatable as selfishness, he thought. Why the need to drape words in dishonesty, separating it from a plain and boring diary, he thought. It had to to be the melodrama. Melodrama makes any medicine easy to swallow. There's a playfulness most ignore, he said to himself tapping his pen on the paper's snowy blank slate. There's a chin-tickling irony separating what's fun to read and the insufferable bores. An affable, lovable quality to words written in amusement versus a forgettable, clinical approach. It brought up ideas on how the best found facts in the world would matter not should their finder not have an interesting way to convey them. Articulation was the vital, virile asset. His pen was sweating with stress and aching to spill some ink. His head told him to be objective with a story that suspends disbelief. But why. I want to be believed, he thought. I want to be believed, he knew. This approach would be different. This time the pen would be direct. It would be open and ugly like an onion with its pervasive odor, but equally powerful with its gritty, grimy layers and eye-wetting effect. Effect, that's it. And sentiment, that's what it needed, not plot. Plots are for Christopher Nolan. What you get here would be bone and flesh. What matters. The bare minimum.

Back to the drawing board he thought of the essence behind words. He thought of the only thing worth striving for. He thought of the ecstatic truth rooted behind every motive. All those things people want to say but can't say for this reason or that, so they yearn for some alternate entity, some alter-ego, some image, some hero pent up in their imagination where fences pose no hurdle and words no repercussion, and spent feelings can be hurt but they're bulletproof to shallow wounds. Maybe that would be the character he'd create, a shadowy figure impervious to awkwardness, anxiety and the common pains. Shadow Man, that'd make a good title, right? An anonymous figure, just like the author, scapegoating its problems by remaining in darkness. Think of all the metaphorical implications of the word 'shadow,' he considered. The story was already so clever. Oh, no, this route wouldn't do. Cleverness is fun but quickly one sees the fancy fog hides the river's lack of depth. And with that, Shadow Man sunk back to the lonely depths of Earth. Yes, yeah. His shadow fell right through the ground to the molten core of which he was born.

After the untimely demise of Shadow Man the author thought of different metaphors to express what needed expressing. Expression itself could be no less than the worst form of egotism, he thought. Done correctly, perhaps, there could be nothing more holy. A holiness so pure it would be stripped of religious connotation. You can't imagine a white that bright, not here, not at the end of the tunnel to the afterlife. But there are still fears when you write, to put oneself out there in the open for cringes, criticisms, opinions and embarrassment. You're baring it all, and that's why you need a Shadow Man. He's mythical, supernatural, the purveyor of the essential and the killer of the superficial. Yet there was no special man, just some man sitting down with his thoughts and a sacred canvas ripe with its ache for touch. If that mythical hero were here he would sit next to him and whisper confident words of advice in his surely Godlike voice, he thought. "Don't be as I am," he'd suggest. "I'm merely a being free of light. I'm only bulletproof because what can't error won't exist." And with these hints the mythical figure in the man's head helped him to unveil himself and step into bright light of the stage. Perhaps there's a Shadow Man after all. Perhaps he takes after Freud's idea of the insatiable id and the idea is to lasso his elusive omnipotence while subduing as few natural movements as possible. He plays the part of a beast bound by the chains of morality under the watchful eye of the ego. Yet the same freedom spiritual progress forges discards the veil of delusion.

He tapped his fingers. What a great way to convince yourself, he thought. Still, the futility stopped the words from spreading ink. Realizing life's a movie might mean it's easier to direct, but all the more hard to suspend disbelief when experiencing it. "It's not can I do it," he thought, it's "Why should I bother?" The only answer left was pettiness. Survival's a good reason, even without a determined goal. But what of the lingering unanswered questions of every score not yet settled. Perhaps they could be indulged and filled to the brim if for only a placebo. Writing could prove therapeutic, if you have hands, pen, pad, and somewhere to go. Which pettiness to pick on, he thought. There are so many. There are so many. Art is not about score-settling, he thought. Maybe it's about mending, and not the corrupt spreading of disease to camouflage ego bruises. There's a parasitic part of the psyche that wants to see the world burn so no one will notice one man's hideous deformations. Stop sharing needles, he thought. Don't mix your perverted, dirty blood with the public's. Suture, don't tease old wounds. He looked at his phone for the time. 6:24PM. It's just a tool for communication, he thought, though it hadn't been used in quite a while. He considered why. Was it the burned bridges or a lack of effort to build them. Likely the latter. He looked at his pen. It's just a tool for communication, he thought.

