Thursday, March 01, 2007

You Have To Write About This

I knew I was a writer the night my father died. My friend Angela was there and she was wearing something and changed into something else because she could foresee the sentence coming out of my pen about her outfit. It was funny, and we all had a good laugh about it, as much as you can after your father dies in a plane crash that very day. God knows we were all weary and shell-shocked, but what a strange thing to know that even other people understand that if you are a writer, there is always one part of your brain that is functioning on that level, even in the worst of times. My mind took note of all the people coming in and out of the house and what they said, particularly one woman describing her relationship with her husband, I tell him, You're my bitch, you'd better act like it. What one remembers!

My family and friends have been incredibly generous with their stories -- in fact, many of them collect them for me and present them as gifts. You have to write about this, is usually the opening line. And they are always right. My friends have very good radar and instincts for exactly what will work. When I'm feeling depressed and hopeless, a good story can set me right for days. In fact, Ang called me a couple of days ago to report that there was a picture of a Chuckie doll in the women's restroom at one of our favorite bars in Denton with his phone number underneath it. I'm sure he gets lonely, Angela said. Being a demon doll and all. Hot damn! I wrote the image down and giggled. I'm sure he does, I said, trying to imagine a character who might feel compelled to dial and see who picked up the phone.

Michelle's Spell of the Day

"Putting experience down on paper made it seem less chaotic, less depressing, and more sympathetic." Susan Cheever

Cocktail Hour

Drinking reading suggestion: Home Before Dark Susan Cheever

Benedictions and Maledictions

Happy Thursday!

38 days until The Sopranos airs!


Carmella Soprano said...

In my opinion, answering machines have added a whole new dimension to hang-up calls.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Detroit is for lovers and Belle Isle is for surfing. Hang ten on my board, baby. If you know what I mean.

Ella Bully-Comeons said...

I love strip searches on Belle Isle, in the abandoned casino.

The Voice of Justice said...

Why aren't Detroit's leaders calling for racial diversification of its virtually all African-American school system? Isn't diversity important for a proper education?

Charles Gramlich said...

Seeing as I write mostly horror in which people die in messy ways, I don't get as many family members telling me "you have to write about this." They know I'll kill 'em off if they bother me.

Rodney Dangerfield said...

Congratulations for more than a year of Spells, Michelle. It's been a laugh a minute,no,a second, if you know what I mean.

Tender vittle said...

That's a funny line about the woman calling her husband a bitch.

Oscar Winner said...

Did Helen Mirren take it in the ass in "Caligula"?

Mike Doofy said...

Janice Soprano is a fat, manipulative bitch.

the walking man said...

No one ever gives me writing prompts so I have to write about my life

I was in a locked psychiatric ward and the medical technicians told me I was restricted to the back half of the ward. The portion that was furthest away from the door. I don’t know why they put that restriction on me but for the first day I didn’t push the limit.

Instead I began to bench the free weights, why they had a bar of stainless steel and weights in a psychiatric ward still mystifies me but they did and I decided to exercise. I put two hundred on the bar and lay on the floor (no bench) and reached behind my head and brought the weights into position and started lifting. I did the first rep of ten and could feel the technicians watching. Nobody came over to spot me so I started the second rep and then the game began, I did the first five and let the bar roll out of my hands, I think the entire ward shook when that weight it the floor from three feet up. It landed maybe five inches or so from my head. I reached back and started over again, up…down…up one of the ward techs came and asked if I was ok…I held the weight steady over my head; “sure I’m fine” down …up. I felt he had turned to go back to his desk work….down …up…let the weight roll from my hands with the same result as the first, except two of them came over and said now not only was I restricted to the back half of the ward but I couldn’t use the weights either unless one of them could be with me, which of course was impossible because they had to write everything down that the thirty or forty people in the ward did so the psychiatrist would have something to read beside the graffiti on the toilet walls.

They also gave me a 200 mg pill of Thorazine which I took not knowing what it was but that’s why I was there, drug psychosis, I didn’t feel nuts at the time and to be honest don’t even remember how I had gotten there. One day I was just doing my job and a few hits of acid and smoking some angel dust laced pot, you know the usual shit for a work day and next thing I know I am in this place being told what I can’t do without being told what I could do.

