"No sluggard, be it known, can hope to catch grasshoppers with any degree of success." --Me--Smith, Caroline Lockhart
Good thing I have absolutely no desire to catch grasshoppers. Or do much of anything, really. Side note: how good is the word sluggard? That's me, of course, in the image above. Me and my cat, Rebel. It pretty much represents my current level of motivation. My mom has mentioned (on a few occasions) how I was such a quiet baby--that I didn't cry all that much and how I wouldn't wake them up in the night even when I pissed and shit myself. I would probably find those stories amusing if things were significantly different now. Alright, so I'm not pissing and shitting myself, but I might as well be.
Lately I've been asking myself some questions. Not the big questions--the kind that get you motivated to make changes and better your life-- the kind that make you wonder what the hell the point in anything is. Why do people do anything? Why do I do anything? What would happen if I just stopped doing everything? I know, I know. Dumb questions. According to Ice Cube, "To G or not to G is the question." I'll admit that that's worth pondering as well. I suppose anything is worth spending time thinking about if thinking means not doing.
I guess I don't have to explain, dear reader, that I've been actively avoiding this blog as of late. I wish I had a better explanation, but really I just don't want to do it. I'm such a baby. If sluggard didn't accurately describe my attitude, then perhaps adding the word petulant will help to sum it up. A petulant sluggard. Hah! I actually like the sound of that. Maybe I should have some fun and write down every terrible word I've been using to describe myself and make a game of it? Something's got to give.
I think that I might have to resort to my old writing exercises for inspiration, and revisit some old notes from my college writing classes. Either that or one of you is going to have to offer ideas, or at least a swift kick in the ass. Well, there you have it. A blog post published in September. This is becoming a very strange and shameful habit, posting on the last day of the month, but whatever. I actually don't care that much. It's kind of like that date you go on with the guy you don't like because you haven't been on a date in while and you tell yourself you should go. Then, of course, you regret going on the date because it wasn't good (just like you thought) and it didn't really make you feel that much better. But, yes it did, because it gave you something to talk about. This post is basically the dumb guy you shouldn't have gone out with, but it's ok. Maybe that great guy will come along soon. It better not damn well be on October 31st, though. I'll have plans. At least I better.
Every English student knows well the feeling of trying to find the right words to use in an essay or assignment. In the case of one particular 4th year English assignment, the task was more exciting and enjoyable than usual!
It was my last term at the University of Victoria, and I had two lit classes left to complete my degree--I chose American Lit and Victorian Lit, and was happy with my decision. Previously, on this blog, I shared an essay from my American Lit class, and now I will share one from Victorian Lit. Only this is not an essay, but rather an assignment that I was quite surprised to see on the syllabus. A parody!
That's right, we were to write a short piece, on any topic, using the style of an author/ text that was covered in class. I decided to do a parody of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. I wrote about an all-too-familiar scene around UVic--waiting for coffee in a long lineup in the popular Biblio Cafe. I have posted it below. Enjoy! And, be mindful of the fact that my explanation is rather weak. In typical 4th year panicked student fashion, I wrote it right before running to class. Literally. I think I ran. Happy reading, folks! And, for those of you working on a project or assignment, happy writing!
As a child, I preferred playing alone, but if I was to play with others, my favourite game was "Hide and Seek."
I was really, really good at it. Sometimes, I thought that if I never came out, nobody would find me. I kinda liked that feeling. I kinda still do.
I remember peering at everyone as they called my name and wandered through the park or wherever we were playing. It made me laugh, seeing the confusion turn to panic, and then I'd feel guilty. I guess that's how I'm feeling right now.
Believe it or not, I've been writing almost every day. I just haven't bothered to share anything.
I've been peeking out from my hiding place, watching everyone go about things, and occasionally considering saying hello, or something to let people know that I'm still here. I suppose that I've been experiencing that feeling from childhood--not wanting to be found. Except, without that cheeky sense of excitement in seeing those I know not know where I am.
My goal when I started this blog was to write and publish a post every week. At first, it was going well. Better than expected, actually. But, lately, there's been a shift. I haven't felt motivated to share much, and have been much more comfortable sitting on the sidelines, not expecting to make the big plays.
Being a spectator has always been my thing, but I want to be more active. I do. Hiding certainly has its perks, and being alone is good, but I'd like to come out of hiding now, focus more on seeking. What I've learned during this roughly month-long period of hibernation is that, unless you're actually working on something, (a creative project, etc) or making an effort to change what isn't working, everything remains stagnant. Seems obvious, right? I guess, for me, it wasn't.
Anyhow, I would like to make a promise to post something every week from now on. Even if it's a few sentences. Even if it's just a picture with a caption. For those of you who still visit my page (and I know there are, surprisingly, many) you will continue to have something new to look at. Even if you cannot find me out there in the world, you will most certainly find me here.
