domenica 20 marzo 2011
Me And My Self-Absorbed Demon - A Story About Writing
I think anyone who knows me or reads what i write here has pretty much got by now that i have a pretty high opinion of myselof. It's not that i'm cocky, it's just that i wanna make love to myself and give caramel coated blowjobs for every single word i hear coming from my mouth. And every word i write and then read back.
Wasnt always like this for what concerns writing. Still to this day, when anyone describes me as a "writer", i feel my skin crawl, even if its a fact that i've got a published novel (that sold as many copies as "How to cook dog meat in 56 lessons", or less) and i wrote and still write about music wherever i can. I dont feel as a "writer". I do it but occasionally. I dont make money out of it, probably never will, lets be realistic. I dont even like to identify with the portrayal of the tormented artists. It's douchey and posture-ous. I am tormented but mostly cause i'm nuts. Art is not an excuse.
But in my past glory days of Bohemian poses and cool hedonism... Oh boy. Did i thrive on that.
I always found the art of the word as something i could milk to be cool. I cant play any instrument, i dont have the patience to be an actor or the looks and painters/sculptors/etc kinda annoy me. As a kid i read pretty much silly horror/Sci-fi books, which were done well but definitely not enlightening.
Until one day, i discovered John Fante's "Ask The Dust".
Nowadays, i dont even think it can count as my favourite book. He did better. But reading it, made some weird part of me light up. not in a revelation way or some self-discovery puss-a-wuss moment. It was more like finding out that constructing sentences could be as powerful as putting notes together. You could make phrases that pretty much anyone could recongize as beautiful, in a way that was stronger than "well written" or "with big words". His phrases were... just.... intense. And moved me from the guts. Not cause of his characters or the plot. Just through the motion of the words.
His classic touch, a mounting wave of images that just builds and builds, clutching you by the throat... The period getting speed and not slowing down, buidliding momentum and blowing up in the heart. That got me. And i still try to replicate it to this day.
Before that, my only attempt was a million word pulp novel, filled up a continuous flow of violence, sex scenes and plot twists inspired both by Chuck Pahlaniuk and comic books. That didnt end well. I was going throug a rough break-up recovery and had written a pretty creepy chapter on a character that absolutely coincidentally looked like me, meeting a character that absolutely coincidentally looked like my ex. And in said chapter he slauightered her with a butcher knife and other testosterone driven things. Well it was liberating.
Still i gave a copy to a guy who, back then, was my best friend. Who decided, is till have no idea why, to contact my ex and give her a copy. And he did not fuck her, it was just an act of weird crulety. Well, lets say that scared me off.
Still Fante came to the rescue. Tryoing to do what he did, pushed me to hide for a week in my grandma home on the sea for a week. In solitude. Often drunk.
That week made create a short, hyper-emotional story about broken hearts, eternal love and reincarnation. A series of emo clichées that now i hate with all my heart. That thing got loved. Made people i gave it to cry. A friend sent a draft, without asking me, to an independent publsiher. It got made.
The times i had after that were fun. A tiny press-release, interviews, articles. Still, i was a sad sad man and all i could think of back then was if what i was doing could get me back the one that got away. And i didnt enjoy it. It went away, uneventfully. Lots loved it, but the people i wanted appreciation from didnt really care. My mother still calls it "a stupid piece of trash and a waste of time". It was my few minutes of fame.
Depression and meds came and took creativity away. I stopped writing.
Not long ago, i was doing the act that really sums up modern self-absorption: i goggled myself. Some girl was mentioning said book and writing how it helped her coping with a abd time in her liufe. My external reaction was "whatever" (i know better about most people tha show them i'm happy so they can destroy my joy) but inside, i got a boost.
So i started doing it again. Forst privately, then here. It feels good. And doing it for me, even if i know i will never be able to be good enough for myself, is kinda sweet.
So if you have a bunch of stories that you never published, tried doin it, then gave up or whatever... Try again. Even if no one appreciates. Fuck them. Do it to get the demons out. It works.