There was a girl of bone and flesh. She, she was the perfect subject. She wasn't a shadow, no. She was quite pale, actually. More importantly than that she wasn't a shadow. She was a breathing, living thing. It's important to add the living part in case a potential reader doesn't understand by the time they've read the breathing part, he thought. Despite acknowledging an invisible audience he didn't write anything down yet, it remained fresh and forming in his head. The story was becoming vivid and manifesting like greens and moss and leaves. What could he say that was interesting and wasn't petty. He had had her in a dream. How pleasant, he thought. It compromised entirely of lying next to her with a few indiscernible whispered words but mostly seeing her from behind. Her beautiful form, her black t-shirt, a silhouette, colors desaturated by darkness, a true hourglass figure. Sleeping, with hair still in ponytail, with long strands escaped down the sides, with messy baby hairs making an outline of tuft like a lion. She was a lion kind of girl, he thought. He was thinking a lot, he thought. All that happened after that was waking up and that wasn't as fun. There was no year-late reconciliation upon waking, no. It was just a dream, and although bittersweet, it was the best dream with a single exception. It couldn't rival the dream where he was back home, with his dad's new car parked proudly in the living room, before going outside and pissing meters wide on the side of the garage. The silly moments weren't the good stuff, it was seeing a small white horse silently staring at him in that same garage, and lassoing it as he pushed the button to seal it before the automatic door. It was a beautiful symbol but what of its meaning, he thought. Was it the turn of the tide when you catch a white horse in a dream. Was it symbolic for the strives toward getting what you want. It was perhaps just a dream with no subconscious insights, it didn't mean a thing. At least no guns were involved.

What of the girl, he thought, now leaning back in his chair. It's cliche in a story. Time to execute the girl. She's to meet her demise like Shadow Man. This can't be about a girl, not wholly. There's got to be something more. It can be about drive and desire and how women are so often its impetus. He considered cliches. "She's my backbone. She's my better half," he thought. That's what they always say. Was a good word ever written without the catalyst, a stick, a firm grasp, a finger in women? It had to be the reason we don't write with both hands, he thought. He quickly discarded his juvenile cynicism. It's been too long. Lingering doubts. What could've been done different, he thought. He could've been more playful, or more open. He could've driven Micro Machines near the barren lands of her mons pubis like a modern romantic. Her parents don't deserve that, a guy who would drive tiny toy cars near their daughters privates. Not even if he were recreating that part of Into the Wild on her deserted netherlands. Granted, it's less disrespectful than fucking her privates, he thought. That should earn points with them. Why can't a man just have his way with a woman and drive cars near her private without others getting involved. Except maybe insurance companies, he thought.

By now he was on his bed, looking around, glancing menacingly at his desk. The light of the lamp was bright and eager to provide refuge for written word. Who even writes anymore, he thought. We all type. With that he recalled the recently deleted emails detailing the fall and failure of events between them. Six letters, maybe seven, most of them long. Masterpieces in their own right, maybe not to anyone, but no better puzzle pieces could've fit between two people. That's the personal glory that comes when you throw selfless ideas out the window and focus solely between two humans. That's why you can't have it in art, because it's intimacy, and what we're afraid of most is the truth. Now they've been deleted and they're lost like Atlantis never again to see the surface. Perhaps they're lost somewhere on Google's servers, or being read by the government. Maybe they're saved in her inbox. Who cares, the sentiment is forever imbedded in my thoughts, he thought. Things couldn't work out to an amicable end. Do they ever, he thought. He had acted like a gentleman even while dubbing her leering ex-boyfriend a twat, an admirable feat to do both at once. Thank god irony can solve even the most flagrant faux pas. The idea came to his mind that perhaps like his thoughts a potential story could start backwards and end at the beginning. Yes, that could be the ticket. It could start with despair and end with the freshness of budding friendship and romantic conquest. Quickly he dismissed the idea as another gimmick. He went to rest his head.

