Cross Post #6: Hipsters, defined.

 

Excerpt:

“But what about their legacy?” I was recently asked by New York magazine. “What will they have left behind after it’s all said and done?” This question gets on my nerves. “Music and fashion,” I answered incredulously. Since when are young people responsible for leaving us with anything more? Have you heard their politics? I don’t want these people voting. I want them doing what they do best: Fun. The greasers were about rock ’n’ roll and making out in rumble seats. The beatniks gave us some good books, but they were mostly about shocking their parents by dancing with Negroes. The only thing the mods cared about outside of dancing and getting laid was fighting Elvis fans. Boomers, who are masters at glorifying their past, insist they stopped a war, but we all know it was Kissinger’s relentless bombing that ended it. Hippies were horny stoners. Though I was one of them, I’m happy to admit punks were more preening peacocks with guitars than anarchists smashing the state. Rap evolved from parties in the South Bronx. The list goes on, and it’s always just teenagers partying.

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Webcomic #14

Unrequited Love, Heavy Trunk.

I’ve typically been a non-fiction writer, but not the kind of non-fiction that results in a 500 page whopper on something super interesting like Architecture, Anne Frank, or Autism.  No, more of vanity non-fiction like a memoir.  Ten years and counting before I realized that perhaps I wasn’t that interesting to be filed in a bookshelf next to a Bill Clinton Autobiography or a book by Joseph Campbell.  Hell, I’m not even halfway as interesting as Augusten Burroughs as to have a book remotely touching the same bookshelf.  So I tuck it away in a trunk, but what you must know is to a writer this, the act of putting away a manuscript, is like putting away your winter clothes knowing that next winter it won’t fit.  So it goes, into an out-of-sight-out-of-mind place to coexist in a box with forgotten pieces of a former life. Shedding skin is hard enough, but you grow more and it’s usually more radiant. 

I’m writing fiction, now.  It’s much easier and I’ve grown twofolds from my last manuscript.  For example, I now work off tightly worked out outlines rather than freestyle.  My stream of consciousness writing could go on for an eternity, but hey Aldous Huxley did well with it.  I know the story like the back of my hand and it’s not just written there like the good ol’ days.  I know at exactly what point I need to have conflict or resolution and while I might veer ever so slightly from the well-thought out path for the sake of adding memory, I never take a chance on arriving at a dead end.

Funny, I’m much more wise but yet less intelligent than I used to be so it’s become difficult to match the unparelled wit of my twenties.  When I was a sponge, I could absorb and ring out so much more.  I’m more like a scrubber now, it comes in and out but my sole purpose is to scratch out what I can just to see the surface. 

So here I sit, only a paragraph away from killing off a character that was loosely based upon someone I knew way back when I was smarter.  The difficulty in this is that once someone is immortalized by woven text, they become harder to say that last goodbye.  It’s not the first goodbye, that was so easy because life was happening at that moment and you had to be in it.  Maybe there were more coming and going with idle goodbyes, which is not truly a separation.  Kahil Gibran said it best in The Prophet, “Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”  I’m ready, though, to see this story to its end even if it’s merely one book in a lifetime of books to come.  Many of them, perhaps, left unresolved for the characters but resolving the storyline for me.  So let this book be the death of the unrequited love, and may the symbol she brings rest in literary peace.

I hope this manuscript doesn’t end up in the trunk with the other one, but either way I’ll write more resolve until the end of my days and behind me I’ll leave a heavy trunk.

Who Am I?

I’ve started this question half a dozen times since I could comprehend the depth of it.  Here I sit, nearly 32, not old enough to be running a media company but not young enough to be in its demographic.  Hell, I only remember when the son-of-a-bitch first started, but what do I know.  The question is “Who am I?”

When I was younger and all my grievances in life had my parent’s to blame, I was Divide Community.  You see Divide Community is one of those double meaning words.  You know the words that would be hard to learn the meaning of in another language.  As a writer, we hope to be able to bridge the language barrier gap to create a universal language.  As a civilian, it’s just a book; my first book.

My journey begins in 1998 when I wanted to really answer this question; “Who Am I?”  I was working at a storage unit place, for minimum wage in the late ’90s, and had a lot of time to reflect.  Though time was plenty, my knowledge was less so.  Escape, relaxation, don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow, repressing, yeah, that was me.  I was angry and I didn’t know why, so I thought I’d just start writing.  Forrest Gump of the word processor, I typed until my ailment burst open key-by-key.  Eventually, I had a semblance of an idea for a memoir.  You see memoir’s really weren’t as big of a market back then s0 I just thought it was a book of true life.  Nearly 300 pages of unformed and stoned thoughts about who I was.  The book sat in a box for three years.

In college, the one I went to after I dropped out and fled to New York with a band of hippes and then went back, I met two kids that I immediately felt a kinship for and managed their immature band, The All-American Rejects.  I was a small fish in a small pond and I had Madonna as a role model, so I whipped their prepubescent asses in shape and got them a record deal.  They went on to sell millions, and I was screwed out of millions.  Not to mention that disorder I got called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that pretty much goes from Psychiatric code to Psychiatric code without being insane and having a clear traumatic trigger.  I got this after my brother, the only person I had as a witness to my childhood, became a missing person.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Missing Person, Platinum-Selling The All-American Rejects, Retarded Love, NYC, and a lot of crazy stories from an alcoholic.  Who really had time to ask, “Who am I?”

Once my Oklahoma savior personality kicked in, I crawled out of that abyss and decided to think about who I was.  There was a lot I’d experienced at a young age, there were experiences that are unimaginable for the majority, and there were parts of me I just started to realize, so I wrote.  I finished Divide Community, and it was who I thought I was.

Something peculiar happened, I became happy.  You see by this time I was going into my Thirties and several therapists later, I realized that maybe I could never sustain happiness (as a therapist once told me) but at least I could realize when I was happy.  This was a breakthrough, so I set out to edit who I was in a final book format.

My childhood seemed less emotional and more like a great story.  The themes of suffering that were sprinkled within the text just showed me how strong I was, and it occurred to me that there is not a concrete answer to the lifelong question of, “Who Am I?”

I’m my likes and dislikes, my pain and my happiness, and the love I took and the love I made.  I’m several labels like a sister, daughter, wife, analyst, Buddhist, Lesbian writer, teacher, student, female, entrepreneur and overall pain-in-the-ass.  I’m adjectives like moody, beautiful, snarky, sweet, insane, neurotic, spiritual, impatient and judgmental.  I’m my experiences both negative and positive.  I’m the karma I reap, and after all this time I have realized I am not the alpha and the omega (though in high school I may have argued differently).  I’m everything around me and never did I appreciate it more.

Within my writing you can discover chapters of my life that struck a story in the world, but it’s what is between the lines that reveals the most.

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