Suggested Audio Candy:
Porcupine Tree “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here”
I wish I could work out whether I’m coming or going. You see, I never really know. My mind holds me captive and keeps me blinkered most of the time. I never know where it shall lead me next; one minute I’ve got one foot down the rabbit hole and the next I am writing a slug’s eulogy. It’s plainly preposterous and something which I cannot begin to fathom. I guess that’s what makes it so invigorating. As a scribe the one thing you don’t want to be culpable of is simply going through the motions; there are a million others just as literate, just as inventive, but you wish for your work to resonate in some way other than offering a token light read. I have concocted numerous ways of staying one step ahead of monotony and the most successful has been ingestion.
Ingestion occurs when you consume the energy of a mind you wish to explore. Case in point; Seth MacFarlane. What I’d give to lick this guy’s cranial cylinder and feel his membrane pulsating against my lips. I love me some Family Guy and I love me some American Dad even more. One thing which stands out in his writing is his use of metaphor; he truly is a master at his craft and has shown it time and again. He was a shoe-in for ingestion, had to have me a little Seth straight from the offset. I never mimic his work, to do so would be to miss the entire point of ingestion, I just cherry pick my favorite parts and move onto another mind. We all have others who influence our work and that is fine and dandy; after all, what is left that hasn’t been said, often more eloquently than we could ever wish to emulate. We have to forge our own passageway, as convoluted as it may seem, to hold any hope of achieving our zenith.
Finding one’s style can be a troublesome endeavor. For me it was clear from the offset that, whilst competent with dark fiction, more than anything I love to make others laugh. The reason for this is simple; I too love to laugh and often the funniest fucker in the world is yourself, fact of life. You know which buttons to press, which punch lines to pitch and when. There have been times when I have been in floods of happy tears just trying to prise out a sentence and that is a perfect tonic for sadness. Like many writers I am a conflicted soul, never sure as whether I should be wearing a smile or grimace. But I know which I prefer. Growing up with Steve Martin in your life, that choice is made for you. You smile at every given opportunity.
Thus comedy is where I lay my hat for the lion’s share of my time. I watch a whole lot of horror films and adore a little blood and terror in whichever guise they come but, when all is said and done, I’m just not all that dark. Sorry, that may come as a crushing disappointment to some but it just doesn’t stiffen my dick. I can do horror all weekend long and it will continue to provide the backbone for much of my work as I plunder forth but sometimes I just want to be goofy. I think, on some level, I’m conscious of where many of my readership will consume my prose. If you’re at work, suffering a real bitch of a day at the office and contemplating mass genocide then me harping on about hollowing out skulls and cutting folk to streamers is hardly going to lift that cloud now is it? However, should I relay to you the time when I electrocuted myself in a Physics lecture by unraveling a paper clip and inserting it in a plug socket, then maybe it may cause a grin, lighten that load a little. Kids don’t try that one at home.
It just so happens I’ve seen a lot of funny shit in my time here on Earth. I’m guessing we’ve all had our share of the ridiculous but, to be able to document this in a way not incriminating to any other parties, is something which people ain’t used to hearing. I have no ego, not really, I adore being the buffoon and don my clown shoes every morning just to break them in. The world is such a poker-faced place for much of the time, everything is doom and/or gloom. It really needn’t be and, as long as I can offer an alternative, then it mustn’t be. I’m torn between the beauty and the beast for so much of my life that I know which way I’d rather be ushered. Put me in the stocks and throw colostomy bags at my stupid face, I don’t care. I’ll even bite a few on the way past.
Take a look at one’s shoes
They can’t fail to amuse
A jester by trade
but I still sing the blues
With smile painted on
My resolve may seem strong
But as that smile fades
Said resistance is gone
Still I hear folk suggesting that my ego needs a good bruising, that I need to be taken down a few notches and this dismays me more than anything else. Have you ever heard the one about the stand-up comic who suffers from acute depression? It is a common mistake that folk make when they suspect the court jester to be full of themselves and it often isn’t the case. If you have the gift to bring joy then you’re automatically assumed to be brimming with confidence but nobody really gets to see the tears of said clown. There is a good reason why I befriended a slug and that is because I share its social standing. I can relate to the little fella as I often feel like pond scum myself. We just hit it off.
It is at times such as these when I retreat back into my cubby hole. I question my ability to bring joy and my writing takes a severe knock in the process. These are not the actions of a man brimming with verve but instead self-preservation of a scribe whose grip is beginning to slacken. Extended silence isn’t always what it appears and sometimes it is all I can do to keep my head above water. Should a castaway turd float in my general direction then I bite down hard and keep my lips zipped until it bobs past me.
There have been times the past two weeks where I have considered throwing in the towel and getting a regular job. Thankfully, these thoughts have been fleeting as I know where my strength lies and that doesn’t include manning the phones at a call center or selling double glazing door-to-door. I take comfort in the belief that creative minds are pre-ordained with being misunderstood and keep my pecker up as best I can. Bottom line is this; as long as I can still fashion a grin on your faces from time to time then this is all the justification required to continue down this often convoluted passageway.