Suggested Audio Jukebox ♬
 The Real Thing “You To Me Are Everything”
 The Pointer Sisters “I’m So Excited”
 Steppenwolf “Magic Carpet Ride”
 The Smashing Pumpkins “The Everlasting Gaze”
Welcome one and all, come on in and make yourselves at home. Mi casa es tu casa and the same goes for everything I am. You see, being a writer by trade, it’s my pleasure to give, as that is what makes us such stand-up folk. Granted, it’s all a little fragmented, and there is a fair amount of construction necessary to piece all the parts together but, if you’ve been on this crazy ride for long enough, you should have a reasonable idea of the soul that resides within me. Moreover, thanks to three-and-a-half years of peeling back my epidermis and prodding, I’ve learned rather a lot about myself also. Indeed, everyday I learn something new, and writing enables me to connect on a totally exclusive level to any other. Using words as my tool, there is so much that I can say, so many stories to tell, so few reasons not to share. It’s when I feel most alive, most in the moment, most vulnerable, most Herculean, closest to peril, furthest from beaten, and nothing much compares to this mesh of emotion. I can be at my lowest ebb but still scaling and cover terrain at an insane pace, should I locate that elusive flow. This is every writer’s magic carpet and sponsored by none other than the imagination. Where it goes, nobody knows, but the real kicker is not questioning its flight plan. Granted, a fair degree of blind faith is involved, but that’s one commodity I’d never dream of leaving home without.
This is why it appeals so much. You see, I’ve had a skinful of reality, and will no doubt shed said skin and have another before my time on this planet comes to an end. While not suggesting that reality bites; it’s all a little too predictable for my liking. How easy is it to score a gram of pixie dust in a public library? When was the last time you spotted a mystical unicorn queueing up at Price Chopper for its weekly groceries? Who knows what time the next U.F.O. is due and is it planning to stop at Pluto? I hear they’re having an everything must go sale and would hate to miss out on a bargain. You don’t get these kind of opportunities with reality do you? Thus it stands to reason that I’ll feel like straying from the flock on occasion. Thanks to the power of prose, I can do precisely that. Better yet, I get to share my experiences with anyone who is looking to escape their own reality too. I only ask a few minutes of your time and promise to have you back safely at the close of play and only mildly traumatized. Speaking of which, I think I can hear the bath running.
Young lady, I must insist that you put your tongue away at once. And don’t go giving me that playful smile either as it won’t work on me any more than your big blue eyes will. For the record, is the water warm? Really, just perfect you say? Okay then, on your recommendation, I shall dip in just a toe but that’s all you’re getting out of me and I want my rubber ducky dagnabbit. Really, you are awful. A weaker man may well succumb to your siren-like call, but I pride myself on my mental strength and will not be tricked out of my trunks by some frisky Fräulein with admittedly rather perky breasts. Actually, never say never, but I’ll expect you to turn away while I do as I happen to be rather self-conscious and my mother taught me all about girls like you. Minxes I believe she called you and, I have to say, I’m inclined to agree given your current behavior, which I consider nothing short of unruly in case you were wondering.
Now that’s just not on and for two distinctly different reasons. Firstly, is that thing loaded? They’re not toys you know, do you have any idea how many deaths are caused by unintentional firearm injuries each year? You’ll have an eye out if you’re not careful and I’ve got better things to do with my time than reconstruct your skull because you finally sussed out where the safety is. Anyhoots, I’m aware that I’m likely starting to sound all preachy, and if you want to play Russian Roulette with your life then be my guest. Anyhoots, the other reason why I oppose your suggestion is that it seems like a blatant attempt to get a rise out of me and I’ve already converted to buddhism so you’re barking up the wrong tree love. Nice lip gloss by the way, does it wipe off easy? What’s that? You want to put it to the test? I’ll do no such thing and find your proposal both lude and most unladylike. In the name of science you say? Well when you put it like that, who am I to stand in the way of scientific study?
