Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Et Serpentes Incipiunt Cantus

When I was an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher in Korea, I taught the kids the "pull my finger" game, and it didn't go so well.  They kept pulling their own fingers and trying to make themselves fart.  It was something lost in translation and no matter what, I just couldn't teach that game, but oh I tried.

It's the curse of language.  Writers will always try to get a message across and half the time it's muddled up in convoluted wording.

I've been a wreck this past week.  For a guy as lucky has I've been you would think I'd have learned gratitude and all of those other noble attitudes but no.

I'm going to say this right here--I'm the luckiest fucking guy on the planet right now.  I've got people watching my back and helping me through some seriously arduous times.

To give you an idea of just how lucky I am, my car died.  Bad enough, but my neighbor pulled apart the motor to replace the head gasket, which isn't an easy task.  I've never done that kind of work before but he does it for a living.  So, work all day, come home, and do your job for somebody else.

After all of that and putting the motor back together, he figured out my heads were warped, and that's why the gasket failed.  My car was a dead horse.

But wait!

He finds a guy who just happens to have a car that runs but needs work and he gives it to him.  Free.  Along with the replacement part it needs.

So, my neighbor, in the dead of winter, in between working full-time hours, puts this car on a trailer, drags it back here, and fixes it.

Once we get the car off the trailer, drive it, and check some things he hands me the keys and says, "how do you like your car?"

When was the last time anybody has done that for you?

But it gets better.

Somebody sent me a prepaid Visa gift card out of the kindness of their heart because they knew the State of Illinois was screwing me on my unemployment.  I didn't ask and they offered because they knew things were tight.

I have people watching out for me.  I have people helping me.  The universe, the Powers That Be, are taking good care of me right now.

I even got a short story submitted.  This story was commented on by some amazing people and I used their notes to make it awesome.  I'm certain the place I submitted it to will be kind when they reject it.  I'm afraid of being more optimistic than that, lest I curse myself, and make things even worse. 

What's the difference between now and then?

I asked the universe for help.  And I did it in plain English with simple words.  I was careful so nothing was lost in translation.

A couple of months ago, I stood in my apartment at 2:00 AM, shaking and shivering, twitching, chilled but my skin was on fire, and unable to sit because my legs had ants crawling in my muscles.  I made my intentions clear.

A soul can scream out into the ether if the will behind it is strong enough.  And I was so very tired of the bullshit.  That always simplifies language.

"I need help!"

I was done.  I was done with a lot of the bullshit in my life.  I was done with how things were going.  I was done with the choices I'd made and I was working on cleaning up a very large mess.

When you put that sort of message out into the universe, and you drive it out with the force of iron will, it resonates.  It makes things very clear to anybody who is listening.  The Powers that Be, the Gods, or whatever you believe in, and they will respond.  That's when it gets ugly.

In the past few weeks, I've gotten knocked around a bunch.  Choices have been made for me, things have ended I would have preferred to keep going, and people have entered my life who are incredible.  They say you don't want to see sausage or laws being made and when you ask the Universe for help, it's the same way.  It's ugly and brutal.

But it's right.

This feels right.  I feel like I'm on the right path.  It's been a long, hard road, but I know it's the right one.  For the first time in a very long time, I can honestly say I'm headed in the right direction, and not be full of shit when I say it.  I don't have to lie to myself and I don't have to lie to anybody else.

When you put that sort of message out there into the Universe, things change in ways you never imagined, like opportunities.  Nothing gets done for you but the way is clear for you to bury your shoulder and drive with your legs forward into the unknown.  Keep your head up and feet moving, Bubba--don't stop until the ref blows the whistle.

I know not to mess with the Universe too much.  Simple questions, simple needs.  This is why I'm alone.  I can't imagine the horror of dragging somebody else along for the ride through this roller coaster that went off the rails a long time ago.

Once again, I'm lucky.

I'd feel horribly guilty if I had somebody who made me a priority in their life as I dragged them through this hell-ride with me.  It's better to be on my own for this.  Sure, hugs are nice, but knowing you're dragging somebody too dumb to let go through this stretch of emotional broken glass is just too much.

The look of disappointment on the face of someone who cares as I relapse and lose this war is just something I could not bear to witness.  Once again, the Universe has stepped in, so that won't be an issue.

It's a great night to write.  It's snowing and there's nothing on television.  I'm working on a novella that was missing something important until I figured out it needed a Little Timmy.  Sadly, Little Timmy isn't going to make it, and his death will weigh heavily on our MC.  I'm not sure how exactly I'm going to kill him off and how it will connect to the MC yet, so I've been playing around with it, waiting for Little Timmy to speak up and tell me how he buys the farm.

I'm writing because that's what the universe wants me to do.  It's the only thing in my life that feels like forward progress to me.  As many of you know, I feel a kinship with Darth Vader, and I always have.  This week I found a video about his character that solidified this connection for me even more.  It is only through my writing that I can find any glimmer of light.   

If this is what the Universe wants then I guess I'd better go with it.

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