Writing has never come easy to me… It’s an acquired skill, much like shooting pool, playing chess, or playing sports.
Many years, as a child and adolescent, I failed many writing classes, namely those which required me to be ‘creative’ in an instant. Mostly why I became frustrated, was because I would frequently write from third person, to first person points of view, besides not being able to understand the difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or what’s considered proper sentence structure.
I started reading at a very young age, between 4 and 5 years old, and by the start of kindergarten, I was able to read the newspaper to the adults, usually circled around a kitchen table after attending religious services. Most were amazed at my ability to both read and understand complex topics like “The Oil Crisis”, the death of popular social figures, political controversy, and other topics covered by the local news outlets. Occasionally, they would help with pronunciation of four and five syllable words, but mostly I was left to reading to them.
As I entered grade school, I was always confused with certain sentences or phrases like “common sense”, which were as juxtaposed as “just cause”.
English are hard.
I frequently failed all of my grammar, writing and “English” classes, which left me frustrated. At first, I doubled my efforts. I began reading classic books like Shakespeare, Catch-22, and current magazines trying to comprehend them, and adapt their writing styles… In the fourth grade. Advanced reading for a ten year old? Sure. Except, it didn’t help.
Entering into the 7th grade, I was given the task of writing a submission for a local school circulated rag newspaper. I wrote two submissions, which, in my opinion were some of the best writing I’ve done. The first was a simple fictional story about a young man who graduated from high school and was involved in a drinking and driving accident, leaving him unable to move anything below his neck, and the struggles he faced to re-enter the workplace in attempt to justify his altered existence. The second submission was a story about an adolescent girl who went on her first fly fishing trip with her father and caught a rainbow brook trout.
Since I had two submissions, and a classmate simply didn’t do his homework, I offered my second submission to him out of the promise of a ‘forever friendship’. Several weeks went by, and the rag was published. The morning the publication came out, before it was introduced to the class, the teacher made an announcement that only one student’s submission made it into the rag.
My friend, the one who I gave the submission to, was called to the front of the class and was asked to read the newspaper, “his” submission to everyone. He clumsily stumbled through the story, getting hung up on words he couldn’t pronounce. It was painful, for me. It was painful to watch someone take credit for something I gave away. Kids in class sat in awe, listening to him, a far more popular kid, the class president, read a story which I had written.
After a round of applause for him, I approached the teacher to use the bathroom. I walked, hollow, down the humidity warped hallways of our old school to the poorly heated bathroom where I fell to my knees and simply wept. I wept for my lack of popularity. I wept for my lack of recognition. I wept for my lack of understanding. To me, the first story I had written was clearly better, more artistic and with far more moral value. Upon returning to class, I asked to speak to the teacher in the hallway. Reluctantly, (so used to my bullshit, by the 4th month of class), I asked her in private about my submission, the story about the Drinking and Driving…
“It was too dark. It was full of spite, regret, remorse, and didn’t send a positive message. I didn’t even submit it to the paper.”
Adding insult to injury…
The rest of that year, as well as the two years that followed, I refused to do any type of ‘homework’ and received several ‘incomplete’ ‘s. This is a repeating trend in my life. Whenever I am hurt, I simply either try to remove the object which causes me pain, even to spite myself, or I overload the pain into it being pleasurable.
After taking summer classes and night school classes to catch up with my missing credits, with admittedly poor scores, I still didn’t stop writing. Instead, I turned further inward, writing into diarys, journals, and countless notebooks, mostly writing poetry and private thoughts about the world surrounding me.
I take a rather BDSM aspect towards my life. “Hit me again!!! I’m starting to fucking like it!” I welcome painful lessons, if only to learn from them. I’ve taken a very rough road throughout my life, one which few survive from, and even fewer are willing to articulate or laugh about.
I was… Ok, I still “am” surprised Evil Jeff has asked me to write my adventures and thoughts for his blog, like I’m some sort of amusing authority on introspect and opinion.
I’ve been told by nearly every friend that I deserve to write my lifes experiences, however, besides not finding them personally interesting to myself, its also very painful to remember many of those tough lessons which I’ve learned. There’s also a fair amount of illegal activity that would divulge personal information of people whom I’m sure would never give me permission to write about. I’ve thought about changing the names and places to protect the people whom I would like to write about, but besides being confusing to myself, it wouldn’t be difficult for law enforcement officials to place the times and events… Even if the statute of limitations have expired on some of the experiences, I don’t want to challenge the legal system further, as I’ve already had enough experiences with the Department of Corrections for a few lifetimes.
“Knowledge is Power”… Sometimes, knowledge seems crippling.
I can only imagine how Darwin felt while writing his papers and theories of evolution… Challenging a widely and commonly held belief that the world was only 6,500 years old. To know some of the most prominent truths of our generation to be ignored, ridiculed, dismissed and diminished. He must have had testicles five times that of any mortal…
The same could be said about anyone in his caliber… Di Vinci, Aristotle, Jung, Tesla, …. Gifted yet misunderstood.