What I wouldn't give to know what was truly on her mind, invade her privacy, smash her hermit shell and loot what's inside, he thought while laying about and shifting slightly. Most of all he would've asked if she understood his desire was driven by irrationality, not her admittedly fine-tuned bare body. There's nothing more or less than this. It boiled down to his opinion on love, like, and associated acts such as sex and soulmates. He paused. Certain types find themselves inline with other certain types, and their sameness is the result not of chance, but a simpler reality, entailing those with likeminded motivations must eventually cross paths, pushed by their sorrows or wants toward certain interests, and each other. It can't be chance, at least not always. You see it proof enough with every happy couple. The rule applies just as well for tepid people and situations as it does for extraordinary ones. He meant coincidence and how contrived it really is. Again, he struggled to articulate a comparison big and bold enough to encompass this grand epiphany. What of two souls on separate sides of a pyramid finding each other on the top. Too sappy, he thought. Why, he could find some way to relate his own personal, real experience into his pending story. The woman's contrary nature, stern and subtle disposition, and angst of over a landlocked town found her in a new city. Certainly there would be little coincidence if his position in similar waters led him to similar conclusions. If said couple were to meet eyes one day and speak in the same venue it'll be less a coincidence than seed growing in soil. He wondered if she got that admiration to him meant following the whim of what felt right regardless of irrationality, because its what forms the base of kinship in the first place. Love so closely correlates to madness, at least that's what Agent Smith said. When has The Matrix ever led anyone astray, he thought. And he felt not love for her, but an irrational approach is valid all the same when you like someone. Once fear fades irrationality is what keeps you footed in this plane of existence. He wondered mostly two things.

Lying about the bed still considering prior events he grew silent and tossed and turned a bit in search of comfort. Eventually he lied there, staring at the ceiling, doing nothing and thinking little. He brought the paper within grasp and lied down with pen hovering over it like the earth's most insignificant sword of Damocles. He was getting close to the end of thinking and the beginning of action. It had been one of those inspired moments and surely would lead to fruitful writing. His mind became quickly distracted again. A bed is no place to forget a woman, he thought. It reminded him of the great place they both stayed, just to visit, where they both came at once. He thought of all the misconstrued reasons she thought a man might want to see a girl repeatedly, and how hard it might be to undo a thousand years of stereotypes of sex drives and rough egos and a libidos with sophistication comparable to yard animals. He wondered if she was a fairweather lover. He was proud to have coined the term, a play on words that seemed to accurately describe things, albeit a bit unsure. It was a concern that a girl might destroy a calender full of pictures of good times over a few red marks on rainy days. But it mattered not, because the female didn't care and didn't attach easily and all these things people use to ease themselves when they fear their feelings. He wondered if she knew he had gone seven years without someone, more or less isolated, the same length of time it takes for every cell in a person's body to regenerate. He wondered if she knew he had been caged and re-created like Frankenstein and reborn according to the words of science. He wondered if events would cause her to recall a painting they discussed. "Fairweather Lover" might make a good title, he thought. People like that sort of unabashed melodrama. He wondered mostly two things.

He decided to stop the delusion and admit personal remorse is inseparable from the poem, the painting, the picture, the story. I don't want to suspend disbelief. I want to be believed, he thought. There's no way he nor any writer worth a salt could write a word of fiction. Truth is what we seek, and it permeates the most ludicrous fantasy or dream. A few tell-tale memories and lines dialogue came through reverberating. Her pledge to disown an ex if requested was a consideration he did not entertain. It wasn't worth it to be an asshole, not even to a conniving worm during a trip to the Pacific Northwest where she all but begged for rescue. He recalled a self-serving apology. He remembered being left in the dark. He laid back teething his pen and staring at the blank canvas of a ceiling representing all the room still left to write another page. Most telling was the time they encountered a panhandler on the street and she stopped to speak, politely declining his request for money. When pressed, she mentioned not acknowledging someone denies a person their humanity. And here he was, the studied project of a love affair, denied as much regard as suitable for a beggar. Bums get a bad rap, he thought. Perhaps panhandlers are seen as lesser because beggars can't be choosers and our ability to decide is what makes us human. Don't go back to distracting yourself, he thought.

Through this he wondered mostly two things. One was if she would look back at the time fondly, an oddly persistent question. The other, he forgot. It had loitered his head like a begging man delirious with need. Had it been bogus, this whole thing. How could a person's humanity ever take second place to apathy. It may make sense after all, he thought. We go out of our way to shroud our problems in metaphors and fantastical stories so no one notices when they breakdown. One side can claim they were wrong and make like things are resolved but it's not the case. There's no bow on it, or else no word would get written. No word regarding feeling need be written again, he thought. He slowly pushed paper from the edge of the bed. He found his way back to selfishness since it's what really spelled the end. That fault was entirely his. He couldn't feign friendship like he couldn't write a story about a girl, or helping others, or settling a score. He could only consider his faults like a dog chasing its tail. He could only whimper over the abuse in hope of a mercy killing. He could only wonder if his hidden attempts to maim and mend were hidden enough and hope they weren't. He couldn't write at all for he hadn't a reason to start, let alone see it to completion. Or his motivations would be self-serving reasons. A desire for closure, a meeting, an understanding of which he was not deserving. He had no interest, no wisdom to bestow, no catch, only some indefinable impulse toward meeting an end. He tried to remember one thing.

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