Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Me Against Me: Slap-Boxing With The Toughest Of All Enemies

It must be akin to losing your virginity. Popping that cherry, breaking the underpants seal. Getting that first one out of the way, freeing your once-blocked spout to unleash the overflowing beast. The nerves and anxiety that preface the first time are heavy enough to turn you into Quasimoto. Weights on your shoulders that feel like anvils yet have no physical appearance. Leave you shooting blanks, time after time. The hardest obstacles to conquer are those which we can't see, of course, so this Claude Rains-like invisible villain is quite the formidable foe. Defeating the "I can't do it," or "I don't know how, I'm going to be terrible" enemy isn't impossible, however; it just takes dedication and a fearlessness that can come at any time.

I'm not talking about sex here, though. Smacking that first back can be anything to anybody. In my world, the immovable-for-the-time-being elephant in my head's room is that initial vision. One of the two dozen I have jotted down in my notepad of imagination, the lucky story that I'll cock back my shotty for and bust through my laptop's keyboard. An explosion of narrative, dialogue, and conflict. Mushroom clouds of fantasy, leaving a trail of made-up corpses as if Napalm had sprayed through the Land of Make Believe. "It smells like victory."

I often wonder how masters such as Richard Matheson, Rod Serling, and Stephen King were ever able to churn out so much fictional product with the ridiculous quickness. Natural born tale-tellers, they are/were. I truly think I have that same mental-assembly-line quality within me, I just need that premiere to take place, that proverbial red carpet to unravel.

Plenty of options are within my fingers' grasp, just need to pick the characters and set-up that most intrigue me and then run with them, like Emmitt in his prime. Just that, that damn insecurity/self-intimidation always comes into foul play. The unavoidable foe, the dastardly cockblock. Not that I doubt myself in the extreme sense that I don't think I'm able to be a great fiction mind; the dilemma is that I dream up this crazy, wild, inspired-by-Serling's-Twilight-Zone-and/or-EC-Comics'-old-Tales-from-the-Crypt ideas that I want to make sure are airtight. Filled with as much with and intelligence as scares and surprises. If I were just fiddling with romance or "coming of age" bullshit, I'd have written volumes of drafts by now. But I'm the kind of guy who habitually watches David Lynch films and that awesome T-Zone episode "Five Characters in Search of an Exit." That's the kind of storytelling that I want to execute. Not the norm. Nothing cute, pleasant, heartwarming. Punishing and cold rather than pretty and comfy.

I can feel that first attempt on the horizon, and it feels good. The necessary educational steps are being set in motion, to take me to that informed state of consciousness, where the creativity pours and the mind soars. Hand-to-keyboard exercises like all I've just written are therapeutic at best, productivity-delaying at worst. But, ultimately, steps in the right direction.

We all have our own demons. The dreams and goals that we aspire to yet constantly hold ourselves back from. Unfortunately, there is no exact science as to how we can emerge victorious, champions in our own soul-searching tournaments. I know that I'm ready to try on the belt. It's been way too long coming.

The fight will undoubtedly last all 12 rounds, but I'm confident that I have both the stamina and the strength to not pull a Ricky Hatton. It's time to Pacquiao.

1 comment:

Carol said...

The nerves and anxiety we can't control it will pop out from our face soon!!
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