Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Most Miserable, Sad Tales You Can Imagine



My dear friend Angela left a number of Peanuts cartoons on my work computer years ago when we commenced to paint my office silver (bad decision as it was painted over a mere year later forcing me to go to Home Depot (most miserable place on the planet for me) and buy some board to repaint one drunken night lest I have to look at the beige-colored walls at work, circa 1930s Social Security Bureau style), and my favorite cartoon is of Linus talking to his teacher about his latest story, telling her that he's writing about "this kid who is in kindergarden and how the stress is slowly destroying him." We never get the teacher's response (one of the many brilliant decisions of Peanuts is never to let the adults talk, thereby rendering the children as adults), but he replies, "Well, I've also got one about purple bunnies . . . " Which kind of sums up my writing life. My mother, God rest her soul, used to say, "Can't you write something uplifting?" Ha! The woman delighted in the most miserable, sad tales you can imagine, her favorite ones ending with "and then he or she died a sudden and horrible death." She'd sit back, satisfied that she'd shocked her audience. "Bet you didn't see that coming," she say. But I almost always did.

One thing people used to say a lot back in my old hometown was Bloom where you are planted. I think I have, strangely enough, despite all the attempts to be different. What we run from is essentially what we become, and almost all energy designed not to end up a certain way seems to guarantee us that fate. I used to have a lot of rules to keep myself in line, to keep myself from not being a certain kind of person. I've tried to erase, At least I don't . . . from my mental dialogue. Because you are who you are and under certain circumstances, I don't know what I'd do. Better to start a story about someone who is slowly being eaten alive by stress and as for the purple bunnies, they'll come in when the time is right.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"During the darkest hours, when my anger burned the hottest, I learned to pray." Earl R. Miles

Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story suggestion: The Celibacy Club Janice Eidus

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Wednesday!

8 comments:

Brian in Mpls said...

Thats why I just write to think and entertain myself.

PS I don't like the bloom where you are statement it just seems to limiting

Cheri said...

Whats ironic about that quote, Bloom where you are planted, is that I got it in a scrapbooking/card making set that my mother bought me and I've been trying to figure out its meaning ever since. It's actually staring at me right now, to my left, at the very top of the page that it lives on. Beneath it is a Jane Austen quote ("One can never have too large a party") and it makes me wonder who chooses such phrases to be bundled together.

Interesting photo! I've always been partial to the comics that were one square only- a lot can be said in a small amount of space. And I have a few that I keep to where every time that I re-read them, I find something new that I hadn't before.

See you in class!

the walking man said...

We is what we is and nothing in the amount of desire to change what we is is going to change what we is and that is what are planted from the assaults of time.

peace

mark

Lana Gramlich said...

This reminds me of the "Happiness is..." Peanuts book that came out many years ago. I stumbled upon it as an adult & was surprised to find that; "Happiness is...finding out you're not as stupid as you thought you were." I doubt something like that would ever be published today!

realbigwings said...

Great photo~

Jason said...

Dynamite photo M! You should start selling prints! ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

I can't seem to find any rules that work.

Jon said...

Flash fiction: the literary One Square Cartoon. I kind of like that.