Tuesday, April 8, 2014

2000 WORDS



TACTICAL

Have I mentioned that Omaha still has that “new car smell”?  By that I mean the memories that I have of traveling about town can still feel foreign and familiar in the very same moment.  Each time that I have one of those flashes (which are similar, I think, to NPR “driveway moments”) I am flooded by waves of emotions, and as each wave crashes into me, it leaves nothing but positive feelings in its wake.

The people, the social environment, where I live, it all feels like I am putting on new clothes for my first day of elementary school!  I don’t have any “typing” for any of the people I contact with in town, nor am I bogged down with any observations about the spinnings of others around me.  As I touched on in my previous entry, I have no real compulsion to think about my more recent past, relationship-wise, and I would like to think that for most readers, this information should not be surprising .


I like to believe that I don’t flail about vainly in my life. There is no despairing, no sense of hopelessness, no fear of the “things we know that we don’t know” (Errol Morris, an excellent documentary filmmaker, has made a documentary on Don Rumsfeld… GO SEE IT..!) .  I live with intention and I strive to fulfill whatever my life’s potential contains.

I ran into an Aisha Tyler quote about failure and what exactly failure is.  “Success,” she begins, “is not the absence of failure.  Success is persistence through failure.”  This concept will be revisited again in this entry and prolly throughout this journal, as it is sound advice that I will seek to apply as I work towards my hopes.

ON WRITING


Recently I read an article about writing that discussed some of the tips that Stephen King gives in his book, “On Writing”, that I am going to incorporate into my rasion d’etre.  I still recall my boyhood when I would create “novellas” out of the green lined paper that teachers gave to me and my fellow elementary school students to complete our grammar and arithmetic lessons on.  This decision comes as I have questioned how much more time I am going to be able to devote to journaling.

My ethic doesn’t allow for much crap complaining and whining. For some, journaling is about just that, moaning and groaning about their unfortunate state of being.  I decided to stop my own personal free-fall, and journal of their lives and that is why I began giving out “Tactical”, because the essential matters in my life do not send me into a pity spiral should something in my day-to-day go awry.  I don’t see why it should, after all, my life is one that has been touched by something special, something that I have always appreciated about my being.  This is a quality that I look for in others, particularly those who bid to be close to me, either in a friendship or a loveship, and that brings me again to mentioning both Nebraska and Princess.

I don’t speak AT ALL to either of them but if I am going to write, then I think I am covered by poetic license in what I scribble about in relating my “non-fictional accounts of a fictional story”.  After all, I do know that those who aspire to write are often encourage to “write what they know”, and judging from some of the poorly written books that go on to best seller status ( am I looking at the Twilight/Shades of Grey authors!), that seems to be good advice.  So my life events are definitely going to be the source of my inspiration and if Nebraska sees something that she feels challenged by and it is not alluded to in my Tactical section, then it should be taken with a full measure of salt.

Being told that I could be a writer isn’t anything that I had not heard before.  But it is with irony that one of the most prominent supporters of my writing potential, other than “ma mere”, was prolly my ex-wife*.  She was always egging me to write but she could not see that the riotous household that we held court in throughout our relationship was in no way conducive to any artistic expression, much less a literary one.  And now we begin to dig around the clues that lead to our marital fail.

Because of my nature, it will likely be “your” fault that things work out.  This is not because of any delusions on my end - there are reasons that I don’t have much to say about either Nixxie or Pecan Sandie (though for the latter, she does provide material to build a respectable case against!), but again, because of my approach to coupling, the options are either for the object of my affection to either respond affirmatively or decline.  There is no in-between and with both of my Omaha interests, that was pretty much the case.  The hesitancy that both Nebraska and Princess showed during our involvement put me at avoidable risk.  

HARD CONVERSATIONS


Ash Beckham’s TED Talk touches the heart of what may have seemed to be my anger (or to some, an innate dislike) with women.  It isn’t that I am a closet misogynist but that I believe people who are living in their closets are not willing to be real with not only others but to themselves.  With women, I think that many of their relationships fail because of circular thinking and grandiose expectations… champagne dreams and champale money.  It is stunning that even as some would nod their head in agreement, that for many women, being able to change the level of their thinking and rise above the same tired patterns in their relationships is simply beyond their ability.  

