There he was- a remarkable man; a savior who embodied calamity, conviction and intuition. Bewildered. She stared at him closely. She allowed her eyes to absorb the very nature of the man she did not know. Guarded. Her lungs absorbed an energy, a force, which was transparent in the open space between them. Inexplicable. Astounded by his ability to touch her soul, she ran. She ran into the open field, where fog thickly blanketed the air. She didn’t know where she was running to. All she could be certain of was that she was running from a stranger who made her feel like he knew her far too well.
Out of breath and out of time, she fell to her knees and threw her body to the ground. Afraid he may find her lying there, she grabbed onto the thin blades of grass, which demonstrated the only proof that wind existed, and pleaded with the man above to help her. She dug her face in the dirt and smelled the earth, ready to become a part of it and fearful she was fated to die. Silence became her. She could hear his body moving closer to where she lay. She dug her face deeper into the ground, reluctant; for she did not want her eyes to witness herself become a victim. She felt him standing over her. She held her breath and begged her body to rid itself of sensation. She became numb. Unable to sense what was going to happen next, she lay still, ill prepared to become his prey.
He stood there without much to say as he admired her in a submissive state. He was saddened by it. She lay there before him, withered, helpless and frightened. He could sense her loss of innocence, her obsession with self-destruction and her commitment to freedom and everything wild and free. He knelt next to her and asked if she was alive. She didn’t answer.
Somewhere amidst the chaos in the world, in their world, they found each other. It’s as if fate had magically worked itself out, as it usually does, bringing two lonely strangers to a place where being a nobody had lost its relevance. She hadn’t quite realized that her life had passed her by. She hadn’t realized that she wasn’t quite so little anymore. She had discovered that all was not right in the world. This became quite shocking for a frail girl with big eyes, a hungry heart and thirst for imagination. There, in the dirt, she lay disconnected from the outside world, in a tall field of grass listening to the crickets speak in unison with the speed of the wind. There was nothing ordinary about being ordinary to her. She forgot what it was like to change and be different, or perhaps it was the world she lived in that made it appear as though she hadn’t changed at all. She didn’t seem complacent or worrisome, yet there was a particular sadness that followed her- a certain kind of sadness that became addictive. Was she living to die or dying to live? Perhaps her blank face and routine days echoed a simple, yet profound statement about living such an ordinary life. Was she so different than the rest of her suburban neighbors? Undoubtedly no. Confined to this world, she became so plain because plain is all she could be if it meant blending in with a very, very unpromising Suburbia.
Although she hadn’t said a word about anything above, he was well aware of who she was and how she got there. He was intrigued. He lit a cigarette and handed it to her, “Now finish your story.”
Violated. He had violated her mind. Although she felt naked, she was compelled to finish where his ability to read her mind, had left off.
(Photo Credit: http://www.123rf.com)
Today, a certain nosey someone at the coffee shop poked his nose around my table to sniff out what I was doing. He decided that his question was important enough to interrupt my writing flow. I lied. It wasn’t important at all but apparently it was to him. He asked: “Why are you always here?” I replied, “Because I’m stalking you.” Well, I didn’t but I wanted to. Sometimes, well most of the time, my smart mouth doesn’t always work in my favor so I’ve learned to lock it up. Anyway, I politely answered, “I’m writing.” A few questions that followed were a little annoying, so I won’t bore you with those but the question, which stood out to me as funny and a little thoughtless, if you will, was this: “Why write?” He almost suffocated me with his arrogance, almost, but I managed to gasp for air and wave that stinky sticky question out of my face. I simply replied: “I write because I must.” I was short and to the point and he didn’t have much to say. Mission accomplished. With that, he filled up with air and deflated like a helium balloon. In my head, in my head he deflated like a helium balloon. Sometimes my imagination does what it must to add humor to some trying times.
After my annoying stranger-friend found something better to do, something dawned on me. I’m addicted to writing. At least I think I am. I write because I must echoed in the foreground of my mind, venomously. I repeated it over and over in my head. From the depth of writer’s land a flounder of words emerged. I exclaimed, “Damn you coffee shop stranger, damn you.” As I drowned out the relentless echo, I settled my fists of fury and collected myself. Alright, maybe this didn’t exactly happen. Perhaps I should save the theatrics for a game of charades, you say? Okay, deal.