You see what happens? I get ransacked every time my magic carpet takes flight and there doesn’t appear to be anything I can do about it. The bizarre thing is that my sex drive is so woeful that I’ve recently forgotten how to masturbate. Yet I still come across as some kind of deviant and seem incapable of resisting lowering the bar at every given opportunity and a fair few not even donated. Why is this I wonder? It seems to be like a kind of tick, an itch that I simply have to scratch, and I’m buggered if I know where it comes from. Could it be that I’m afflicted with writer’s Tourette’s? Fuck no, that can’t be it. I think I just like provoking a reaction, not to be cantankerous, but because there seems little sense without feeling. Sex is always hot topic and I love nothing more than firing up the kiln so select these ingredients regularly and get a little of my inner freak out in the process. You see, precious little happens in my reality and, in stark contrast, it’s all kicking off in my head. How I manage my madness is imperative as I have a tendency to bottle and hear too much pent-up crazy can send one doolally. Besides, while I may embrace those cuckoos freely here, they’re normally exhausted by the time I’ve prised out a few thousand words.
It sure as shit beats getting caught up in voodoo. When I began my tenure as Keeper, I could have selected a different path entirely, and would likely have made it to rank of High Shaman by now. That said, I hear that Baron Samedi is a bastard to work for, and I’ve always been more of the live or let live kind of guy so I gave that profession a wide berth. I will say this however, the whole darkness deal seems worth a punt. Given that black comedy is my favorite shade of humor, it seems only natural to sin a little while I’m here. I mean, it’s not as though I do a great deal of it in reality. Evil doesn’t really interest me all that greatly and I avoid its snide suggestion like the plague. But within these confines, I can let the chimp loose a little, and he has a habit of getting unruly if I don’t provide him with regular exercise. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at this ugly mug shot and try not to make eye-contact as he’s a blighter this one and will think nothing of smashing your very best bone china.
You see? I took that one this morning while I was sitting at a blank screen. He’s calmed down a whole heap since then as he practically wrote stanzas three and four by himself and I promised him I’d give him a mention for his contributions. Feeding the monkey at regular intervals may have its benefits but, last time I checked the ingredient list, I’m also one-third human and we mere mortals need to eat too dagnabbit. It’s all well and good endorsing shenanigans but I can’t lose track of all the blood and sinew as it plays just as critical a part in informing my output. I wish to resonate with my readership, find that common ground and plant a flag or two, use every last impulse to spark another and get some electricity flowing around here. How do that depends largely on what topic I’m looking to wax on and I can only do so much without burning myself out. Should it be required for me to bleed a little on occasion, then I’ll do so without dalliance. Failure to do so equates to giving less than my absolute all and I couldn’t fathom approaching this gig half-hearted.
Everybody hurts and I’m certainly no exception. Sometimes the weight on my shoulders threatens to buckle my spirit and it is then that I release the valve as it’s the only tried and tested defense mechanism I can rely on. Channeling angst keeps me in the game and, given my generally sunny outlook, enables me to wrestle darkness into light so as not to leave others feeling put upon. The last thing I want is to unload my baggage on anyone else but, by revealing my load once in a while, you never need feel alone with your own. Many hands make light work I hear and I love the camaraderie that comes from striking those chords and encouraging others to do the same. Togetherness is everything to me and regardless of whether or not it feels like I have a social presence, I’m never less than 100% hands-on-deck when kicking back here in my comfort zone. I know one thing, there is nowhere I’d rather be than the one place where the sky need not be the limit. If that makes me a shameless dreamer, then I guess that explains my tendency to lean towards pillow talk.
So you see, I may be a sinner but I’m as harmless as a stuffed beanie really and just as much of a hugger. It’s the intimacy I crave most and this is what writing provides with open arms. Whether making you laugh, cry, or identify matters not as long as I can encourage you to feel. It’s a two-way deal as every last emotion spilled onto parchment comes from deep and aims to hit the same cavernous spot with my readership. The moment that ceases being the case, is the very same one that I punch out and find another “hobby” to pass the time. Can you see me knitting sweaters or baking pastry? Neither can I and I’ve built up too much momentum to throw in the towel now, even though my task can appear a thankless one at times. That’s just the nature of the beast I’m afraid; lay yourself bare and you run the risk of being made to feel that you’re simply frittering valuable syllables. However, by doing so, I’ve learned more about both myself and others than at any point in my life. If that’s not good reason to engage in a spot of benign misdemeanor, then what have the past 40+ months been in aid of? Besides, look at the fun to be had.