One of the reason’s that I have told myself that I was not going to be a writer has nothing to do to a lack of ability.  One of the earliest reasons that I have for not dedicating myself to writing before was the effect that it had on me.  Again, because I could only “write what I knew”, what I thought that I knew at that time was a type of oppression from the mainstream.  I never remember being a part of what everyone else was, even among my fellow comic book mavens and dungeon adventurers.  I was athletic, very interested in sports, and socially adept enough to diffuse most of the harrowing situations that occurred when the spotlight of the “It crowd” fell upon the nerdling clatch I huddled with.  This would lead to another one of my great moments of revelation, being introduced to Richard Wright and reading, “The Outsider”.  If Dante’s “The Divine Comedy” was the overarching premonition of my life, then Wright’s “The Outsider” represents the character of my life, personified by anguished Cross Damon.

THE ASTERISK *

A woman with whom I am an acquaintance with recently was aghast at my referencing my ex-wife as my “starter wife”.  She refused to let me go on with my rambling until I chose a different title for my marital partner, pooh-pooing my sense of humour.  She said that it was a little disrespectful of the vows I took, and I felt that deep in my soul.  I thought that I was really moving beyond my uproarious marriage by making light of it, and it was not until I got called out on it that I looked at my actions from a different perspective.



Introversion, like much of “nerd culture”, seems to suffer from a loss of poignancy from overuse.  From being a description for people who were more circumspect in their self-analysis, introversion has come to be appropriated by the among the “pity chic”, people who are selfish by nature, seeking to gain some sort of credibility or sympatico a certain crowd.  The current application of the word “introvert” in everyday language kind of defines the “You keep using that word…” scene from the movie, “The Princess Bride”.  Either that, or they simply don’t remember
the degree of suckitude that came with wearing that particular badge.


Looking inside of myself as I reconsidered the merits of the continued use of the term “starter wife”, I had to admit that there was something beyond my snarky attachment to those words that had a hold onto me.  It was as though a small piece of my spirit was still chained to a past that neither had current relevance or predicated any of my future actions, save the use of drawing similes to my ex-wife was grounds for termination of any relationship with a woman.  And sure enough, when I assented to the request made by my conversation partner,  I felt increased from within, that I had extra space on my “hard drive” and my spirit felt lighter.

LETTING GO OF THE PAST

I was listening to “The Moth” radio program this weekend and one of the segments featured Walter Mosley, the  best selling author of books such as “The Devil in a Blue Dress” and others in his “Easy Rawlins” series.  He told a story about letting go of the past, using the example of how language has changed and that the meanings of words evolve to fit the time and if you are unable to leave the past in the past, you will find yourself not understanding the world and times that you are in.  This story really affected me and caused me to reflect upon both of the major relationships I have had here in Omaha.

I won’t be able to do the effortless storytelling skills of Mr. Mosley justice, so I think you would be better taking the 5 or 6 minutes to catch the enlightenment that he shares.  But it dealt with all the baggage that many of us carry around and how that baggage ultimately determines who we are, much like the way the character of a valley is determined by the river that flows through it.  With both Nebraska and Princess, clinging to old interpretations and experiences contributed to the fail that we shared.  If there is any lingering regret, it is that I feel I was not given a fair and equal opportunity, at least not in the way they were given the opportunity to be a part of my life.

Finally, the summer is still looking like it will be a go.  If there is a chance for summer classes I will take a swing at them but I most definitely will be getting my personal trainer’s certification.  That way when I visit Ken & Beth, I can offer them “expert” tips at home fitness!  Got a couple of speeches to get prepared so I don’t expect to be doing too much blogging… hope that everyone is doing well and I will see you later (that is, unless I see you first..!)!

4 comments:

mrs.missalaineus said...

hoping to see you when you venture back to yankee territory!

xxalainaxx

abbiestreehouse said...

I loved the Aisha Tyler quote, and the "new car smell" analogy. You have a real knack for remembering little details and spinning them into a narrative!

betty said...

I think Omaha has been a good place to put down roots for a bit, Mark; I know certain parts of it might not have gone the way you might have liked, but overall it seems like you've been thriving there. I do like that quote with success; lots of wisdom in it.

Ken Riches said...

Looking forward to the tips. At least you can get a workout in while you are here!