Tuesday, November 30, 2010

(500) Days of Slumber?

And this is how I spend my time. It passes by - like I am asleep.

It's been a while since I left Florida. After 35 years, it seemed like the right time to leave. "Time for a change" was my reasoning. But I know it was more than that.

The other night I saw a rather unique movie, "(500) Days of Summer." Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, it starts as a young man, Tom, tells us the best relationship of his life has ended and he's not sure why. The film jumps back and forth over the 500 days he's known Summer, the girl of his dreams who he meets at a greeting card company where he writes copy. Tom recalls moments and, as he leaps from memory to memory, the movie tells us which day we are watching so we can put the story in order. We accompany him as he tries to piece together where things went wrong.

It was a surprisingly moving piece. As Roger Ebert noted, it's rare that a film tells us its ending to begin with so we can follow the protagonist in his struggle to understand his past. As we watch the story unfold, we learn two key things. First, Tom doesn't want to be a greeting card writer; he studied to be an architect and dreams of pursuing it again one day. And second, when he and Summer first start dating, she admits that she is not interested in anything serious relationship-wise. So we begin with a person who wants to build something and another not willing (at least at the start) to commit to create anything substantial.

I found myself emotional at two points, both late in the film. A seminal moment arises where we see that Summer decides Tom isn't "the one." It's heartbreaking because he doesn't realize it is the moment, the importance of it escapes him as he has settled into seeing Summer as always being there. The other moment is the last time they see each other. They meet - possibly accidently, possibly only in Tom's mind - at a spot they shared that overlooked the cityscape and they talk about what happened.

I guess I relate heavily to the circumstances of the movie. I moved to Georgia 14 months ago after the break-up of an eight year relationship. At times while we were together, I held hope things would get better, that it would work out. Deep inside, I was slowly realising it would not. But I still had hope until the night she walked into our bedroom and said she was leaving. So I quit my job and decided I'd make a change - to pursue things, like screenwriting, that I thought I couldn't afford to try when I was in a commited relationship.

But truly, since then, I haven't tried. I've been asleep, the perfectionist in me won't leave it alone. I've been going over and over those eight years in my head, trying to figure out what went wrong, where I could have made a change to save what I cherished. I'm blocked - I rarely write, I hardly rest at night and I seem to jump from day to day. There are times when I can't recall what I did during the 24 hours before.

I know it's depression. I see a therapist. I take medication. But I still can't shake it.

I feel asleep, like I'm in a dull dream where nothing happens but the ticking of seconds. I struggle for clarity of thought and a time to just shut down. Moments of happiness arise but flitter away. I attempt to stay creative but too much time is spent on the search for the answer and not enough on focus - focus on anything but the search.

It's been more than 400 days now since I tried to leave it all behind. Will it be another 100 before I can wake?

Monday, November 22, 2010


Hope hangs precariously like a trapeze artist, waiting to swing you to your next platform.

Health balances with wobbles and uncertain steps, a tightrope walker with no net.

Happiness rests like a tiger on a stand, landing after a leap through hoops of fire.

Performing live in all three rings, life is a circus.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


(As I mentioned before, I'm part of an online group that has inspired me to work on my writing more. Occasionally, I'll post pieces here that I like. This first was based on a topic from a couple of weeks ago, "vast." It's dedicated to young Ryan and his family.)


Vast is the universe, billions of years to traverse, always growing, ever expanding. Vast is our galaxy with countless stars, some blinding, some faded. Vast is the solar system, from the burning grand ball of the sun to the frozen rock we call Pluto. Vast is the Earth, the giver of life, our spinning home. Vast is a mountain, reaching into the clouds where the air is thin. Vast is a mansion, so many wings, so many levels, one too many empty rooms. Vast is an arm's length, a distance fallen short to pull ours from the dark water of the canal. Vast is the space between us, side by side, holding hands before his body, divided by a universe of grief.

Vast is relative.

About Me

I'm 42. I joked when I turned that age that I should know the answer to "Life, the Universe and Everything" (re the Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide series.) Like in the book, I now know the question is "What do you get if you multiple six by nine?" Also, like in the book, I now know there is something fundamentally wrong with the universe and that I still don't have the real answer.

I'm currently unemployed, though that's not entirely true. As of late, I have been working occasionally as an extra on movie sets in and around Atlanta. Interesting work, if you can get it. It helps that I am a film nerd so I find all aspects of movie production fascinating.

I fancy myself a writer, even though it's been a long while since I've been paid to write. I have been a newspaper reporter/editor, columnist and public relations director. I have had two short plays produced and have placed well in some screenwriting competitions. I've also been asked to submit additional materials to Marvel Comics, something that people in the know have told me never happens. Eventually I'd like to write for movies or television.

Occasionally, I do stand-up at open mic nights. I enjoy writing comedy and do most of it through my Twitter feed, which I started about six months ago. My humor ranges from social commentary that speaks out against the world to pure goofiness that speaks out against the world (but, if you keep reading here, I guess you will eventually realize that.)

My life is pretty simple right now. I'm single and I am living with my parents. (Yes, I do literally live in the room above the garage.) After the end of an eight-year relationship and leaving my job as a store manager with a video rental chain currently undergoing bankruptcy, I moved to Georgia to reset my life. It has proved tougher than I thought it would be.

I have four chihuahuas and two cockatiels from my previous relationship. My dogs are sometimes smarter than I am; my birds always whistle better.

I am trying to figure out who I am and change the parts of me that I don't like or aren't helping me succeed. This blog is part of that process.

And, as always, I like microwaveable turkey dogs.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

An Explanation of a Moment in Time

It's taken me a long time to write this.

I wasn't sure where to start and what to put here. But I've been working with a daily writing group that has been exceptionally helpful in getting me motivated. So the time seems right.

So what will be here? In short, everything. This is where I'll throw out my ideas - good, bad or ugly - and offer my opinion of the world, as if the world cares. This is where I'll reveal some of my fiction - whether it is stories I have made up about others or myself. This is where I'll breathe, vomit, feed, excrete like a caged animal. (Boy, that was dramatic...) This is where I'll explore like an alien traveler in a stolen time machine.

I'll point out my successes and failures, more for me to see than you, but you are happy to look if you like. You'll see that I try new things and try to improve on older lessons. You'll see me succeed and fail again. I'll try to embrace it all.

I will be here, when I can, in time and truth. And when I can't, but it looks like I'm here, it will be some imperfect reflection of me. I can't promise to always be truthful, but I'll always try to be present.

The name of this post is "An Explanation of a Moment in Time." The word "beginning" (in place of "Moment in Time") didn't seem right. There has been much before this moment that informs who I am - my opinions, reasoning, actions - so this can't truly be a start. It's where I am now and where I'm going from here.

You are welcome to come along.