Article: 261310 of talk.bizarre
From: (Meredith Tanner)
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: what it's like
Date: 30 Nov 1995 23:27:55 -0800
Organization: Best Internet Communications
Lines: 97
Message-ID: <49mapr$>
Status: O

i used to have the most incredible imagination.  i could
spend hours -- days -- weeks living in a fantasy world.  
i had plenty of them to choose from.  i had boxes filled
with writing.  i wrote all the time.  i wrote in class. 
i wrote between classes.  i wrote at lunch.  i wrote all
afternoon, and all evening.  i wrote about aliens and 
elves and mutants and anything that was out of place. 
i filled hundreds of notebooks.  i failed classes because
i never paid attention.  some nights i wrote till dawn
and was a zombie all the next day.

writing was better than thinking.  it was an escape 

today i was going to post some of that writing.  not
much; most of it sucks, and all of it is creepy.  i 
didn't write it for anyone else.  i wrote it for myself.  
i never knew why i wrote it, i just had these stories in 
my head.  i had to get them out.  i've only ever showed
one of those stories to anybody at all.  grendel knows
what it's like.  i knew she wouldn't laugh.

but i can't post any of it, because it's in a trunk under
the tv, and i can't move the TV myself.  my arthritis is
too bad.  and curtis won't help.  gotta get back to work,
he said.  yeah, i guess you do.  sure, i understand.

i never actually finished any of these stories, mind
you.  i wrote the beginnings and the ends.  sometimes
just the beginnings, sometimes just the ends.  never
middles.  because beginnings are exciting, and endings
are happy, but middles are the hard part.  they take
forever, and they usually hurt.  

back then, i'd do just about anything to avoid hurt.

i've read and re-read all that writing, and thrown 
most of it away.  it was too telling.  some of it was
so raw i was embarrassed for my earlier self.  in
almost all the stories, i had written from the male
point of view.  i had written about freaks.  scars
were everywhere, physical and otherwise.  i had drug
addicts and alcoholics.  hit men and rapists.  i had
amputees and aliens and mutants.  half-human, half-
animal hybrids.  oh, and mutes.  i went through a big
aphasia phase.

oh, but that's not all.  they're all romance stories.
well, melodrama, really.  and everyone, every single 
character in every single story, had a Secret.  a big,
ugly secret.  none of them had families or friends.  
all those characters were completely alone in the world.  
until the end of the story, of course, when both 
characters would tell their secrets and then they'd 
have each other.  and everyone would, i suppose, live
happily ever after.  i don't know.  i never wrote that
part.  i think mostly i just couldn't really imagine
what a happily ever after would be like.

it's so fucking obvious.  so pathetically obvious.

so anyway, i used to write all the time.  and now i
don't.  can't, really.  now that i understand what 
drives that writing, i find it so embarrassing that i
have to stop.  it's no longer an escape from hurt.  it 
just hurts more.

of course, these days, there isn't any escape anyway, 
because i hurt all the time.  the arthritis just gets
steadily worse, and i'm in pain pretty much 24/7.  
physical pain tends to anchor a person in the concrete.  
it also makes you irritable.  it makes concentration
difficult and meditation nearly impossible.  forget 
creativity.  it's exhausting.  you get through the day,
and that's all you can do, and all you want to do.  
just let it be over, for god's sake.  is it bedtime
yet?  the day takes a long time when you spend it all
waiting for it to be over.

funny how the things you need to escape from the most
always have the tightest hold on you.

the funny thing is i still want to write these stories.
i want to be the female characters now, but not much
else has changed.  the characters still come to life in
my head, the scenery still lays itself out for me, but
no one has anything to say.


aphasia indeed
Fertile in naught but faking/Futile each season passes;
And scrutiny discloses/Thy most prodigious Roses
Are really Horse's Asses. -- Don Marquis