We all know by now that I’ve been trying to use my lived experiences to the ends of art. Usually without success, I might add. There was a good reason for why every draft I started felt hollow–crumbling in upon itself at the slightest editorial breeze.
There was a great big hole in the middle of them, which corresponded to one within myself. It was a place of vagueness, not even definite enough to be considered a proper black hole. It’s where I shoved everything I didn’t want to look at, and for that purpose it worked well.
For any other purpose, it worked horribly. My story lacked integrity because I insisted upon skirting the place where my dragons lived. But, in the end, it’s those fantastical beasts of human error that make the story good–any story.
It may take years for me to finish this project. At the moment, life permits me time for about 500 words a day, sometimes more. I’ll take it.
“I spent a year and more trying to simultaneously escape and ignore a great, sucking maw that had formed at my center. Life lesson: you can do one or the other, never both.
Bitterness, if I’m going to be honest, eats the best parts of you, first. People feel that, and move away from you instinctively. The singularity, voracious, gluttonous, and ever-growing may be invisible, but you can see it moving through the social landscape.
Because, like an actual black hole, excess is ejected–a torrent of vitriol–and sooner or later, no one returns your calls. If you try to ignore this within yourself, it takes you all in time, and you’ll never understand what happened. You’ll just be bitter, angry, and alone.
Trying to escape the pull of your own bitterness means facing it. This takes more guts than you might imagine, and involves more than simple assessment. Meeting the hot, internal gaze of rage involves acknowledging the parts that are justified, but seeing the garbage of emotional entitlement for what it is, too. And then owning all of it.
If you can’t do that, then you spend a lot of time avoiding eye contact with yourself, and you lose touch with who you are. One day, you wake up feeling like you’ve been robbed; there’s no way to see how it happened, no ransom notes for your ambition, your sense of beauty, or your ability to love. You just know they’re gone. You stare at the space they used to occupy and either you get to work replacing them, or you go back to bed.”