When asked about the fact that people around his home town didn’t seem to share his love for himself, he replied.
“The people of my community never did quite take to me. Owe, there has been the occasional exception. But for the most past, like all of us, I’d have to say I’m an enigma, they love to hate.”
“While engaged in our daily passage of verbal sparing one day, I happened to mention that I was having my will amended to include my fans, which would of course include them. That I had insisted that I have an open casket, only as a change, I was to be left face down in the casket.”
One person said, “So we can’t see the stupid look on your silly face?”
“No, this is so all the people who don’t like me can kiss my as…”
Man To Man
My subconscious recently approached my conscious mind about the state of bodily affairs in its universe. My conscious mind enquired about what exactly it was referring too. My subconscious interjected an image of an overweight slob, lying haphazardly across a worn couch overrun with spent candy bar wrappers and empty potato chip bags. My conscious mind overlaid an image of a smiling Adonis-like warrior. Puck-weathered armor shining in the winter sun, sweat-soaked face smiling through proudly displayed chipped teeth as he leans calmly upon his wooden weapon.
The sound of laughter rising sarcastically from the background has me looking behind me, before euphorically reaching for the virtual throat floating before my hands in my subconscious. As ethereal wisps slip between my fingers the fog clears from in front of the mirror-like surface before me. My heart stops momentarily as the truth smiles back at me, attempting to allay my dismay with self-delusion. “He’s right I look like my father.”
The feeling of desperation welling up inside of me threatened to run and hide by its best friend the refrigerator at first, but determination picked me up by the shirt collar so that insecurity could kick me in the rear. Dad died at fifty-one, eight years older than my current age. Maybe it’s not to late. Maybe I can throw off these chains of habit I seem to have unconsciously inherited without noticing into the recycle bin.
The reality of my situation singed the fringes of my consciousness to action. A plan began forming in my mind as the picture of Adonis once again filled my screen. My subconscious began filling my senses with the feel of the wood in my hands as I lay it flat on the ice to receive a pass. The effortless feel of the bat meeting ball, the taste of dust flooding my consciousness as I roll my tongue across my lips.
The sound of a door closing, pumps adrenalin directly into corroded arteries. As I realize I can hear the dirty dishes complaining about their working conditions from the kitchen sink. The laundry hamper parades an “On Strike” sign in front of my face in the form of the excess laundry unceremoniously thrown about the floor. And the clock begins chiming the first of four bells informing me of the kids eminent arrival in expectation of dinner. Ready or not!
That’s it, I will show my wife that I’m still the man she fell in love with, my kids that they should treat me with respect and admiration, and the dog that I can do more than eat everything I see.
The chuckling rising from the back of my mind intensifies slightly, “You might want to get off the couch first Adonis.” As I roll over the cracking of chips and the tinkling of a tin can rolling on the ground follow the sound of crinkling plastic in a chorus. The source of the chuckling is nowhere in sight as I rise to my feet and stretch my arms into the air in realization. “No time to remake my life today, I’ll get started on it first thing in the morning.” As the energy leaves me I sit down on the couch, then lie down on my side, and reach for the controller for my Xbox 360. “Tomorrow, yes tomorrow.”
Written by “Warren. J. Hayashi
I pulled my mind back from the window, my neighbours snoring had finally reached the level at which action must be taken. I closed my notebook, laid it beside me on my seat and formed a pincer with my thumb and forefinger. I reached across to my neighbour in the seat behind me, held my open pincer above his nose, and quickly closed and opened my pincer in a mock gesture. I saw his nose twitch as I held my hands in front of his nostrils, his head moved in response, resulting in silence.
I often travel by greyhound, it grounds me in reality, gives me the time for self-contemplation necessary for me to write effectively. Yes, being a struggling writer the cost of flying is often a necessary consideration. But I prefer the slower pace, the colourful array of characters I meet, and something about the landscapes passing by the window stimulates my writers’ mojo.
I often think back to before I sold my first piece as the miles pass, and I meet my neighbours, to the time I first decided I was going to give writing a try. Determined to be a science fiction writer, I bravely jumped into the fire confident in my ability. Convinced that the world would digest my words, that my words would change the world, and that readers would come running back for more of my wisdom. I arrogantly sent out my first attempt, sure that destiny was born.
Fame would cover me with the praise of my readers and the acclaim of my peers. Publishers would blow down my door and drag me, screaming and kicking to be left alone, into the light of adulation. Beautiful women finally find me attractive; the distractions they provide leave me in a state of euphoria, with a warm satisfied feeling. The money allows me to create an educational fund providing young, unpublished, writers with the ability to write without worrying about starving. It’s hard to find the time to write when your belly is screaming at you or you spend your day trying to stay warm and dry. Mental agility, like physical agility, requires a proper diet, and time to practice the art of thinking.
As the cold of the buses large windows seeped into my cheek, I peeled my warm skin from the cold glass. Reached down by my side for my workbook and found an empty space where I left it. I slid my hand down the narrow passage between the seat and the bus walls hoping the book had fallen in the passage.
I heard the wonderfully bright voice of the attractive young lady in the seat beside me; I think she had boarded the bus while I slept. “I hope you don’t mind, your book fell off your lap and onto my seat while you were sleeping, I was bored so I started reading.”
I smiled warmly, “No, every writer lives to write for his readers, for the energy provided by the readers reaction to the words. I write because I have something to say, something to give to the world.”
She turned toward me, “A published writer,” rolled off her tongue, and slid along my smile.
I put on my professional face, “A published writer, yes.”
I ignored her sudden interest as I realised it was a normal reaction; in truth there are a lot of very talented writers who will never be published.
I felt her eyes taking in the picture, the baggy clothes, the uncombed hair, the cheap notebook, and my nailed to the earth methods.
She smirked as she talked, “You must be rich then.”
“No, the money has been adequate, but wheel barrels full of money didn’t roll into my life when I became a writer. Writing has always been my dream, to stimulate minds, to change the thinking of readers.”
Her smirk changed as I talked, she waited until I finished. “Your right, when I was reading your writing a few minutes ago, it definitely stimulated my mind, changed the way I think of writers.”
“Owe, in what way has my writing changed your thinking?”
“Well, before I read your writing I actually thought you were kind of cute, now you bore me.”
I turned back to my picture window, and smiled to myself as I thought.
The first tempering of the writers soul comes with their first rejection, preparing them for the many to follow. For a successful writer, like any success story, must first fail to succeed. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph is a journey into the soul, a voyage of self-discovery where the story becomes all-consuming. If rejection has taught me one thing over the years it’s that first opinions can be shaped and changed with patience, which often requires years of practice and study to determine what makes one person successful while another flounders in frustration.
The best word of advice I can give to any writer struggling to achieve their dream. Learn from the words that have been written before you, make a plan for the direction of your dream, and write today. If you were meant to write there is only one thing that can stop you, and that is you.
By “Warren. J. Hayashi.”