(I wrote this back in February and found it just now while cleaning out my jump drive…)
One of my best friends told me that my writing has sucked lately. I can take this criticism about as well as I can take someone flicking me in the earlobe repeatedly for twenty-three minutes straight. I mean, I’m tough. I can handle it.
She’s right, though, about the sucking. I haven’t felt inspired by anything anecdotal or amusing or even weird. I haven’t been rude to any strangers or tripped over my own ego falling with my foot in my mouth, and I haven’t even watched anything exciting on television to report. Not even Full House reruns. You want to know why? Why is there nothing I can write about on the internet to entertain the bored secretary in between scheduling meetings and answering the multi-line phone? Because I AM the bored secretary and there are only so many times a person can write about sticking a thumb tack through her eyelid before the readers become uncomfortable and concerned. Besides, the real reason my writing sucks, is because I can’t write about the things I really want to write about. Things like how many times a day my boss plays with himself through his pants pocket, or how sometimes I have a strong urge to drive off bridges on the highway…not because I’m suicidal…but because I can, or how I’ve been spending the majority of my time having sex and that’s why I haven’t called any of my friends lately and why my family turns a blind eye to what they know is happening yet is out of their control. It’s nothing personal. I’m not a sucky writer because I lost my muse…I’m a sucky writer because I lost my freedom.
I want to grow some balls. I read blogs every day where people pontificate about the president, their political and religious views…doing so in a manner that says, “I know you agree with me because this is the view of all intellectuals and if you disagree you are not one.” It is arrogance at the highest level, and I sit back and let it trickle down my spine like an epidural in reverse. I am a coward because I know my views belong to few, and what if no one wants to read what I have to say? What if I piss someone off? What if I told you that I laugh like crazy inside my head when I see someone with a lazy eye? What if I am a disappointment? What if I’m human?
The first time I ever lied to my mother was when I was in 6th grade. I went away for a week with my class to this camp in the woods where the older girls thought it would be fun to put make-up on me. I let them do it regardless of my conscience reminding me of how adamant my mother was that I was too young for makeup. Before I went home, I tried to wash it all off but the mascara wanted to stay on. FOREVER! My mom immediately noticed and started yelling at me because I “knew better”. I wanted to be her good girl. I wanted to please her. So I lied to her and told her that it was charcoal…that we were playing a game in the woods where we had to be camouflaged and I couldn’t wipe it all off and could she help me please when we got home? She apologized for yelling and told me that she should have known I would never disobey her, that I was her good girl. (Mom, you’re just now hearing the truth about this outright act of disobedience and I can’t help but want to scream out, “I PROMISE I DIDN’T LIE ALL THE TIME! IT WAS ONLY ONCE!”).
That same weekend we learned an Indian war chant that started with the word “ookalala”. “Bring on the war paint! Hell Yeah! OOKALALA!”, that’s what I want to sing at the top of my lungs while I jump up and down completely naked! But instead, I shake hands and say, “hello.”, “nice to meet you.”, can I get you something to drink?” Sometimes I step outside of myself and I swear to God, I sometimes see myself do a little curtsy.
How can I defend my right to write when I’m not really saying anything worth reading? My grandma always says, “You can’t gamble with scared money”. Translation: I will never succeed as a writer if I’m afraid to commit my words to paper…all the words, not just the pretty ones or the ones that make my friends and family say nice things. But all of them. All. Of. Them.