Thursday, July 14, 2005

getting to know one's self - an experiment in the 1st- and 3rd-person

The desk, a left-over dinosaur from a small-town police station recently re-modeled, grazes in front of a window behind smoke-stained blinds that are never opened. Even if the blinds were to be opened, the sun would have hurdle a fishing-tackle box printer and and a desklight/bookshelf easily mistaken for a canoe. Even if it the sun could get through all this, it would never be able to distract Eyebrow Esquire's attention from the television and laptop flatscreen glued to his eyes like contacts.

"These are the only two worlds I need, really. I get my newspaper breakfast, lunch and dinner and shower in cable television without ever having to get up from my chair," Eyebrow says. "I've sent resumes, wrote drunken e-mails, watched new and classic movies, and all in my boxers. I can get everything done that I need to get done from this one spot."

It's true. He has recently sent his first professional resume and cover-letter to his first media organisation; a small newspaper in his home-town two-and-a-half hours away. He's chatted-up, reminisced with, and pined after numerous girls in the last month, alone. Yet, his promising future, thus far, has been unrequited.

"I'm okay with it. It's really gotten me an opportunity to focus on what I really want to do: write. I've been doing it all my life, but it's only here recently that I've finally found my "writer's voice." You know, I'm finally comfortable enough with the sound of the my mind's voice and have finally come to grips with the real and imagined skeletons in my closet to finally open everything up. The last couple of months have been really fun in a child-like exploration sort of way," he says.

Yesterday, he turned in his two weeks' notice. He will be leaving behind an education of sorts. Leaving the book industry, he says, will be like graduating all over again.

"I won't know just yet if it'll be more like my college or my high school graduation. I've been doing the book-thing longer than it took me finish college on the 7-year plan. After high school, I knew I'd be a little fish in a big pond, again. After college, it felt more like taking my first steps in the world: a little naive, but still innocent and inexperienced enough to still believe anything is possible with a little extra effort and a lot heart and determination," he says. "In a way, I feel as if this experience will be a mix of the two; I think it's already showing it, as a matter of fact.

"You know, I've picked up my writing to a point where it feels like I am finally a writer...and a formiddable writer at that. That's boosted my ego and confidence to levels I've never experienced before. It sort of feels like having your head in the clouds, but it's so high that I can't see my feet. I know their grounded down there somewhere, I just can't see them."

He stops and smiles. I can only guess he's thinking back to some of his recent posts (*biased author self-promotion: link, link, link, link, link) on his "professional blog" as he calls it. He said the difference as of late, is attributed to his MySpace blog where he finally felt a freedom to just write what he knew and what he felt.

"It's like writing a diary in MS Word. You sit isolated in front of your computer and whatever music playing on the media player, and you just start typing. After so long, you forget you're going to publish it. You forget that others will be reading it. You forget about all that, hit the publish post button with this sense of release and finality, and then it's there. That's when you remember it's a public diary.

"I don't know if it's necessarily the sense of detachment I feel towards my MySpace friends - I don't feel as if I'll never meet any of them, I mean, some I've known for years, and others I can see myself coming to rely on to take me out after a long day at work. So, it's not like I'm writing to just random faces, it's just that, in a sense, we're all just a little bit pathetic. I have friends listed that I wouldn't know the first thing to say to had I met them in public, but there's a connection that seems more personality-based than class or social-status, or even attractiveness. They're all cool, good people; I've had good conversations with most of them. We're all completely capable of being sociable and making friends in the 'real world', but somehow, MySpace brings together the genuine people from the old-school days of AOL before moderators and porn-bots."

He said, that's the audience that first received and complimented his style, voice, and earnest. That's what lead him to remember what's important to him: what he has to say can change the world. "It's not that I think my voice, alone, can do it, I think everyone's got something to say the rest of the world needs to hear; some do it through counseling, so do it through police work and teaching. The voice is the talent each person is given."

"Knowing there are people out there that read your stuff everyday, just as they read their e-mails and answer their phones, that's probably the best feeling a writer can have. I guess the audience I have on MySpace is the exact reason I have such conflicted feelings about where I am in my life. Yes, the number of readers I have now is small, but they come back. I'm reminded of a motto I've adopted only recently, 'if I can't change the world myself, then i should strive to influence the one person that can.'"

"How serious do I take this? How much am I willing to sacrifice? Everything but the dream itself. I've already made tough decisions, and have all-but officially excluded myself from 'real-life' friends and social activities I used to keep up with as hobbies. What was once a past-time for me, is now the only horizon I'm interested in. I'd love to get there would a beautiful princess sitting behind me, arms wrapped around my waist, and an army of civil soldiers shouting protests in defense of their own ambitions and waving spray-painted signs bearing their one dream, but it's getting to the end that matters.

"So long as I'm looking forward and have a shadow already touching the next day's sunrise, I'll be okay when my feet can keep up with my eyes no longer."

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