It’s been a long time wince I’ve really WRITTEN something.
Not some cute pics of my kids, or pix of how sexy I am with muscles and scary facial hair, or arty photos of some rock or rusty tractor.
I mean actually write.
I used to write about politics – about how much I fucking hate our system, and the people in it; about how I wind up having to vote for a guy I think is a wimp, becauise my other option is a member of the freakiest cult in the world, untel scientology showed up, and a man utterly without moral compass or any sense of personal honor. I just to make that sort of a screed entertaining. And sometimes good. Now, I don’t even make it.
I also used to write stories – some true, some false, most someplace in between; ambiguity leads to better fioction. I used to fucking teach people how to write, because dammit, I was good.
Now? It’s not that I’m not good ; it’s that I’m just not. This shit here isn’t writing, it’s ambien-fueled thrashing, posing in the vague forms, assuming the shapes, but not actually producing anything.
As I type this, small, hairy spiders bigin to creep over my keyboard. I like ambien.
What I mean to say isn’t just to bitch about my failures; they’re not real failures. They’re failures to start, rather, not failures to do what I do.
“I know I have a novel in me,” my friend Myles said the other day. And yeah, he does; I can smell it on him like scotch and success. And god dammit, I sure as fuck have a novel – not a; several. But let’s sart one before we visualize the second. I have ideas for a half dozen books, easily; my problem isn’t ideas, or narrative; it’s simple attention span. It’s also simple being awake long enough.
I have to write, to get this going. And the brilliant thing is, no one reads anymore, so I might as well start here.
It was a dark and stormy Night…
Wait that isn’t right. Maybe something in a wilder vein.
We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . .”And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
Um, wait. That might have been done.
I guess I need to do this in my own words.And to be honest, this work is old, but I have not pulled it out and worked on it in years.
Tires on the highway. The wind in the old tin box of a van I drive. Blood in my veins. Whiskey in my skull.
Motörhead – Lemmy doing something you might call singing, the crank-drain making his voice just right to tell me about life on the road and jailbait and dirty love and the ace of spades. A story I pretend the tattoos on my arms would also tell you, but it’s the ones on my back that really have a story.
Roaring. All of it. And I was roaring back.
I was leaving some trouble behind me I guess. Or so I like to think. Really the trouble was over, a thing with a girl, and some tattoos, and some booze and some drugs. And then the girl was gone and I wasn’t, which was the wrong way for it to have ended.
I roared back at Lemmy.
Wait there’s more. Lets skip a bit, til after the cops stop him.
“Son, I’m startin’ to think you got some problems,” the sherif said.
I turned my head and looked at him. Wished I still had some sunglasses. “Well. Yeah. You could say that.”
“So I tell you what. You quit dicking me around and tell me something true, and I won’t haul you off to my jail unless you’re doing something to deserve it.”
I sighed. Told him my name. Told him I was just passing through. He wanted to know where I was headed.
“Fuck if I know. Maybe I’m just – easy rider, y’know?”
He chuckled. “You know how that movie ends, right? Damn though, I liked those choppers.”
I decided right there I wasn’t going to have to kill the sheriff. So that was good.
“So you’re running away then, yeah? So just tell me something. Because I will check on it. Tell me if that thing you’re running away has a cop’s name connected to it, or a warrant.”
It didn’t. The only name I was running away from was tattooed on my back. So that’s what I told him.
“Girl?” he asked.
“Dead girl.” I answered.
That’s how it starts. And I know how it finishes. And I know there’s a girl – another girl, because this guy, like me, will always, always have another girl. But unlike me, death tends to hover near him, not so you can see, but so, if your nose is sharp, you can maybe smell it a little, after he leaves the bar.
The middle is there the issue is; and not so much because I don’t know what it is, but because I can’t seem to make it exist. Yet.
I will start again. Now. I will write something. Doggeral or drivel, but I’ll write some words, about something that matters. And when I have ten, or twenty, or a thousand words, somehow, I may be writing again.
Because my soul dies when I hear others discuss writing like it’s something than can do, just because they go to school. Writing – my writing – rips itslf of of the fucking soul, because it has to. You don’t teach that, unless you’re some sadistic bastard; you don’t learn it on purpose. You don’t have it at all; you simply ARE that; the question is only, does it go to paper, or is it taken out on flesh.