Saturday, October 02, 2004

The Fallacy of Excitement

There’s something to excitement. Excitement is such a great motivator. Has man ever been more motivated than when he’s excited? I think not. There are two such excitements that stick out for me. One being the daze after finishing a book. After rapidly increasing reading speed. That flurry to the last word. That last concept. That last idea. That resonating proof the author lays out, and the daze afterwards. That feeling of living those words, of vicariously dreaming those words. Being those memories. But that feeling of inspiration. I can do that. I can make that world or at least a world similar. If only my keyboard had all the keys. That rush of sitting down to write a novel. Finding all the characters. The plot. The crux. The twist. The conflict. The rising action, the secondary meanings—all that fun that only writers have. Then the three hours end. The motivation disappears, and the fallacy of excitement lingers. The regret of not being as good as you hoped you were. The reality sticks in. I’m not that good. I’d have to practice. But I can’t give up my time to write something that may never be published. I can’t put in all that effort into something without seeing a foreseeable end, a foreseeable result. Even if I can put in two years of my life into this work, some one may never publish it. I may never write that one piece that fits in the canon. I can’t live on the promise and hopes of great success.

There’s also that excitement of going to the grocery store on Friday night with your mom. Granted, your nine. But is there anything better than those Friday night lights? You’re excited. You’re doing something. You’re out on Friday night. The first buzz of being out at night on the weekend hitting you at your youth, presumably setting up years of crazy nightlife. It all starts here—going with your mom grocery shopping on Friday night. The white lights shining in the parking lot, contrasting that blackened sky. The bright bulbs of the store overhang and the blinding white lights shining through the front windows drawing you closer like fly trap only waiting to zing you with low, low prices. In you go, up and down every aisle, grabbing at all the brightly colored boxes. New snack items never before bought promising never before tasted deliciousness. Maybe candy bars made into cookies is a good idea. Experimenting with a new cereal, with the reward of a new favorite, a new standard, and the risk of being forced to make instant oatmeal for the next month. A new juice flavor. Convincing your mom to buy pop. Only if you can drink it on Saturday. Still, that’s worth more than a lot. Worrying about cracking the eggs.

After being out for a while you finally break down and tell your mom what you did in school that day. At first, she’s pleased that your opening up to her and she can be that proactive parent that knows what’s going on in her child’s life, but after a while she realizes you’re a child. And all adults know, a child cannot tell a story. Omitting past histories that are crucial to the conflict, leaving out parts they randomly bring up later as they realize this story is meaningless without the set-up, using too many pronouns instead of actual people’s names, using the same pronoun for three different people, getting excited during the story, breathing heavy, shaking, wringing fingers, assuming the punch line is as hilarious to an adult as it is to a child, assuming the listener didn’t have “to be there,” and leading up to realizing she hasn’t been listening for the last two aisles, so the child just ends it on the rising action. The buzz kills at the disappointment of not being able to tell a story. Not being able to sit at that great adult’s table just yet at Thanksgiving. Wondering if you’ll ever get there. Planning a strategy for next time. Remembering to remember things on television that seemed to get a laugh from the live studio audience to use in a conversation later. Those first stings of realizing others aren’t as forgiving as they were when you were younger. Getting older, you have to impress others to get them to listen to you, to see your genius. That resounding, heavy feeling of still being a child, but realizing you’re losing some of its benefits as you age.

Life's a bitch and then you die. It seems as if half the world reads that and moans, while the other half smiles at that prospects. But those stuck in between, read that and understand. A life lived.