Too often, and I myself am largely to blame for this, writer’s go out to search for a subject; inspiration, that “moment” of being struck by lightening (and ending up in a hospital shortly thereafter with a cool tattoo mother-nature left on my ass).
People watching can be creepy, especially if you look like me; Mid 20s, Odd-Ball, Sitting by himself staring into nothingness with shades on (I swear on my unborn children I have to wear them due to a medical condition)— “hmm, I wonder what that creep is doing near our park bench”.
Recently I’ve been reading back my favourite book of all time again, Down and Out in Paris and London; a book that I’ve unashamedly read over a dozen times.
What stays with me, is the observation — the stylistic characterisation, over exaggeration of simple events, and the relatability of it all.
Isn’t that what writing is all about? Relatability!
“Hey I feel that way too!”…
That gotcha moment that drenches our soul and makes us ponder, fuck man if only I was as good as George Orwell or David Foster Wallace.
Or if only I had a story to share about being trapped in a Slaughterhouse for survival, like Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Or if only Dumbledore was my grandpa and Beginners was a movie made about him.
I’d have a heck of a novel, maybe even have a Pulitzer by now.
What I often forget, bringing me back down to earth is — all I’ve got is stories and a mind that wanders too often; aloof as it is.
Bless the day I was born, and thank you to my parents for not putting me up for adoption.
Blessed with the curse of depression, which keeps me from running too far along pavements but gives me just the right amount of fuel to turn something mundane into a story every once in a while.
We all have “moments”, events around us every day; what matters is our perception.
Ever seen a kid fall face flat on one of those scooters with two wheels up front one in the back, and attempted to show sympathy when you really just wanted to laugh out loud.
Or the flawed design of the transportation device that should really just say, “We only invented it so that kids could fall face flat on concrete!”.
A design so poorly thought out that it would send shivers down the spine of Dieter Rams.
Moments that kinda just made you go, hey that could make for a cool story.
I wonder what that creep sitting on the bench is really pondering about.
I wonder what got him here, and why he seems so distraught.
I wonder why my barista poured my Skim-Milk instead of Full-Cream today; I wonder if she’s trying to tell me something…maybe I do need work on my abs.
Or maybe I’m just lactose intolerant, and just haven’t realised it yet.
If you’ve read previous stories from me, you’d realise I love standup comedians; I love improv comedy nights and attend a fair few of those.
I love the bravery it takes to take something so painful and turning it into comedy; isn’t that what we call fuel for the soul?
A coming mechanism of sorts.
As Chuck Palahniuk calls it “Cognitive Reframing”.
“…when I got the word that my father had been murdered by white suprematists in the mountains of Idaho, one of my first thoughts was…I’m off the hook for that Winona Ryder thing; and that’s cognitive reframing” (Ref: 2:28 Clip).
When I found out a loved one was diagnosed with Dementia, one of the most inappropriate comments that made me laugh out loud came from a dear friend; “…on the bright side no one will remember all the bad sex”.
Too politically incorrect for the current times, but just the right amount of silliness in a moment where there was no hope to be found.
I guess that’s what venting really is, coping with events; or whatever this is — art, expression, free speech, or just ramblings.
But all I’ve got is moments, memories clamouring along in my subconscious; swimming up upon the surface every once in a while to remind me, “Hey that could make for a great story”.