Monday, December 06, 2004

A Small Life: Part II

(...or the big space inside my head)


I think deep down I honestly knew I was never going to make it in the music biz. For one, I didn't really put in the effort it truly required, and number two, I have come to realize I don't quite have the talent to pull it off. As a safety valve, I had turned to writing during the long years waiting for my rock and roll ship to come in. Writing, unlike painting, which I had left behind because, again, there was talent there - but just not enough, required little in the way of materials or hard labor. I started by writing letters to the editor to local newspapers. I quickly learned to be provocative with my prose, just a touch this side of inflammatory without being kooky. I delighted in the way I could get other readers to chime in on the subject of my choosing. Mostly they thought I was a moron or at least woefully misguided. Before long I had been published a dozen times in both the local dailies. The St. Paul paper had a dozen open spots every year for community-based writers. Every December the editors picked the twelve from hundreds of wannabes like me. Every year I was snubbed, turned down cold. The op-ed editor and I maintained a cordial e-mail correspondence for years and still I was never given a shot. There were a couple of times I made the cut and was even asked to submit a second sample column, yet the call never came.

I tried my hand at the great American novel too. I did it; I have a manuscript in my hand ready to be critically edited. I have no idea what to do with it. What little I really knew about the music industry I knew even less about the publishing world. Besides, there are a million good writers out there, way more than there are good musicians. What chance do I really have? What could I possibly write than hasn't already been written? And who really gives a damn?

(…or the big space inside my head)

In order to keep real life at bay, like I have been doing all my life I find my self living in the big space inside my head. It's roomy, that's for sure. It's safe, tidy, comforting and dull, but here I am finally living large. Instead of being dragged down by the minutiae of daily life I keep my head in clouds and think heavy philosophical thoughts. I study history and dream of future to come instead of living in the here and now. And by dissecting this fact I realize what living large really means. It means living every moment like it's your last. Wow, just like that, huh. So, that's what it is… Life is a cliché.

I will make it my mission to live large. The future is now. Today is the first day of the rest of my life. Amen brother!


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