Monday, March 13, 2006

On Writing...

(Not to be confused with what I've heard is a very well thought out book by Mr. S. King.)

I'm a liar, a liar, a big, fat liar.

I don't know how else to put it.

I sat down at my computer today, sure I wouldn't start any new projects. I've started so many books that the number I've finished seems miniscule in comparison. Not only have I started them, I've then gone on to misplace many of them - those are lost forever. Pre-Vicky, I would start a book weekly and toss it aside and go again. So I always worry when I start a new project because I'm afraid I won't finish it.

To that end, I've laid down some ground rules. I have to know what I'm writing about. I have to have a story. I have to have an ending. It has to be compelling. On and on...

But I've had this urge, kind of like a writer's libido. I have an itch that needs scratching. I have to write.

So, I did. I sat down and did it. I don't know what will come of it or where it will go but I hammered out a few hundred words and here they are:

There are those who believe that when you die you are only in heaven a short time, waiting for your next incarnation to occur. Then, you travel down to earth to inhabit a new body and live a new life. The message here is clear: Heaven is for the dead.
And who wants to be dead?
I feel this same thing in my own life. A chapter ends and part of me dies and I am temporarily in another place - heaven or hell? I don’t know - until a new chapter begins and I am back again.
I felt this when my first marriage ended. I feel it now as my second one nears. And yet, it is with a certain foreboding that I know that heaven, that cold, blinding place, is not through with me. The angels won't retract their grip and I dare not pull away. God only knows how far I have to fall.
I look down from this dizzying height and see the object of my life far beneath. Bethany. She calls to me but I can't hear her. And it's not because I'm deaf, not because of some outside impediment. I refuse to listen. I continue to refuse.
She stands down there in that white dress we bought in Cabo, white cotton as thin as a lie, holding her tiny frame like Aphrodite in marble sculpted by tiny hands. Her pale skin in mineral. Her hair is as light like the sunset sun; it actually shimmers.
I should respond to her.
"Can you come down?"
I can't look over again. That one, quick glance was more than I - my doctor says it's more than simple acrophobia. It isn't just the heights that I fear. It's that parking lot and the street and the sky and the sun and the girl and - acrophobia with a hint of agoraphobia and a dash of aviophobia, garnished with venustraphobia and a bunch of shit you ain't never heard of.
And it's not as though I can't look at beautiful women. Not at all. Any touch of venustraphobia I suffer from is synonymous only with my Bethany. My fiancé. My love.
And ain't that a bitch?
It could be worse. My phobias don't come close to the apex, which is hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, a fear of long words. Wouldn't it just suck to have someone ask you what your phobia is?
"I know you're up there, Matthew!" comes her voice again.
And then my phone rings.
And I pull it out of my pocket.
And it's her.
"Hi." It's all I can say, really. Having an anxiety attack on the night of your rehearsal dinner, keeping your fiancé waiting, you can never find a witty opening line.
"What is it, Matthew?"
I pull my voice from out of my pants. "I'm having a bad day."
"We're going to be late." She tells me this as though I were ten and I can't blame her. But I'm dressed and my hair is combed. I'm wearing her favorite, blue suit, the one that shines and I have no idea what it's made from, the one we go dancing in. And I can dance in it without fear because there are all of those people and they're right next to me and I can hear them breathing. It's dark and it's loud and I can feel that I'm in my place even when the music jumps like a drunken monkey over stones of trance, pop, hip-hop, and the odd punk, even when all they can play is Depeche Mode, even after all these years...
"Come on, Matthew. We've talked about this. You're going to be fine."
I know I will. So long as I stay put.

Mind you, I already had a complete outline to Wormfood. It was the logical choice.

But that's for later... Let's hope I finish this one...

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