Thursday, May 24, 2012

It’s not a hobo beard. It’s a writer beard.

This was actually the typewriter of demon frog "fame."

"It’s not a hobo beard. It’s a writer beard."

(This is a rough draft that mashes up some of my contributions here and other thoughts into what I hope to be the only piece I ever write 'On Writing,' for the next issue of Scree Magazine.)

I’ve got a problem and it’s about time I honed up to it.

It's hard to remember when my addiction started. I remember hammering awkwardly on an old-style typewriter about a demonic underworld that existed in the basement of a house we lived in. We had to go down into the basement in the cold and the dark and shovel coal to keep the house warm, and the story had something to do with the frog demons that lived down there and the boy that had to brave them every night to keep his family warm. Really deep stuff, clearly. I actually don't know if that is relevant to anything, but you've got to admit it's kind of cool I remember a story I wrote when I was eight or so.

I think it was my first time, but I could be wrong. Freud call these "screen memories," which basically means they are picture-stories that we use as memories. They are like the seeds of the story that we construct about childhood, because, you see, memories are a form of story. Everything about us is based on stories. Our sense of identity, all our beliefs even, are narratives, and this is why politics demands narratives that draw us in, whether they act on our intellect or our emotions.

I guess I’m saying we’re all story junkies. Don’t judge lest ye judge yourself.