Writing is a messy affair for me. It has taken me a ridiculously long time to settle in and find my ‘niche’ — (Kee-RYSTE! — I hate that word— when you say it out loud to someone, be prepared to block an involuntary punch to your face).
I’m a messy guy by nature, but only a little. I am friends with order, and neatness is a sought after one-night-stand. Tidy and I rarely meet, but when we do, the flames of passion burst forth as if we’d never been apart. We dash about the room together, locked in our torrid embrace, barely noticing the items we destroy. “Throw it out!” she whispers hotly in my ear and I merrily obey, knowing I’ll have all the time in the world to regret it later. I rarely do.
Organization then must be my first wife, now long divorced. She sometimes calls, most often to gloat about some new conquest of hers. She gets an awful lot of book deals. Shit, I’ve even read a few. In the warm sunlight of a newborn day though, she really is kind of a bitch- very demanding, always taking the perspective from the opposite side. “Don’t you want nice things?? – Wouldn’t you like to save time?? – I don’t know where your shoes are… the last time I wore them they were…” … You get the picture. So, those phone calls tend to make me push back, back into the arms of the gal I know best. Messy.
What I’m discovering is – I like messy when it comes to prose, poems, songs, and stories. It’s where my head pops open and I can create. Does my messiness offend you? Good, go away. I don’t hate you, no please, don’t go away mad- just go away. Seriously, don’t be offended- if my messiness puts you off well, maybe we’re not meant to be friends.
Cleanliness is a fun-lovin’ gal I really do like hanging out with. She’ll never displace my churnin’ burnin’ hunk o’ love that is messiness, but she always leaves me satisfied. I’m embarrassed to confess; we have been known to engage in a three-way or two. Ultimately though, cleanliness departs for greener pastures, back to someone who takes her seriously, leaving messy and me to rediscover our true shared nature.
So here I now type, up to my earlobes in un-filed pages, yet knowing where everything is. I have made pilgrimages to rooms owned by the uber-organized and I gotta say… it kinda creeps me out. Most of these folks appear entirely “all together” in an enviable way, a Stepford Wives kinda thing. It looks really cool, but I just keep thinking they might know where the gun and the appropriate ammo are stored and exactly how long it will take them to load up and go “PWING!”, suddenly convinced that I’m no longer a welcome guest on their planet. I picture them dragging my body to a pre-dug hole in the woods, burying me in a tidy grave next to a meditation bench.
We all feather our nests differently I suppose, and I guess the occasional call from my first wife is useful after all. When I hang up I almost always pick up the phone to call cleanliness again. “Hey sweetie, what are you up to tonight?” ~TH~