So, here is the first of the found journal entries I said I would post. Why am I doing this again? I suppose that I thought it would be fun, but so far it's just weird and uncomfortable. After coming across this ten-year-old diary, I realize that I really need to downsize. Why the HELL am I holding onto this shit? Immediately after posting these, the found journal will be trashed--I can promise that. Brace yourselves, folks. . .
"Ribbed, studded, twisted. Twisted? Clearly it's been a while since I've spent any time in the condom section of the drugstore. Glancing down at my shopping basket I see lip balm, bubble gum and zit cream. I am turning into a teenage girl again. Here I am shopping for condoms while waiting for my birth control prescription, and I actually feel a little embarrassed. I decide to go with the regular, plain old lubricated kind (nothing new or exciting). After getting my prescription filled, I bring my basket up to the counter. The cashier scans the condoms and says, "Is this the same guy?" I gulp. My heart starts racing, then I realize that she's looking at and talking to a coworker. She's the same cashier that always saw me come in with him, and I felt like she had figured me out. Picking up my pills, buying contraceptives, feeling guilty. Upon returning home and opening the box of condoms, I can see that the condom companies are now geared to a younger audience. I'm wearing the Durex stick-on devil tattoo right now. Haven't opened a condom yet."
Good grief! So, I'm not sure how many more of these I will post. It actually hurt to read some of the blurbs I've come across so far, partly because I was in such a bad place but also because, for the most part, the writing is terrible! I might post a few more funny ones, if I find any funny ones, and then the focus of this little experiment will shift to extermination. Time to fumigate!
Now here's one I've been stewing over. . .the right to tell my own story. Isn't it a right? If so, then why does it seem others are so adamant that I don't speak? That I keep silent about certain things that are happening or have happened in my life?
One of my favourite writers, Augusten Burroughs, doesn't seem at all concerned about these things. Maybe at one time he considered the effects of his writing, but he still wrote--still put it out there. Those of you who've read his memoirs will understand that nobody (Augusten included) is depicted in a perfect or even remotely together manner, and why should they be? Why are people so uncomfortable with the truth? Augusten Burroughs is not only a fantastic writer, but also a brave one. For some crazy reason, we must be brave in order to tell the truth--to speak up about our experiences. Why is it that so many people prefer to keep things on lock-down? Why be afraid of looking flawed in a fucked up world? I mean, aren't we all bound to be messed up in some way from the chaos of everything? If you are out there pretending to be perfect then your flaws are likely standing out more than mine, more than the rest of us. You are isolating yourself.
I know people like this. If any of them are reading this, they're probably sweating with anxiety, hoping I don't say something about them directly. In a sense, I just did.
I have toiled over the idea of writing a memoir for years and, until recently, I thought it was because I didn't really have anything interesting to say, that I lead a boring life. I now know that's not true. The boring life part is, of course, but I now realize that I actually feel like I haven't been allowed to tell my story, that I would risk being disowned or something. I've allowed myself to be held back. The thing is, what is life without risk? Boring! Not everything is interesting, that's a given, and not every experience is a positive one. A lot of my experiences have been terrible, frightening, embarrassing and degrading. That's fine. I want people to know about that; I want to talk about all of that stuff, because nobody should suffer in silence. Plus, it's not as much fun to laugh at yourself when you're alone. As children, we learn the importance of sharing, and it seems that notion has since gone missing. Hide your feelings. Lie about your age. Don't talk about your failures. Pretend everything's okay. Cover up. Run away. Is this what being an adult is really about? It all seems so childish! I don't want people to need to know the secret knock in order to be let into my tree house. Despite what I once thought about wanting to be left alone, I do want to be seen and heard, and I want to see and hear others.
For the most part, with the exception of my journals, I've always leaned toward writing fiction. I love making things up, and I'm good at it. I'm much better at fiction than reality. I suppose there's a part of me that shies away from discussing my actual life events, but even in my fictional accounts you will find me lurking around somewhere; I can't hide. I've never been good at hiding.
Blogging is sharing, and I'm getting better at that (the sharing part). What I'd like to improve on is my ability to step out into the world, as myself, out of character, in every context. Sometimes you have to leave things behind--people, possessions, addictions--in order to do that. Creating has always been my outlet, and writing is such a vital part of working through things for me. I can appreciate a person's wanting to keep things private, but I do not believe that something should remain unsaid to help protect someone, at the expense of another. I need to write; it's what I do, what I've always done and will continue to do. I will never go out of my way to hurt someone, but sometimes it happens. People get offended. People take things personally. People get angry. People hide. People, get over it. Seriously. If you need to talk, talk. If you need to write, write. This is your life. My life. I want to share. It's my right, isn't it?
I'm finally doing it--pulling my insides out and splattering them around for all to see. Here we go!