Jesus Christ was the original tortured artist.
That’s what Andrew Lloyd Webber was getting at, right?
When I was five, six or somewhere near that age between innocence and enlightenment/self-awareness (seven?) I wanted to be a doctor, a model (not for the looks thing but for the standing around thing and getting paid–I knew what was up even then) and then finally a storyteller.
My dad, who was a pilot, would come home after being away for an entire week and recount Aesop’s Fables to my brothers and I in the back yard—always making sure to change his voice for the various animals. I felt so connected to those stories and the art of storytelling. Later, when we moved to Salina, I would always make sure to visit the storytellers’ tents during the River Festival and I started telling my own stories.
Years later, it happened.
I started feeling anxiety over things that I would write. I wouldn’t want to share it or look at it or acknowledge it because I was sure it was all the worst. That I was The Worst. But I still felt compelled to write, which is how I knew I was doomed.
I prayed that my ambitions would be skewed, that I’d want to do something easier or simpler.
Give me a love of numbers or anatomy.
Give me a passion for laws and regulations.
But please don’t make me do this.
“I only want to say
If there is a way
Take this cup away from me
For I don’t want to taste its poison
Feel it burn me,
I have changed I’m not as sure
As when we started
Then I was inspired
Now I’m sad and tired
Listen surely I’ve exceeded
Tried for three years
Seems like thirty
Could you ask as much
From any other man?”
My ambitions have stayed and like most things in the realm of love when it’s good there’s nothing better and when it’s bad I turn into a five year old and just want it to be good again and wah.
Which leads me to the present, where I have two versions of a short story minimized on my dash at work because I stayed up until I was too delirious to edit any of it last night because THAT IS HOW I COPE WITH BEING DOOMED/SCARED.
But Sunday morning and afternoon when I was sitting at my computer with the phone and wireless off and just writingwritingwriting? That made me deliriously, ceiling dancing happy. And I spent the rest of the day thinking about those characters and wanting to do more with them (and then being afraid of looking back at them, but I’m getting over it now). Everything else just feels like an obstacle to get over before I can do that again.
“Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to
Problems that upset you, oh.
Don’t you know
Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine.
And we want you to sleep well tonight.
Let the world turn without you tonight.
If we try, we’ll get by, so forget all about us tonight”
I am so doomed.
Which, I guess, is the whole point.