I decided that when I was going to be a writer, I wasn’t going to be of the starving artist model–troubled and brooding and just barely getting by, as if words were the only things I was hanging on to. It seemed too desperate, immature and out-dated from a time when Jack Kerouac’s On the Road made all the sense to everybody. Dean Moriarty, Dean Moriarty, Dean Moriarty.
But I wasn’t into adventures of the nonsensical kind, shambling after madness in a fit of rage with the world. Stubborn with drunk confusion and a level of creativity that dulled the mind into believing random acts were purposeful, and thus, should be repeated often, for the sake of making life interesting. Loose morals. Fast nights. Everything was forgettable with the sunrise.
There once was a time I found people like this entertaining. I won’t say it was regrettable to tag along to their stories, but I will say it’s a shame if you miss out on making your own. It’s like your life is off by half a second in time and a million miles in magnitude. And it takes a crisis of conscious to remind you of the reasons for capturing stories in the first place–not as proof of life or love or humanity, but as an attempt to document the truth as it unfolds, layer by unending layer. Paving stones to the unknown, and writers, the brick layers of contemplation.
When you read my words, I want you to see into the depths of my eyes–as you would when having a conversation with me in some corner street coffee shop or perhaps not even speaking at all, just throwing a football on the beach somewhere. Kind of like Dave Eggers in his epic ending scene in A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius. Sometimes a frisbee will do.
Never mind if these references are lost on you, reader. They are unimportant, but certainly highlight the arrogance of a 1950s intellectual smoking cigarettes at a typewriter on a rainy Friday night with a half-empty bottle of liquor nearby, and now gone. So listen up, now. I’m telling you that I am a writer, a common name for people who carry a pen in their hand and a notepad in their pocket. Of course, I don’t actually do that either.
I am not like that. And it always bothered me that writing was defined that way for anyone daring to carve memories into something novel. My desire to write comes not from a nagging need to fill an empty space in my being, and it is a terrible mistake to think these words could ever suffice for yours. No, that’s far too depressing and stereotypically common. Instead, I write to change myself from moment to moment. I’m a chameleon with a keyboard. It’s good to be unrecognized yet absolutely identifiable. It’ll make you look closer, think deeper and question–even if only for a breath–your logic. Not to be confused with sanity.
When you read these words in the stillness of time, I want you to run these lines with me, as if in a two-person play on the stage of a separate world where parallel lives are not only possible, but more common than you might think. When you read these words, I want you to recall yourself, long lost from the day and barely there emotionally, and beckon your heart into beating loudly again and outside of your chest. When you read these words, I want you meet me for the first time, everytime, and laugh upon the recognition of already having known each other.
Because writing is like laughing for me. It’s as if I’m out dancing on a starry night, smoking smores around the fire pit or playing cards in the park. It’s like a fine bottle of wine, uncorked. Writing is Thanksgiving fullness. I decided that when I was going to be a writer, I was going to stuff my words with enthusiasm; uncurbed by curiosity. I decided that I would be plentiful and giving, as if there are always seconds and thirds to be had–with room for dessert. Writing is like an unspoken prayer you weigh the world on at the end of the day, and in the moments right before you close your eyes, the safest place you could possibly be.
You may be wondering how this is possible. Or perhaps why it matters. But I am not going to telling you why I write. That would be like telling you why I love.