I like being flawed. It gives me something to write about.
It gives me something to work on.
In doing so, I develop new flaws that can keep me busy later, too.
It makes me think of the second album of this band I love. Loved?
The first album was perfect. Out of twelve or so songs, I only avoid listening to three—especially when I have my kids in the van.
The second album has maybe three or four songs worth listening to. The rest seem like they just got high and tried to tap back into those rough times before they made it big—the times that inspired the first album's songs and drove it to success.
…Unless you're just a royal fuck up who never learns from her mistakes, you'll eventually run out of truthful material.
Or, maybe you're like me and randomly unlock boxes of shit from the past that keep your non-fiction library full of potential content.
Climbing through the dusty attic in your head, there they all are, stacked in the furthest corner with a thick sheet of dust settled atop them. You can see the particles suspended in the air around you.
Where's the light coming from? It's not clear.
There are no windows or doors. How you got up there, you're unsure. But you're there, anyhow. Surrounded by suspended particles lit from a light source unknown.
It's just you in the dusty room full of boxes.
You reach for the first box in front of you. You know what's in it. Maybe not exactly what it is, but you know it's going to hurt you if you open it. But you touch it anyway.
Swiping the dust from it's domed lid, like a treasure box, you think. All right. This one won't hurt. It must've been from when I was a kid. Nothing too bad in there, I'm sure.
It's just one box. It couldn't be that bad, right?
You open it.
It's contents flood your sight in a bright white, like the blast of a nuclear bomb you've seen in one of those old-time movies within a movie. Then you're in it. Like a dream, but you're playing yourself from twenty-five years earlier.
It was a birthday party. Everyone seems happy and smiling, paced as if in a slowed-down home movie.
Just as you're about to blow out the candles, your vision erodes like over-exposed film and you're back in the attic.
All the boxes start clicking around you. The suspended particles abruptly shift and the dust from atop the boxes explode into the air.
Nuclear bomb-white peek from the cracked box lids.
This is it, you think. I shouldn't have opened the box.
'How's your business going?'
'Fine.' I hate it.
My fingers are crossed, but I'm not sure if that's enough anymore.
They always end up letting you down.
It always happens in droves.
She caught me with the knife when I was sixteen, maybe seventeen.
There's no winning with blame.
Every time I think I'm getting better at this whole life thing, I do something wrong and set it back.
I like getting older.
There's something about with age and experience comes wisdom that's exhilarating.
I'll see this one through, I tell myself. I'll finish it.
After this, I'll put it to bed. After this, I'll move forward.
Something I learned as a visual artist and writer is that some of the best healing comes from expression.
There's something surreal about standing in front of a crowd of strangers—writers who all want the same thing.
At the end of the Writers In Paradise sessions, everyone got a chance to present a refined version of their submitted work, or a new story they were working on.
I was the only teenager at Writers in Paradise with Dennis Lehane, Sterling Watson and other well-known authors back in 2006.