Friday, August 20, 2010

Punch Myself in the Face

Have you ever wanted to punch yourself?
The other day, I was punching the bag with a new pair of gloves, and then I started wondering how much it would hurt if I got hit with someone wearing that particular set of gloves. So I punched myself in the face, lightly at first then I got brave and really went for it. Hurt like hell. Immediately following I was wondering why I would inflict such pain on myself as I stood for a moment seriously moaning. Mouth open moaning. But this isn't even what I'm talking about.

I'm working on a graphic novel, really a small zine for the upcoming SF zinefest in September. Something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but now that I have a deadline I think I'll actually get it done unless I just can't get past the story. See once I get the story down I'll be free to illustrate and do the imagery, but I'm stuck right now with the story. I'm just as excited with the writing but it definitely isn't my strong suite. I have a nice intro, good scenes, but no end, and no real overarching theme and there aren't details about the just kind of starts and then ends. It's a story that's supposed to be loosely based on my life and a particular relationship but it's completely that very story to the T. I can't seem to separate myself from it enough to fictionalize any of it. The other part is I don't exactly remember all the very specific details so I'd have to go back and revisit physical documents to get those. Anytime you do that, it's a little scary. You never know what will happen. Although I'm pretty confident I've completely healed from that particular past, there are the things that still affect you even after the healing, the things that are peripheral to the relationship. There's always the unexpected, as much as you try to consider every possible thing that could happen, you never think of the one that does.

So last night I ventured to that place. I went down to the basement and dug up all the old journals, mementos, photos and letters. Then I went to my email account and searched for all the emails that were exchanged over the 6 years, so many at the beginning only a handful in the end. I sat there reading them, initially unaffected, not surprised that I wasn't. Then I got into the long break up emails the ones that described in detail why things didn't work. The ones that gave detailed descriptions of how wonderful we were as people yet not compatible. The ones that told of how sorry we were for all the pressures and wrongful expectations we placed on each other. And then the story started to unfold even further... in the details, in the snapshot of everyday life that was captured in g-chat email records. I was still trying to figure out life and my passions, I couldn't promise a future I didn't know but I wanted to so bad.

There was one chat string in particular that broke me. She started humming, in the youngest child-like way she did and I ignored that completely, instead pressing her about plane tickets, she continued humming.. punching out beautiful words to this song, I kept pressing between those words until she responded to me. Then I told her I was
If I could heal your words
leaving to eat and she inquired about the food and who I was eating
Shelter me
with and I simply said "spaghetti" and the string you could
Comfort me
see additional questions and the multiple hellos? Hellos? David?
You will live
You there? and then a sad face :( . And I could hear her voice and I was
If I could show you how
cringing, helpless, unable to go back in time. All I could do was pinch
I won't desert you now
the skin on top of my forearms. I was so insensitive, so mean.
The rain can't hurt me now
Who was that guy? How dare he, how dare I. And at that moment I
This rain will wash away what's past
wanted to punch him in the face, punch myself in the face.
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
I'll sleep in your embrace at last

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