It is going to be a long, lonely winter of edits.
There are currently thousands and thousands of bitter words loitering embarrassingly around this forgotten and overlooked little blue house. And they are all relying upon me for a polish. Or a learned, insightful nudge into a more meaningful incarnation of themselves. Or maybe even a brutally justified dismissal, if deemed to longer hold any value in the storyline unfolding.
And it is a seemingly never-ending cycle of printing, scribbling, patching, and tweaking. Over and over. Night after night. Marking time in the endless hours with only a red pen’s ink for company, indiscriminately mixing in a fair amount of alcohol, just to numb the underlying naked brutality of it all.
It is a catastrophically flawed and abusive relationship with those words hanging precipitously off the edge of a temperamental muse unraveling. Not many new words have been written recently, so I am callously revisiting some old familiar battlefields, ruthlessly slashing and modifying, regardless of previous emotional attachment to either character or intent. I am pushing myself to make gutsy cuts, clinically provocative and experimentally deep, like an emotionally damaged misunderstood teenage girl sitting cross-legged on an unmade bed, chasing the razor’s kiss alone in a room full of outgrown horses and abandoned stuffed animals that smells vaguely like a mixture of bubble gum, body sprays, and drying blood.
Writing has never really been a particularly enjoyable endeavor for me. It is never like what is so often portrayed in fluffy, idealized Hollywood puff pieces. There are no tweed coats or itchy wool sweaters with fashionable patches sewn at the elbow, worn handsomely while smoking a contemplative pipe, staring out the magnificent window of a place that I would never be able to afford.
My experience has always been… messier. It has never held the imprint of an ivory tower tinged perspective because that simply fails to interest me. I much prefer the blue collared views from within the smokey dive of another grungy, unpredictable bar. That is where the real and the provocative are most often located, out on the fringes of an underbelly world populated only by broken, damaged people joining collectively together temporarily in the comforting uniformity of their respective addictions.
And I miss my people.
Because I am just as damaged as the unwashed company I compulsively seek. Indisputably so, some would undoubtedly say, given just how many times I have been found wanting and pushed away into isolations inspired long before a global pandemic’s scourge coughed onto the scene and made it trendy.
Wrapped in that familiar cloak of an unwanted hipsterdom born of intentional rejections, it occurs to me that more than just the words need editing this winter. I will also need to start editing people and relationships- it is a necessary shift required for the sake of a ridiculous narrative’s ultimate survival.
Because some people are just too predictably toxic. And some are closeted manipulators, invested fully in the long con. Others remain disingenuously chaotic because they consistently embrace the burning heat of another dumpster fire’s familiar decision, constantly recycled because they like the feel of that repetitive burn.
They don’t think that I have noticed. But I have. In the chess game’s tick-tock rhythm of intuition, I have already seen four or five moves ahead. Probabilities have been pondered and the percentages determined, so I know how the stories end long before that final page is ever reached, like a mediocre sitcom playing out all around me. And it’s nothing but just another cookie-cutter script full of the same old tripe.
Divorce, theirs or mine, it doesn’t really matter. Infidelity of the most mundanely vanilla variety. Mid-life crises of varying degrees, all conceived heavily in the cliche. Choices made years ago now questioned in a pandemic’s looming shadow of forced introspection.
All so panderingly predictable. All just residually toxic runoff from a once idealized suburbia now dying of a terminal infection caught long before a pandemic’s first ventilated push ever threatened.
So, it is a winter meant for targeted edits, clinically employed with critical eye and dispassionate intent.
A final cataclysmic shift towards the seductive promise of a more interesting dynamic with a single strike of the pen. Then a flicked spin of a vintage lighter’s wheel to burn it all down before a smash cut edit away from a City of Wayne’s engulfed skyline crumbling to an artistic beach scene somewhere down Yucatan way.
That sounds like a much more interesting story.
And that is the one I intend to write…