Love! Love… love.   Leave a comment

No, I’m not in Love. My mind however, has been reintroduced to the concept in certain ways.

After reading a book written by Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself To Live. I realized there were new ways to write. Traditionally, I always thought writing was about putting down details that spark the imagination, work the body up into a spicy lather that makes lines such as:

She was a tall brunette with a lithe body, sensuous lips and an ungainly gait. At first glance, Mark felt his heart flutter as she paused in the doorway.

That makes lines like this make you think of YOUR ideal brunette with a lithe body, not mine. But what If I was to write on paper the details about my ex-girlfriend’s body? Or all of my ex-girlfriends? This would be interesting, not to mention extremely personal. However, how else does a writer search for ways with which to explain that which the mind cannot explain. A boxer punches meat, top-class lawyers do lines of coke and actresses date their line directors. Writers write.

I’m reading a new gem, I’m Dreaming of Gwen Stefani, and the author makes an interesting analogy about love and biology. Apparently people have certain predilections to choosing their mates based on characteristics as odd as the length of the middle finger and the circumference of the wrist among other things. Therefore he asks, “Can we really choose to love, if our genes tell us who to ‘love’?”

This made sense to me. Going back to my aforementioned Klosterman reading, I was almost shocked by how open his book was. He spared almost no details, from talking about taking drugs (and not being a druggie) so his painful and strange relationship with a girl named Lenore (which is also the name of an underground Goth-cute clothing line/comic).

After reading the book, my mind was opened to the true nature of non-fiction. There was nothing stopping a man from writing whatever the hell he wanted, granted it was interesting enough for others to read. Even though Chuck writes in a very self-deprecating, just-above the masses in intellect sort of way, reading juicy details about someone else’s life are always good reading, much more so if that person is actually interesting.

After reading that book in the summer of 2007, I started a non-fiction project of my own. It had no title, but I promised myself I would write each day about the month I was spending in Jamaica, chronicling all of my wacky observations, run ins with women and odd characters, and put it on paper.

The result after 3 weeks of writing, was 110 pages of witty prose, dealing with a lot of things, including the topic of love. It was a very intense and involved exercise; motivating one’s self to write in the face of several of life’s uncertainties, but at the end of it all, my search was the same.

I made two people read that first draft of the project, which I stopped because certain elements became too painful to write. I know that many writers are notorious for torturing themselves, writing about unrequited love, constipation and other things, but I couldn’t keep it up, it was too much mental pressure. The two people that read my first draft were amazed by my brutal honesty, in fact, one of them, a friend of mind, said:
“You sure you want people knowing your business like that?”

To this I gave a simple reply. “Its just information.”

In fact, what I realized about that sort of writing is that its not therapeutic. It is mostly observational, very personal and detailed and requires high mental focus. If I want to write about a trip I make to a local bar, its much more fun to talk about a “Tall man with massive hands asking me for a tuna sandwich” versus “A bartender with a snotty nose”…although those might work in either case.

I’m going off topic here… but the main thing that this sort of writing does is force you to not look back. Sure, I can hide behind the curtain that is my mind and my past and not speak to anyone and delineate on certain things in my mind forever, or I can jot it down and get some comments on it. The memories aren’t going anywhere, and neither is the information, but what can change is how you observe aspects of yourself based on what others tell you. The only thing that would suck is if everyone completely agrees with what you wrote and you didn’t grow. But that rarely happens.

This type of writing, and this type of searching I find very intertwined as it relates to love. Since I stopped writing the book, I have had several good lines of prose run through my head that I have never wanted to type. Though I keep a log of some of my thoughts, that project and its exposure level scared me. It was as if I was asking the world for an answer to that which has plagued man for as long as he can remember.

Love? What’s it got to do with me?

Sometimes I feel like stepping this blog up a notch–writing about my “TRUE” thoughts–but I’m not sure how beneficial that is. I think a faceless blog with highly personal information ready by faceless people who don’t comment but willingly read it is a bit scary. A book however, has a face … and readerships usually find their way to the Author.

Anyways, the feedback I got from the two readers about the project was pretty good. One of them, a girl I know, said that my” ability to describe the depths of my emotional chaos was thrilling.” She didn’t use those exact words, but you get the idea.

Two months after I wrote the project I looked back on some of it, unable to draw anything from the stories, or the words. Writing is like that sometimes. A novel I worked on in 2004 that I haven’t touched since then amazed me when I re-read a section of it. The characters were alive and real, the writing was on point and I had forgotten many of the plotlines. I didn’t even realize I wrote the damn thing. This lets me know that I can’t always second guess my need to write, which means i can’t second guess my search.

So yeah, I might have a day or two when I need to write about something that stirs up the heart a bit, but that’s life eh? In my short life, I’ve attempted to write three books about girls i’ve had “passionate enterprises with” (I can’t classify all of them as ‘love’), but I’ve only finished one book out of the three. I think its easier to fabricate a story with a few common elements from your life than writing down sequentially the ways your heart got wrenched into ten pieces.

This makes sense again. Love is interesting, a bit illogical and maybe writing is too. Maybe they are both lovers and in love. Writing and Loving. Forever intertwined, like a sappy mid-Sunday evening radio song, or a bad Mills and Boon novel.

who knows. Someday soon I’ll hop onto a computer somewhere and finish that project. But I don’t think i’m ready.

One day, I will be.

Posted January 14, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

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