A Writer's Hero Journey...Part 4
Getting Stuff Done…Pushing Plot…
Once I stop imagining Faye and I sweating up the clauses and cavorting between the commas…I’m able to focus.
“Well, if we are going to handle the demons that are stopping me from writing, we will either need reinforcements or we will have to split up.” I confide, as much to myself, as to the group.
I knew of which I spoke…after all…I have been not writing for a long time.
The division of labor was thus; Creative Voice and Homer were to enter the labyrinths that are the dark underside of Hubsville—The Political Forums.
I had noticed the vitriolic content of the postings and the inflammatory titles that seemed designed to do little more than inflame.
There are forums in there saying that Liberals hate Americans and that Liberals lack understanding. Just because I disagree with you…I hate Americans? I had researched the biography of the poster.
She hasn’t written any new hubs in years…she just haunts the forums complaining that President Obama bought a new pair of socks while America suffers economically. Such stupidity is a pet peeve. Worse…the annoyance interferes with the creative process.
“You know…you can just stop following the political forums?” Faye intrudes reasonably into my seething mental ruminations as she indicates the ‘stop following’ icon.
“I know,” I mutter, “I just likes me a good train wreck…”
“Do you think those three sinister guys in fedora’s are the Koch brothers?” Faye asks.
I reply, “There are only two Koch brothers. Who would the third guy be?”
“They’re rich Republicans, right?” Faye asks, “Maybe he’s their man servant/slave guy? You know they have to have one.”
“Right, right, right,” I agree, “I believe he’s called the American people.”
Creative Voice’s tasked with two chores…rebuttal of the nonsense that was fouling my favorite topic…politics…and keeping Homer safe. Faye, Internal CD player, and I were off to slay metaphorical dragons lurking in the back of my own mind…
“Be careful of fascists in there,” I warn Creative Voice as I deliver his final instructions.
I frown. I don’t like fascists.
The parting’s awkward. Creative Voice is lingering to see if he can get hugs from Faye following Homer’s farewell pawing of the girl.
Faye put up with it…Homer’s a national treasure after all. She seems far less sanguine by the prospect of Creative Voice’s proximity. With a look that suggests she’s delivering the compassionate last shot to a sick dog…she hugs him.
We last see them entering the forum portals. Creative Voice is nervously fingering the tazer at his belt. Homer is talking about this, that, and those…topics that did not violate copyright restrictions. I’m gratified to note that after they leave that I still had a mental connection with them.
I can also tell that Truman is OK. He’s chasing a spider down a hall way. He likes doing that. He doesn’t like spiders. Woof-woof!! I inform Faye and Internal CD player of this development.
Faye smiles. She doesn’t like spiders either. Internal CD player begins playing ‘The Itsy-Bitsy Spider…’
We move off (not) as a brave party of three stalwart souls…but rather…as two friends with a disaffected embedded 1990s media platform…
My Own Mental Goo…
The new room we enter is beyond Internal CD player’s abilities to musically illuminate. He’s distractedly switching between a mix of smooth jazz, elevator, static, and children’s songs. He’s playing at a low volume.
“Can’t you just pull his batteries?” Faye asks annoyed.
I’m appalled. “Um…well Faye…he’s an Internal CD player…he and I share the same batteries…”
I was a bit disturbed that she merely digested this new information while staring at me. I’m privately glad that my battery pack was safely secreted on my body.
“You really need to ‘up’ your internal technology, Thomas” she says while activating her own Internal Home Entertainment Center. Music, speakers, video, flashing lights, falling balloons, fireworks…wow…
The big empty room suddenly fills with the images depicted in the Justin Timberlake and Scarlett Johansson video for ‘What Goes Around…Comes Around’.
Towards the back of the room, a broad staircase leads to a mezzanine level. Graceful Corinthian columns rise up towards vaulted ceilings and dangling chandeliers cast mysterious lights upon the proceedings. Painted murals adorn the walls while comfortable furniture sits tucked away in discreet alcoves. The song plays.
Faye’s body begins to move to the music as only Faye’s body can move when it’s moving to music. Mine joins her. As I dance I began exploring a connection that just occurred to me. References to Justin Timberlake have continuously arisen during our travels. Was he a spy? Does he know Matt Groening? Will he tell Matt Groening that I ‘borrowed’ Homer? Have I ever seen Justin Timberlake in a fedora…?
I stop dancing when I notice Faye staring at me.
“Why are you dancing to the National Anthem?” she asks.
Not for the first time I regret my late-night infomercial decision to purchase ‘Hot Dance-Club Moves’ by Francis Scott Key.
Down to Brass Tacks…
Faye pulls out a brochure (I can’t even to begin to imagine from where) listing the exhibits in the room. These were the ‘travails’ standing in my path of publication. There are three of them. We walk up to the first…
It’s represented as a jagged hole ripped into the floor of the room. About forty-feet in circumference, the chasm seems to descend into the nether regions of my soul. The sounds being emitted are driven by the pounding bass notes of my writing and personal angst.
This was some serious shit. I peer past the sulfur steam for a glimpse within.
A swirling visage of half thoughts, missed opportunities, regrets, lost shopping lists, sharks, Catholic guilt, and long-lost brief images from the 1980s bubbled over before falling in upon itself. Encased within the maelstrom were mother issues and divorce issues; father issues and abandonment issues.
I back away in horror.
“You mean I have to solve this shit before I can be a writer?” I ask Faye as she consults the brochure.
“Um…no…it’s worse than that Thomas,” she eyes me kindly, “You have to solve this shit before you will ever get laid again.”
“NO!!” I scream while falling to my knees. The force of a thousand Hindenburgs explodes in my mind. “Oh the humanity…” I trail off…
“Yeeeah…I think we can probably agree this kettle of crap won’t be resolved anytime soon, right?” She points out. “Perhaps we should just move on...”
We’re walking away when something occurs to me. Going back to the pit, I look for the memory that eludes me. There it is! Swirling towards the bottom…
The next exhibit’s Edvard Munch’s “The Scream’ perched on an easel and lit by indirect lighting. Faye consults the brochure…
“Oh…this one’s easy,” Faye begins, “This represents your decision to dig into yourself and be honest with your readers about sex, drugs, lifestyle stuff…that kind of thing. Rather a question about ‘write what you know’ I think.”
“Hmm…” I think about the past ten pages or so… “I guess we’ve already paddled across that Rubicon, huh?”
“Not usually, no.” I admit before wandering over to the last exhibit.
It’s a wrought iron spiral staircase leading downward. Pulsating lights, wisps of smoke, laughter, and club music waft from the lower level.
“Say Faye…do you think this represents my spiraling descent into sexual, drug, and alcohol abuse?” I ask hopefully. I don’t have a ticket to Burning Man and am still looking for something to do this week…
Faye, who shares an interest in such topics, comes over quickly and leans over as she peers down the staircase…
I mentally chest-bump myself on the decision to include Homer in the group. His comedic timing is superb.
“No…I don’t think so,” she says while studying the brochure, “I mean you’re not really an alcoholic and besides…didn’t you install a mental elevator for descending into your sexual and drug abyss? No…I think this a fire exit.”
I’m mildly disappointed as we move to the next room. Unbeknownst to us, after we leave, a mouse exits a hole in the wall and scampers across the floor. He comes across my mental post-it-note for cheese and drags it back to his hole.
As soon as we step into the next room…DISASTER strikes…
(End Part 4)