Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Emerging from battle...

Head bloodied from pounding it against the brick wall that refused to let me create. And I mean ANYthing. I couldn't write. Couldn't sketch. Couldn't do anything but sit and mutter to myself (in the usual kooky manner of a psychotic twit) while I tried to figure out what the hell was going on in my head. I'm still not completely sure...but I've finally found a window to at least look out of (and maybe use to escape).

The breakthrough happened at the laundromat, today, as I was loading my whites into the dryer. Seems Brendan's had enough of my diddling and let me know, flat out, my avoidance of POS is no longer acceptable. If I don't get that done, he won't let me do anything else. Period. It's time to face this story and my own fears about it -- mainly how in over my head I am as regards the telling of it -- because he don't give a shit anymore. I either sink or swim.

Suddenly I'm reminded of this time I was visiting my cousins in New Mexico. My mother's sister also married a guy in the Air Force and he was stationed at Clovis Air Force Base, so I drove up with them to settle in and spend a few weeks. I shared a bed with my oldest cousin, Alan, who's ten months younger than me and ten times more adventurous, and we did all sorts of things together. Baseball (from which I got a great black eye when a batter hit the ball straight into my face); bowling; swimming; making sandwiches out of bologna, slices of processed American cheese and Sandwich Spread on white bread (one of my comfort foods, if I could find Sandwich Spread in this area of the universe); just wandering around and being like brothers.

I always wanted to be a part of their family, because around them I felt safe. So safe, I even felt like I could dive into the deep end of the base swimming pool off the upper level diving board...even though I can't swim. Which I did. I managed to splash and paddle myself back to the side of the pool and work around to the shallow end and get out on my own (the life guard didn't even notice I was in distress), and by the time I was done I had a headache that threatened to peel the skin off my scalp, but I was also feeling like I'd faced a fear and made it through and I was a bit proud of myself. Alan didn't notice. Not one of my cousins did. In fact, years later when they found out I still can't swim, they were surprised.

I had to return home not long after...and no longer had that sense of protection that I got from my aunt, so retreated back into my world of books. It was 24 years before I did anything that crazy, again...and then it was just traveling to Europe on my own...staying with friends in Hamburg and visiting Paris alone and getting so overwhelmed by the escapade, the only reason I didn't cut off my trip and return home early was it would have cost an extra $150 to change my airline reservation. In fact, my trip to Berlin on the last leg of my journey was so deeply depressing, I never wanted to go back...and probably wouldn't have had I not had friends living there, the second time I went (and the second time was magical).

Anyway...the point is...I'm back on that high dive at the deep end of the pool, and Brendan's going to push me off if I don't jump...and he may not do it in the direction of the water.

Meaning posting will be late in the evening, for a while...maybe the next six months. That's how long I have to put together a solid first draft. Rewrites will follow, of course, but I need to set the story down so I have something to build from. And if I don't do it, I may never be able to do anything else, again. So -- deep breath...pinch nose...and off I go.


1 comment:

Brad Rushing said...

Yay, Kyle! I'm proud of you.