I struggle with where to meet people with my philosophy. Often I hear the fallacy in their thoughts, shining like sunlight through patchy conclusions. If I could reduce it to a phrase, they’re not self-centered enough. At some point in recent time most people bought into the idea they fit into a category better than a body. A type. And within that type, certain criticisms, issues, particular peculiarities are bound to exist. Just the way it is. But when I was a kid, I was lectured several times about my type, told who and what and why exactly I behaved the way I did. They laid out menus in front of me, read line item pricing and value and guaranteed down the line quality for their considerations. But I never bought any of it. The clothes were too tight to fit in. The food was too rich to be eaten. I know we bred a lot of reality with symbolism, but I have no interest in living in my own universe like a tourist. I understood why little boys did the things they do. I completely get middle children are prone to rebellion and attention addiction. Trust me, it is not above me that being a pastor’s kid handed me a skeleton key to morality. But ever since the first days I could time out and participate in shaping a day, I have given all my energy to Jeremy. That kid kept me alive when no one even wanted to give me time. He is a mold molder, wants all the windows open, fighting backyard battles long after the lackluster desertion of his peers, a friend to fears, resurrected a kitten with his tears, hidden behind his bed holding conversations with death, reading Romans and arguing against Paul. He was never small, not like the authorities over his life tried to make him believe. But he never wanted to believe, not if knowing was an option. Many have tried, but no one ever, not even his own stubborn little self, could stop him. I can not say I participate in the warfare of types. Jeremy never bought the hype that surrounded his self. Busy building pirate ships behind his house. Scribbling terrible poetry by candlelight late at night, wax still puddled on a desk in a landfill somewhere. Stepping out on stages perfectly unprepared, finding himself more ready than ever there. Truth is, individuality is not a right. It is a fight. And only those committed will understand the philosophy I have created. Which is, all of these types and categories and phrases, are only wishes. They’re only bridges. They only matter when they lead somewhere. On their own, they’re meaningless. It’s hard to speak my way to people defined by where they are on a highway. Who staunchly only ever see themselves as a point in transition, saying ‘well I can’t cross the double yellow lines because of people who oppose me, and can’t betray the white line beside me because nature doesn’t tolerate my tires as much as asphalt, and can’t slow down for the car on my ass, and can’t speed up because there’s no lane to pass, and besides, the world is full of cops paid to keep us right and where we are. I would have to preach down roads, and sermonize stopping your vehicle, just to get you standing up, being, living where you are. Only then could I begin to explain the philosophy of home, of nesting, about the roots of Man and how we are all like vines. Your body is where the energetic stream of your existence touches ground. No matter how high you climb, or far out you travel, or where you have been before or where you imagine yourself wanting to be eventually. You are rooted through your self. And your self is a mutated, mysterious, evolving existence that language is chasing eternally babbling trying to keep up with. It is you. And you may not fit into the type you fit into. And there is a good chance you will have to create the category that contains you, and burn a thousand bridges leading nowhere in order to never have to tear a single root. This is my philosophy. Own the bridges that lead to you. And roads drive people too.
Why are your breasts out at the table? How are you buried four beers deep when we’re all waiting on the second round? This world outside your nest is watching. You can scream how you don’t care, how they should get over it, that you are wild and everybody else will need to invent methods of dealing. Be louder. Shout it. If only belligerently confident words changed anything. But they never have, and they never will, because the other people filling the room, breasts kempt, public drinking, whispering with eyes stepping sideways across your table, they don’t hear you. They hear volume. See sway. But as far as the words you say, they could not care less. You spoke every texture of your character mouth closed, just humming along to “Son of a Preacher Man”. They wrote a short story about you in their heads. You and your fix, like a gatekeeper, calming all those corralled into this boxed in, block shaped bar space, justifying their third drink with your fifth. Sitting them up still and sober-like in their seats seeing you drift. Blushing at their laps, while you massage your tits. It’s not judgment. There is no right or wrong, no tall hill with a sign at the base reading get over it, by all means, this behavior is your right, no matter how scary. Be this person. Be who and what you really are. Just know no one in here is reading your journal, or making excuses for you. They’re all short story writers. And you gave them a gatekeeper. A constant in the experiment of what all is or is not ever going to be appropriate. It’s not bad, or wrong really, it just isn’t the story you set out to write. That’s the only reason we care how our decisions, actions and words affect others, because we left the nest with a particular plot-line in mind. And I, for one, didn’t intend to be a drunk dimensional character in some unpracticed writer’s short fiction. If they take my story home with them with the intention of turning it into one of their own, we will both feel mutually judged by one another. Each of our lives should point a finger at the other. And if this was the story you set out to write, well, I just hope it ended at home.
In my personal life, social media has been an incredible tool, not only for putting my writing in front of readers, but also getting a good perspective on the various reactions it engenders. It can force a writer to look at the page differently. Counting characters and thinking talking points, headlines, pop culture references. Not always conducive to the most artistic writing, but it is an excellent avenue for exploring more communicative, and conversational creative writing techniques.