Fruitless literary aspirations aside, I once thought a brilliant life of authorship was in my cards.
I wrote and wrote and wrote. Between school and work and family and debauchery, I still wrote. Although it can be argued that debauchery might precipitate literary excellence, all it did for me was create some random and confusing musings that led nowhere exception the rejection pile (anyone read this blog?). I didn’t suffer writer’s block generally for I always had ideas and plots rattling around in my head. Not that they were necessarily worthy of note, but they were there, and hence, there was never a shortage of words issuing from my fingertips. I had many sources of inspiration. Life, death, disease, misery, agony, emotional turmoil, everything that my life had offered me thus far eked itself out onto that glaring screen. I wrote all kinds of tripe and none of it sold and I never bothered to find out how to market myself correctly or determine if what I wrote was objectively any good (other than my mother’s obligatory words of praise). I wrote short stories. It was a medium I loved and immersed myself in by reading annual anthologies of short story fiction but even then, my stuff never sold or even seemed to satisfy my own self-concept as an author.
Whatever, that’s why the fuck I blog now.
I suspect many bloggers are repressed authors. Authors who never (or haven’t) had a chance or opportunity to see their words published in exchange for the slightest iota of payment, even if it was in the form of several issues of the horrid publication that actually agreed to print their words.
One source of my ideas was dreams. I turned several dreams into failed stories, actually. For some reason, dreams stayed with me in my youth. They had “staying power.” They didn’t dissipate in the luster of daylight, as if evaporated by the harsh morning sun. My dreams lived on then! I could wake up and remember so many Goddamned dreams. Not like now. I remember nothing that I fantastically lived the previous night when I wake up in the morning unless it was a dream I had just before waking up. A dream that literally rouses me. Then maybe I remember it.
This dream I wrote a story about when I was in my 20s. The story actually saw completion but I absolutely cannot remember the title. I wish I would have kept the manuscript. Much of my writing “career” straddled the line of computer technology and many of my doomed stories were saved on 5 1/4″ or 3 1/2″ floppies. Such archaic formats now and I have no idea where these are. I threw so many of my precious words in the trash, allowed them to pass the threshold of oblivion. Or did my ex-wife burn them in a fit of rage? Whatever the case, they are gone.
Here is a quick summary of my story/dream that shall remain untitled simply because I can’t remember. It was a journey of self-mortification as I was very fond of during the tumultuous periods of my life.
Opening scene. I’m trudging along a dirt road in near to utter darkness. There is a sheen, a very, very faint blind glow emanating from the countryside and I’m surround on both sides by gnarled trees. Bony branches. Little foliage or vegetation. I’m trudging along this dirt path (I know it is this) and I’m tired because I’m dragging something really, really heavy. In time I realize I’m dragging a person because he is talking to me. I can’t rmember the conversation, but we are talking and I’m dragging him to a spot which goes unsaid for now. He is asking me why I’m doing this and I answer that I have to. Much of the beginning of the story involves this exhausting routine of dragging this heavy man by rope. Finally we reach a clearing and I know this is where I was meant to arrive. Now, the moon is shining brightly, very brightly. It’s as if there is a dimly lit bulb hovering in the black sky but it still allows me to see we are in a small, round clearing next to a bony tree and above us, a lone protruding branch from which hangs a rope. The man keeps asking if I need to do this. I answer resignedly, for I am sad. Yes. He is bound, helpless. The noose is within my reach. It is a struggle but I raise him with the help of a ladder and fasten the rope around his neck. He stands on the ladder, shivering in the last few minutes of life before I must kill him. When I descend from the ladder, the moon shines brightly enough that I can finally see his face.
It is me.