Life behind the lines

 

metaphor for a person who’s seen rock bottem… even if they’ve never hit it.

 
I am 2 chapters away from finishing the first draft of my story (I like to say story even though I mean novel, because to me saying you’re working on a novel sounds pretentious. Also because storyteller falls more in line with my beliefs than writer). The story is of course “Beyond the Southerly Weepers,” and it centers around a man (who is a cyborg) and his family as they are expelled from their safe-but-suffocating life in Las Lomas and forced to face the abundant dangers lurking in the Cal wilderness. The story is also post apocalyptic, but so far in the future a sort of dystopian government has installed itself as the sole power in the land of Cal.
At the same time that this first draft is nearing it’s close life has happened.
That’s what this post is about. The personal shit a story teller might be mired in as there project draws to a close. I’ve always wondered, what might have been happening in Rowling’s life when she finally figured out just how Harry’s parents died, or how Twain felt when he finally put down the last words of “a Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court.”
That’s what this is about from here on out, so if this kind of thing doesn’t interest you it’s cool if you decide to keep scrolling.
I’ve graduated from my community college in just five years (six of I’m honest, and I joke about the time it’s taken me to assuage the sting of failure). Isn’t it a load of bull that I can accomplish something I should be proud of and still torture myself with judgment I’ll never air anywhere but here? There’s a lot of that in me, and in the story of my cyborg as well.
I think maybe there is a post on me about how the stories we write can very much become a kind of therapy for us and a tool to over diagnose our every personality flaw should we choose.
All this to say it is a time in my life where I can’t help but take stock in my life and tally up the pros and cons.
Driving-
Two and a half years ago my license was suspended and last week I (with the help of friends and family) have just jumped through the last hoop the state of California set between me and mobility. I can drive again. That is a pro.
My girl-
I’ve been in what might be called a serious relationship for about 10 years (I know, a long time). And in that time I have hurt the relationship, and she has hurt the relationship (a lot). I’m not sure we’re good for each other, but you might say that at this point we deserve each other.
That was cynical…
She’s intelligent, she’s active, her hobbies are amazing (she breeds fancy shrimp in our spare room downstairs), and I’m still attracted to her (which isn’t something everyone who’s been together as long as we have can say).
She’s fallen in love, emotionally, with some of my closest friends. Which fucking sucks. And I’ve gotten use to there alway being a problem that needs to be fixed. 
Recently we’ve decided to give our relationship a real chance, and I have to figure out how to be friends with her again. I love her, but we haven’t been good friends for a long time.
This could be a pro
Parents and family-
Not being able to drive for so long has also put a strain on my relationship with my parents, family and friends back home. They are at once familiar and unknown all at the same time, and even if they won’t admit it I sense some hurt in them (perhaps my ow projection).
For both my family and my girl, the chance to rebuild and forge something good is a pro.
Roommates-
I live in a college town and go to school, so I have to live with roommates. In order to get this chance with my girl I had to hurt the dynamic of our apartment, and the change is palpable. If I get what I want things will not be the same. Part of me would have rather left them all than hurt the dynamic they had.
This is a con because I feel very guilty about everything.
All of this is in my writing. Of my darkest thoughts I’ve articulated to myself I once believed a character (Emily) that I was writing for my book was based on a real person, but since that person is not who I thought she’d was I find myself writing Emily and thinking it’s just fiction.
Thompson’s (my cyborg) world is a world that is not what it seems at first glance. When you think you know even its most vicious dangers, it has only lolled you into a false sense of security (you never know everything). That’s when you have to be really scared, because something is coming, a truth you overlooked, and in my world and in my experience truth is deadly.
Any writers or storytellers on here that have an experience they’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments!

Long Memories

Mired in the 9 to 5
day to day
get you paid
Mired in the A to B
here to there
and back again
Mired in the blinder’s faith
do not hear
do not see
And speak about the avenues
the grass is green
we are so free
Free above the poverty
privileged me
and mighty thee
Free above wretched wastes
where skeletons
strike brittle stakes
Yet mired in our apathy
we sign the warrant
on our fate

Media Zealot

Media zealot, sitting on a dark bench
Only that lustrous blue glow
of reruns played on go

One show, two shows, three shows, flow
I’m no saint… and netflix is my whore
She wears Sidonia most every night
Her New-Black lipstick shade
Anime her wanting lips
And that American Horror where she’s shaved
Her lips part moaning and lusty
moist with Underwoods
In real life my woman is calling
but bea… I want you more

Media Zealot
Dripping on a dark bench
bleeding that lustrous blue glow

Like a Mirage

*Not my original image

Well this first novel (Beyond the Southerly Weepers) is almost wrapped. I have two to three more chapters in total, and then I’ll be leaving the post-apocalyptic land of Cal behind for fresh waters. After this last chapter all that remains are two battles at two different locations, a talking monster, a betrayal, and a desperate dash to save a loved one… and then it’s done. It’s a little scary to think about.

I’ve got the next story almost ready. It’s in its’ embryonic stage at the moment, but it involves an alien abduction and a drug kingpin (female lead), and a plot to destroy the Earth. I won’t give away too much, but I’ve had so much fun envisioning her world. With any luck I can pull it off even a tenth of what I can see in my head.

Anyway, for those of you who have finished a project or are in the midst of their debut project here’s why I’m choosing to let Beyond the Southerly Weepers sit for awhile at its’s wrap.

Continue reading

Dose of Theory

*Excerpt

About two years ago I received a ticket while driving for not having my registration up to date. My car was unwashed and banged up, and the cop that tailed me followed me for several blocks (running my plate through “the system”) before flashing his lights and pulling me over. My girlfriend was with me at the time, and the officer had me sit still for several minutes while he waited for two more cars to arrive.

I kept my hands on the steering wheel because I wanted them to see that my hands weren’t doing anything suspicious. I didn’t want them to get spooked or to give them any reason to put a bullet in me. Truth was I was afraid of them at the time, and with good reason.

When I was in high school my JV baseball coach was a police officer. During the course of the year the man shot a seventeen year old in the parking-lot of the local Walmart. The papers said it was in self defense, and it probably was, but there was doubt among the students and even my parents. Whether it was self defense or not, it was a white on black homicide, and it was someone I thought I knew and who I’d trusted.

I’ve heard that there is generally mistrust between cops and two specific groups; lower-class Americans, and Minorities. Continue reading

Dark Night of the Soul

As you may or may not know I’m currently working on the novel Beyond the Southerly Weepers, the story of a man and his family as they navigate the often tremulous waters of a post apocalyptic dystopian-future set in my home state of California. The story follows Thompson a man who must come to terms with his strange cybernetic-self, a part of himself he has avoided, in order to find the strength to face the abounding dangers. The first leg of my story was one of flight and introspection, but I’ve reached the point where most of the cards are on the table plain for everyone to see, and what comes next is action.

This is daunting. Continue reading