I write when I’ve got the blues. In fact, I’m trying to train myself to feel inspired at times other when I’ve got ’em.
I guess it came out of my Trauma Time (vaguely Hunger Games-ish, is it not?) when I had to get it out or burst. The feeling in my stomach, the place that felt the injury the most from, would intensify, not a hardness or a pain, but a deep and pliable softness. Like I was ready to give birth, maybe. And then I’d write.
And I would feel better afterwards.
This is when I had faith that I had something to say.
At first it was a trauma blog that I maintained on OkCupid, a letter to the city that hurt me.
Then I extracted some of that, a fable in particular, and felt that I needed to write like that.
Bad idea. I was high on Adderall when I wrote that story, and it just didn’t come in the same way. The Adderall writing was like a tingling in my head, intense and focused.
What I feel now is more fluid, following a feeling inside of me instead of in my skull.
I’ve gone through a rebirth of sorts.
For years, I couldn’t write.
I was a cocky kid, thought I was better at this than anybody else.
Until one day when somebody smacked me, and knocked me off of my tiny wooden pedestal for good.
“Amy the Wunderkind! Hahhahahahaaha.” Admittedly, I’d called myself a prodigy and needed a little bit of chastising.
But not like this, not from her, that bitch whom I had tried to befriend.
She fancied herself a writer too, and like a lot of formerly bullied kids, had absorbed the viciousness of their taunts to make her her own private bully, and a bully to others. To people like me.
I guess we were the same, really. Formerly taunted, snickered at, talked about. High opinion of ourselves that hinged on only one thing.
For me it was writing (oh thou god of Demons) and for her, it was finding victims.
I still think that I reminded her of herself, which is why I became such a target for her. A sick dualism.
I hadn’t learned how to let certain people in my bubble, and then let them out again if they had done something hurtful or threatening.
In fact, because I’d had a love-hate relationship with certain people (students, teachers) in high school, I pursued excactly the people who were bad for me.
Her words still sting to this day.
But maybe what I was undergoing at the time that I lost my writing ability wasn’t a loss, but an evolution.
I fell in love with music. Hard.
I had the biggest collection of pirated mp3’s in my dorms, with a heavy dose of show tunes and live performances.
I eschewed things like Ween because they were so damn popular. Fucking snob.
And that’s what led me here, and to Portland, and to the music classes where I felt I could write, even in a slightly more clipped version (clipped wings? I don’t think so) than I had earlier. It’s what led me to play Mumford and Sons over and over again, both in the Trauma Time and in my Recovery.
“You are not alone in this. You are not alone in this. As brothers, we will stand, and we’ll hold your hand.”
I remember singing that line from Mumford and Sons so much during the hard times. Somehow it played on the nightly radio station and I latched on.
What I needed back in those days when I was ridiculed by the bitch is more of a spine, more of a sense of humor.
Maybe more Allen Ginsberg.
“You want me to be a saint. It’s sinister. There must be some other way of handling this.”
I don’t know.
Now, I like to remember the revery and the books I read, the lectures I attended, the free writes I did (which were still pretty damn good).
I don’t like to think of the academics because I fell from grace. From a star to someone who could barely fashion a sentence.
Academic writing still dogs me. And honestly don’t know if this is because I’ve undergone a brain change or if I just lost my confidence and feel blocked.
What I do know is that I’m smart, and that I can write.
And that will get me into, and through, the blues.