I have written this damned introduction twenty times over the last four weeks. Each draft has removed a layer of my steel pride, a reinforced exoskeleton. Now, I write this pink, soft, and naked. Not literally of course. Then again, you never know.
My first draft was a short story, laden with metaphor and pith. It was going to be a story that they would study for a millennia. Hell, my kids would be required to study it in the eleventh grade. They would base dissertations on the foundation left over by that short story’s footprint. I penned my masterpiece, sliced off my left ear, and closed the laptop.
The sobriety brought by the next morning’s light is not exclusive to drunks. I found this to be true when revisiting my chef d’oeuvre the following morning. Strong-armed and confusing, the story fell flat on my tongue. My creative stomach rejected its contents, and my finger stabbed the delete button.
For the second draft I stepped behind the curtain and summoned Oz Schaefer. He was green faced and hated introductions. His giant green eyes looked judgingly on you, the reader. He didn’t give a damn if you liked what he wrote or not. The keys fell underneath that wizard’s hand, leaving an alienating manifesto. There was not room for both my pride and the truth behind that curtain.
The third draft was definitely not the charm. I think that I went for a psychedelic approach on that one. Pieces of paper under the tongue, belly full of fungi type of stuff. Fourth round was shit, I think I just wrote a vague poem. Metaphor as pretense, honesty as afterthought. Fifth round, sixth round, then the seventh. It appeared as if this fight might go to a decision. My pride had purple eyes, a gash on the eyebrow, and was sucking air. Honesty came alive in the late rounds, and the comeback kid grabbed his knockout in the twelfth. The crowd went wild.
Honestly, I don’t know what draft number this is. What I do know is that pride lives in the deepest part of my guts. In fact, when I really get to the bottom of it, pride and fear are the two deepest emotions that I have in me. They are the Mariana Trench in my ocean of feelings. The two of them, more often than I’d care to admit, hijack my intentions. I’m just a prideful, scared, little boy. I could really use that curtain right about now.
At times it feels like even my bones have pride. As much as I try to fight it, pride is still so beautiful to me. It looks like the best version of myself. The Tyler that is the perfect artist. He walks the line; angsty, talented, and always original. There is nothing more cliché than my pride.
Fear works a bit differently. My fear is much skinnier than my pride. He slips under locked doors, and pokes his fingers into my dreams. Always present, he is a tenacious friend. In fact, he is whispering in my ear now as I write this. His face looks like everyone, and his voice is your opinion of me.
The blank page scoffs at me, its voice is robotic and rude. It grabs at my pride, and it is a professor of fear. When I set out to tattoo its pale face, I often let the two brothers get bigger than their beautiful cousin – honesty. Every draft I have written for this introduction has been a pissing match between my fear and my pride.
So, for the sake of this blog, and introduction, I propose that we leave the ice unbroken. At least for now, anyways. Let’s use that ice as a clean slate for us to build something on. As we skate across the frozen and blue slab, perhaps the tracks will leave something behind worth reading. If that ice does become broken, don’t think there is warm water waiting underneath. I promise you, there is nothing but freezing darkness below.
All I need you to know going into this is that I am just a man in love with words. I love the way they stab into the virgin white page. Like railroad ties, they lay way to trains of thought that carry us into far away lands. They stick like cancer, and they hurt a hell of a lot worse. I’ve seen people, including myself, destroyed in seconds by their weight. Late at night, through whispers, I have been born anew through my wife’s sweet words.
As I write this now, I have life and death on each side of my pen and I can feel myself standing in between the both of them. I believe words to be the most powerful thing we have. Our adjectives are nuclear bombs, and our tongues the control panel. Paragraphs as colonists set out to farm life and beauty. Each line on the page is a heart beat, and each letter a vein.
But, enough of that for now. Maybe I will ignite this ramble once again further down the line. Maybe I won’t. Either way this is our introduction. How rude of me to get carried away.
I present to you a weekly blog extravaganza.
But wait there is more!
As we proceed together you can plan to see poetry, short stories, perspective pieces, letters, rants, and an assortment of written works from yours truly.
My desire is to create a place that would hold my undisciplined ass to the proverbial fire of commitment. Writing has always been my gift, and laziness my curse. This is my attempt to even out the two.
Not available in stores!
You can have my word, reader, that I will always strive to write honestly and beautifully as long as there are eyes to receive my words.
Operators are standing by!
Maybe, in this way, I can squeeze some art out of the citrus farm that is life.
Maybe, we can get to know each other.
Maybe we can get lost together,
With a couple of common, good graces,
And between letters and space.