Now that is one situation I don’t like. So I wandered around the back half of the ward and checked it out, a a solarium but there were no plants just a TV locked in a security box and some chairs and ashtrays which were pretty useless because they took all your lighters and matches from you. It wasn’t that I resented having to go to the desk to ask for a light but there was no smoking in the ward so you were supposed to go to the solarium and wait until the tech could get time enough to come give you a light.

I wasn’t a chain smoker then but I was not up for the restrictions; they really pissed me off if you want the truth. But I tried to go by the rules that first day as I felt my way around the ass end of this place.

It was the second day that the fun of being a psychiatric patient started. I was standing by my bed and they opened the door to bring another nut job in and I just took off for freedom.

As soon as I hit the hallway out side a bell went off and almost immediately I was surrounded, great stuff I loved it, eight to one and it took them at least four minutes to get me face down on the checkerboard tile floor.

I think they had superior training than me because I wanted to be free longer than four minutes but they carried me back into the ward and gave me a shot of something that knocked my ass out until the next day. I woke up groggy and slowly remembered what happened. I was asked how I felt what kind of answer can you give when both your wrists and ankles are strapped to the bed frame.

I just told him I’d like some coffee. The left hand restraint came off when they put the table with a cup of joe over my belly. They knew I was right handed but I did jokingly ask for another shot of whatever they hit me with because that was some good shit.

Eventually after a day all of the restraints came off and I was told the rules again about the back half of the ward and stay away from the free weights. I agreed but my fingers were crossed because almost as soon as they were done telling me the rules the door opened again with some cook wheeling in the breakfast cart, I dodged the cart and hit the hallway again with the same result but I was free again if only for a few minutes

I was free from all constraints and I didn’t care what happened afterwards I was free and then I was fighting again to stay free. I lost that fight too and wound up getting hit with 2000 mg of Thorazine everyday for a couple of weeks. I was a zombie but I still had the word freedom tattooed on my shoulder, they saw it but it had no meaning for them. But to me it was everything I ever wanted and no one ever took it from me, at least without a fight.

Paul said...


JR's Thumbprints said...

I've read "Home Before Dark." She shares some pretty dark secrets about her father, his drinking, and his sexuality.

My family doesn't share many stories with me; however, the inmates, the self-centered sons-of-a-bitches that they are, like to share their stories with me, as if I'll write about them and send them a check. Little do they know that I haven't made any real money from my short stories.

John Ricci said...

Dear Michelle,
Detroit is for Lovers. Bravo!

Susan Miller said...

I'd most likely have my friend, Kim, call Chucky. But then she wouldn't do it so then I'd ask Josh...he would if he was in a certain type of mood.

I hope that what you have with your friends is in the future for me. I might still personalize myself too much. Now when friends come to me with a story they always end it with "don't you dare write about that!" Damn.

Spaceman Spiff said...

Cool thats when you knew you were a writer.

When did you figure out you were a whore?

Blogger pervert watch said...

Whoa, nelly. Perv.

the walking man said...

C'mon now you all didn't think I was gonna let that pass did you? Calling Brooks a whore, well lets start with what Spaceman Spiff has to say about himself from his profile....

About Me

I was abandoned by my mother as a kid (Dad stuck around). So I was once an insecure and lonely child with female abandonment issues. To compensate, I became a cold cunning (and very successful) womanizer with female abandonment issues. I got tired of the Man-Whore lifestyle, and sick of the empty headed ho's. I found true love and gave up my whorish ways, and even resolved my abandonment issues. . . . mostly. Monogamous for 10 years and a father of a little girl who I don't want to grow up to meet "me" someday. Blessed with more than I deserve and trying to become worthy of what I have.

Bla bla bla..what a fucking piece of shit you are, someone you don't even know and you call them a whore when you called your self nothing but a reformed whore. Yes I read your blogs and the responses seem to be mostly schizophrenic homophobic rants with you answering yourself. You know dickhead if you had friends maybe then you could get some sympathy for being in a wheelchair if thats true but to be honest i hope your fucking arms quit working because then you'd have to quit jacking off to pictures.

So tell me this if you were so successful with the women and they were nothing but ho's to you then what is your wife and what makes you think that you have changed enough that your ten year old daughter is going to be any different, because you haven't changed. sir to you all women are still whores and you consciously come in here and disrespect and foul mouth someone you don't know. I am glad you admitted on your blog that you suck cock because that's what you are is a cocksucking fuck head with out the the smallest scintilla of respect for anyone but your own sorry ass good for nothing self. asshole.

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