Thursday, October 27, 2016

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.....And Head!!

I am well aware that it has been a long time since I have done anything on this site, and am also aware that I may not be talking to an empty room. While I'd sooner have a few people read what I rattle on about here, this blog was always more about having a place to dump out the things in my head than having an audience fawning over my every word.

I recently ran across a website that delivers daily writing prompts, and I felt that it might be nice to start taking some of the ideas that those prompts spark and put them on virtual paper. This may not be a daily thing for me, but when the mood strikes, I will write something. The prompt for today is "SMOKE," and I have to say that the idea came very quickly for me.

That image that you see there is a lot what it feels like inside my head at times. I have, for over a decade now, suffered from anxiety and depression. I am often asked what it feels like, and have found it tough to explain. I have used fog as a metaphor in the past, but smoke works just as well, and may actually be more appropriate now that I think about it.

I tend to think of my head as my favorite space to go to for comfort. Great memories are kept there, and there always appear to be new images hanging on the walls, many of which give me ideas for things to write about. It's a place where I can be totally free, and where I feel as though I can come to no harm.

When I get into one of my rather nasty little funks, or I become anxious about some seemingly innocuous event that I have to attend, that room becomes a whole lot less hospitable. Things quickly become hazy, and breathing normally becomes a chore. My happy hidey-hole becomes filled with smoke, and it chokes me to the point where I just want to smash open a widow and scream for help. Now, if only I could find that window.

My wife is usually the one who finds here way into that room and gently opens the window for me, clearing the air and calming me down in one move. The time between these events has grown a little longer in recent years, and while I know they will probably never fully go away, I know that they will be manageable as long as I have someone by my side who sees the signs and knows how to clear the smoke from the room.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Too Fat To Dance

Every day is Groundhog Day in my world, just as long as I can avoid mirrors. I wake up every single day and believe that I am 25. In fairness to my mind, that was an age when I was young, spry, and could do the splits from a 4-foot dance floor drop. If I were to try that now you wold hear my knee cartilage pop like milk on Rice Krispies.

My knees being arthroscopically probed.
All of this doesn't mean that I don't try to give it plenty on the dance floor that is the space where my cat isn't stretched out on the living room carpet. I love music, I love to dance, but I can only embrace one of those hobbies without going into cardiac arrest. You guys decide which is which.

Tonight is a dance party night, but my knees and heart tell me to shut shit down and act my age. My head rules the roost in this kingdom, though, which make tomorrow a day sponsored by Ben-Gay.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Taking It Too Far

It always starts the same way; I get a little nugget of an idea for a story, usually from something I dream, and then I start a dialogue inside my head. It usually all begins with a single character talking to no-one in particular, and it's when the replies start to come that the story begins to flesh out a little fuller.

This current idea started somewhat differently, in that it came from an article I read about the 3 am to 4 am hour being when the veil between our world and the next is at its very thinnest. I was intrigued by this, and started to imagine what it would feel like for someone to be tormented by unseen forces during that hour. What started as a very basic concept eventually turned into a story about crib death, relationships breaking apart, and a level of violence that went beyond anything I had ever written before. That I have written some brutally violent stuff gives you an idea of how bad it was.

I was a little concerned!

I'm not usually one to censor myself, but I was finding it difficult to get this story out, whilst also finding it unbearable to have in my head. It didn't help that the story format I was choosing was going to be in journal form, making the act of storytelling a little trickier. I started writing this thing, but was troubled. I decided it was time to tell the idea to my editor and harshest critic: my wife.

As I revealed the details of this little yard, I could see her become increasingly disturbed. I cannot remember the exact words she said, but it was something along the lines of..."isn't there any way to tone this down a little? It's horrible as is?" I thought of a few ways to perhaps lighten things up, but the emotional impact was instantly removed.

And so the word document, innocuously named "3AM" with the opening few hundred words sits in my desktop and taunts me every time I open my laptop. I want to delete it, but find that I cannot. The struggle is real, and I know that on some sleepless night, probably between 3 and 4 in the morning, that thing is going to call me out and make me finish this space!!