Monday, June 30, 2008

Invisible Geography

I am sitting in the hotel lobby (which is uncommonly busy for a Monday night, much to my chagrin) wearing my bow tie (which, as it turn out, matches my work outfit perfectly, and is something I have resolved to wear for the duration of my shift) eating a pack of Peanut M&M's (which I ingest gladly, not a second thought at all) and missing a place I have never been. 

Sorry, that sentence was a bit dense, with an odd curve ball at the end of it. What I mean is that for some reason, I find myself longing for a place I seem to have in my memory, but I know for a fact that it's a place I've never actually been. 

It happens mostly when I listen to certain songs. Some music puts me in a place — a physical place — that seems so familiar, so tangible and comforting, that it's almost painful when the song ends. Almost, now that's important. If it was actually painful, then life might be a little too difficult at times, always grasping at a place that I am only imagining. 

In the parking lot, in the middle of the night, I'm supposed to walk around throughout the night and keep an eye out for junkies. It's usually completely silent and very dark, and happens to be my favorite time and place to pray (Have you ever tried just standing in silence, not saying anything, and listening to God? It can be rather daunting. Sometimes I can feel God strongest when he speaks through silence, something that can only be experienced. I can't describe it). While I'm out there, I often take several minutes to look at the (rather ghetto) open-faced apartment building next door. It is snuggled by trees on the front and back, and sits in a gentle amber glow from the lights in the parking lot, and all I can think about is how it reminds me of a place I'd love to live, an apartment building I've never been to or even seen, just like it. 

I think I know what happens. Perhaps my mind takes several pieces of different places I've liked or loved, and puts them together when some kind of commonality triggers them. A smell, a song, a color scheme, something. Granted, this has nothing to do with anything, I just thought it was a fascinating thing my brain does, and wondered if anyone else has this kind of thing happen to them. 

End transmission. (This is Major Tom to ground controoooooooooooooolll!) 

Saturday, June 28, 2008

That Constant Nagging

So I'm working hard on being a writer, but it seems that I have one major obstacle in my way. I seem to suffer from a terrible lack of productivity due to the fact that I don't live under an oppressive dictatorship desperately trying to stifle my work, doing their best to put forth the false visage of happiness and prosperity!  

Okay, so I exaggerate. In truth, I'm just lazy, and I hate being lazy, and always, always there is a constant nagging when I know I'm wasting time youtube-ing Daft Punk videos (hence the image). It's true, I often have wonderful bursts of productivity and creativity, but I fear they are far too few and far between. So what's the remedy? Do you have a suggestion? 

Here's a solution that I will try. I promise that for the rest of my summer I will spend at least twenty minutes a day writing something. Be it this blog, more of my terrible poems that I think are nothing short of history altering in their beauty, devotional thoughts on theology, movie reviews or— why yes! I am writing a book, thank you for asking! I should work on that shouldn't I? What? What's the title? The Misadventures of our Early Adulthood. Well, a working title at least. What's that? Why yes, it is entirely possible that a character is based off of you. You want to read it? Well I've only got about thirty pages so far, but I'll take comments wherever I can get them! 

Seriously, you want to read some of it? I like it, and one of my friends does too, so there's you validity right there. 

A thought on writing, tell me if you agree. I find that you cannot write well unless you are reading too. Sometimes I write things when I haven't cracked a book open for up to a week. I'm awful, I know, but what happens is my writing turns to garbage faster than your personal opinion in a film theory class. In my opinion, you must read to write, and this is a lesson I have to learn myself. I am trying very hard to keep reading, much outside class to improve my form and recognize the talent I should aspire to. My current read? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. Next? I'm thinking of diving into some Cormac McCarthy, everyone can't shut up about him. I also enjoy the occasional dip into my Virginia Woolf short stories. (Addendum: how many writers have last names with different spellings of wolf?) 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Now I'm not really a fan of "genre fiction" or even the standard "genre film." Anyone who has taken a "genre" class with me will probably know what I'm talking about when I say it's too unfair for so much art to be placed into one simple category. However, I have one huge exception to this rule. 

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am one heck of a sucker for the classic detective story. I'm talking the true, gritty kind of detective story. The kind where it's never day time, in the city where it's always foggy, the men all wear hats and have at least one gun in their coats and the women love you, then they don't, then they love, then they tell you that they never loved you, but then you find out it was all a ruse, and yes, they always did love you. But they might kill you, if any male in the area doesn't do it first. 

Have you ever read anything by Dashiell Hammet? The Maltese Falcon, Red Harvest, The Thin Man, all classic books. Normally, I don't jump on board "the author train" as I like to call it, but like I said, I'm a sucker for this stuff. Radio dramas were the stuff my dreams were made of, I wished to live that life. 

I'll tell you a secret. Even today, after the romanticism of this 1940's fedora-wearing, knuckle-bleeding, dive-bar bustin' was put in a safe place in the back of my mind, I still indulge in this world when the mood strikes. How, you may ask? Well I pull out my magnum, and— no, no, no... Actually, I put on my fedora and brass knuckles and slug whoever— no...

Here's the truth, moms and dads, kids and grads, I often have an interior monologue running in my head narrating things that are happening to me in the past tense. Which, you can imagine, is difficult to do while things are happening. But you know what? It's awesome. So if you ever say anything interesting to me and I respond by kind of squinting and going silent, don't interrupt! I'm narrating, and you my friend, have just become a main character. 

But I do kill those who get in my way. Just a heads up.