Unsweetened

I’m not writing to capture the moment, more I’m releasing the memories. I’m not out to hurt any of the characters in the play as it unfolds from my scribbled notes, photos, and journals, but more, I am going for an song, a narrative of transformation, and being that I’m writing this in my ripe old age, a rock opera containing bits and snippets blended together unsweetened and raw. The language gets in the way of the art sometimes. If I could stream it straight from my brain it would contain playlists, texts, and shared photo libraries. I’m getting at the truth by unraveling the sparks of pain, ecstasy, and prayer that make up my life so far, my life back in those moments when life still had such promise and opportunity.

Here I am.

The starting point is unclear. The flooding of emotions and math confuses my progress, warps my voice, and keeps me from telling the actual truth. It’s what I’m going for, but I’m aware of using the scene, the poetry, the artifice to protect myself. The secrets I’ve never told may never be completely unfolded and spread out like a map. This is more of a cardiographic record of my formative years. That’s what I’m telling myself. What I’m telling you. Break the story up into bite-sized chunks. It’s hard for people to find the time to read these days. So, best if we make the stories short, aggressive, and to the point or we’ll lose the focus and attention required to hold the iPhone-era reader, you.

There you are.

And this rambling preamble is meant to give context, to crack some code of brilliance and honesty into a portrait of the artist, a song of myself, a fearless and searching moral inventory. In the retelling I’m exhuming the dead bodies, petting the mean black monkeys of regret and depression, while skipping along the surface of the tale, touching the bits of contact and aiming for the air again, the distance, the next skip and fly until I’ve released everything. Telling more truths in the fiction than I could dare to examine in the moments they were happening. It’s not like I haven’t tried. It’s taken me over forty years to get here. The stories, failed novels and screenplays, form a wake behind my creative journey. Tonight, I’m skiing. Tomorrow perhaps falling in the foamy and freezing water of the Adirondack lakes from several years ago, when I imagined all of the pain was exhausted, imagined that I had found my happy place, my lover, my newly engaged son of sorts.

There’s a lot of bits to cover. A lot of skips, jolts, rockets, and misses. So, we’d better keep throwing stones. These self-revealing moments are less interesting anyway, sort of like me justifying the coming shitshow. There is no explanation, only life. Only living through it.

Here we go.

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