I don’t remember why my addiction started or when it started, but I have an inkling that Stephen King may have something to do with it. Upon researching how to be the best you can be at your craft one day, I came across this quote by him, which read: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” This system has worked, for the most part. It’s become the method to my madness. There’s just one tiny problem. I can’t stop writing. Someone please help! I don’t want to be one of those people sitting across from a group leader who says with a confident grin, “Welcome to Writer’s Anonymous” and I don’t want to be one of those people who replies: “Hi, my name is M.T. and I’m here because I’m addicted to writing.” Is there even such a thing? Geez, what if there is? Should I check myself into rehab, into W.W.A? How much is too much? I suppose the first step to getting clean is admitting you have a problem. Here are some of the dreadful things I’m guilty of…
1.Five minutes before 5:00 p.m. I get all jittery and excited. Am I excited to see my drop-dead handsome dream man for our fancy shmancy date? Nope. I’m all jittery and excited to leave work to go write (cue in wah, wah, wah).
2. If I’m inspired, I have to write. There’s no doubt about it. Thank goodness for memo-pads on cell phones. It’s saved this crazy addict from diving off the deep end for a piece of paper and a pen.
3. When I’m on a roll I’m sure as hell and ready to annihilate anyone that interrupts me or even sneezes in my presence.
4. I won’t rest until I write.
5. Sometimes I write like the end of the world is approaching and the only thing left to do is write. Although, if the end of the world happened, my writing definitely wouldn’t survive it. Well, you know what I mean- it’s a figure of speech people!
6. Is it bad to admit that I’ve cancelled plans once or twice when I’ve felt a good idea brewing? Pathetic, I know.
7. My notebook looks like a crack head went AWOL.
8. I often, well more than often, find time during the day at work to write. Shh, my boss doesn’t know. Well maybe he does, but he won’t say anything because of #3. He knows.
9. My mood swings and irritability are a result of not being productive enough or not completing my writing goal for the day.
10. It gets my heart-a-racin’, especially after I’ve completed a perfectly formed sentence, found the right words to match my ideas, or when I’ve managed to pull it together after an all-nighter. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a coherent chef-d’oeuvre of words. I get a rush that surges through my body. It’s an exhilarating feeling most would compare to sex. Did I just compare writing to sex? Oh. My. God. Maybe this is worse than I thought.
Alright, so maybe I am addicted to writing, just maybe. The list above could be a pretty clear indication, I suppose. Most of this post is far-fetched. I’m sure you could sense that. Maybe that too is a characteristic of an addict. Anyway, some people have used writing as their means for recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, but what happens when writing becomes your addiction? Is there another outlet you can plug into to wean you off of writing? Is it safe to say that writing is a healthy addiction? I suppose I’ll leave the questions to the experts. Excuse me while I end this post. I need to get another fix.
Question for you: What is something that you would hate to go without for a day? For a lifetime?
Tales from a Coffee Shop…
I had the pleasure of meeting the kindest man named Jackson at the coffee shop yesterday evening. His infectious warmth and contagious smile is hard to ignore. He seems to light up the coffee shop whenever he enters it and he’s always addressing people as dear or lovely or sweetheart having never met them before. It always makes me smile. I had seen him a few times before, typing away on his lap top but I had never spoken to him until yesterday. I’ll definitely be adding him to my mug of coffee shop friends. I suppose you can already tell since he has found a place on my blog. Anyway, I’ll stop rambling now. Here is how the story goes…
A tall and lanky elderly man grabbed his coffee, walked by my table, paused and took a few steps back towards me.
“Hellooo. Watcha readin’?” he asked.
His grey eyes and face graced with wrinkles introduced a feeling of warmth and sheer happiness. He was an old fellow with a young soul and heart of gold. You could just tell.
“I’m reading Letters to a Young Poet,” I smiled holding the tiny book up.
“Letters to a Young Poet? Do you write poetry?”
I turned a little red and answered shyly, “I write some.”
“Aah so you’re a poet. Nice to meet you, I’m a writer,” he said.
It was interesting to see that he hadn’t introduced himself by name; rather he identified himself and I by our artistic endeavors. I asked him what kind of writer he was. “I’m an aspiring writer. I’m writing a book,” he told me with poise.
“About what?” I asked.
“It’s about the yearnings of life. We yearn for love. We yearn for happiness. We yearn for whatever our heart desires. So I’m writing a book about that.”
Such is life I thought. Come to think of it, it had never dawned on me until this moment. Jackson had a point. We spend most of our lives yearning for things that aren’t there. We try our damndest to end our search for love, for happiness, for success. It’s part of who we are as human beings and it’s part of the journey we call life.
The conversations we have when meeting new people make our day anything but dull. I find it fascinating and inspiring. Sometimes there’s a reason behind meeting an unfamiliar face. I always welcome new conversations with acquainted strangers. The people we meet along the way give us something to think about. They even have the power to inspire us. Jackson inspired this post.