The written assignment on my MA this week was a piece exploring ourselves as writers and I went a bit left field. I don’t like writing from my own voice- I find I can be more honest from a fictional perspective. ‘Give a man a mask and he’ll tell you the truth,’ said Oscar Wilde. (So… blogging will be fun! I’m currently writing a non fiction book with memoir elements, so it’s something I’m working up to.)
I’m a writer; which for me means that I pretend to be other people. I don’t have my own ‘voice’. So, I put some of my characters to work and had them do my homework for me. Here are a few of them discussing me as a writer, or omipresent God character intruding on their worlds. It was interesting hearing what they thought of me as a writer/person/diety- I’d recommend it as a writing exercise.
So you’re omnipresent. Like gluttonous commanders overseeing battles. Men like that feel powerful but their muscles soon turn to fat and their instincts deaden. Do you feel powerful at your little desk?
A good leader needs to both push and nurture his team. Your men are your life, and we both know hell is something that you take home with you. It fashions itself a cavern of living rocks. I have walked your hells as well as my own; they permeate my senses. I am your Cerebus. Monster or man? Do you fear for me? Am I another of your Ghosts? Do I pervade your waking thoughts; do I slink through your night watches like a ghoul?
You want to know what I’m worth? Is that my ‘arc’? Do you expect me to stay rigid here? Do you truly think of me as a figment of your imagination? What do you feel when you lose grip on my character? Am I delinquent when I desert you? Do you class it mutiny when I place my desires above your own? Or do you see it as proof that I am living? I am lodged in your mind like a security chip; there is my insurance.
Girl, your genes are your hand; play them wisely. I didn’t sire you, rather, you birthed me; you’re an omnipresent dam. You are many things I am not, though you know that already. You’ve designed my advantages and failings, but this works both ways. This is in your blood. Why flounder when you can do just what you were designed to do?
A Commander must love his men while sending them to die, it is a delicate equation.
What are you? Say it. If you don’t declare your place, others will decide for you. Everyone wants you in a box. If you do not know yourself, then you are lost.
This window to my world is painted shut, but you pace and ignore the door. I am familiar with your obsession; would you move time and space to cage me again?
You need me to keep your own hands clean. You need an army because you cannot enforce your agenda without killing what you create.
/There/ is your glory.
My name is Poppy Kusch. I’ll overlook your lack of introduction on account of this is a very unusual situation.
Earnest used to write long equations- attempting to unlock heaven with a safe combination. He clung to my hand when they took his leg off and he told me that poppies can grow where the earth is dry and broken.
My Daddy always used to say that it was vulgar to court new money, but what person ought to fall in love three times at once? You know what we are? We’re footprints washed away by the surf. That’s how it feels to live outside of your time. I don’t exist here anymore. In Tao- spaces /where/ people have been, are full of meaning. Our memories are Ghosts and the places you’ve been are different worlds.
I was raised a God fearing Christian woman, but I wonder if he gets lonely being everywhere and nowhere at once, making everyone in his image and them not recognising him. I know he won’t approve of people like us that defy His natural law. You’re like me, you’re nowhere. Synchronicity is a divine, pure thing, but there are corporations that act like Gods. What if He doesn’t have any grace to spare for me?
Sometimes… I think that there ought not be a God, each time I watch them without me. When I know I’m on nightshift and slip into our past, into our bed, like a thief. I watch for ways to stop the present and divert the course like a new river.
I’ll be damned if /you/ don’t do the same without a cordial invitation.
I’m a rational man but I can entertain the thought of you. I’m capable of existential thought. See, I always imagined God as someone that created order. I can entertain, hypothetically, that I could be a character written in a book. I understand that there are things about me that are- alien. Do you know what it means to be human? I know a patient is alive when their heart is beating. Even with a recently asystolic patient, there are signs of life; but when the heart is no longer responding- that is when a patient’s chance of recovery is nil.
Forgive my bluntness – I think you’re a fantasist and I don’t accept your doctrine.
Has no-one told you that you’re enough? I’ve been young before, talk to me. I’d like to show you what a family is like. I have a modest salary and pokey staircase, but I’m happy. Someday I hope you’ll understand that you can be more than this. Be happy- look after your health, it’s the most important thing you’ll have.
Help me to understand why you act out. I want to help; you’re an odd sock that I want to neatly fold and place among the others. I just want you to know you always have choices. But I digress- you’re still young, and someday you’ll see what I mean, when you’ve settled.
I want to show you something; come into my home- see the tiled floor my wife chose and the scorch marks from Halloween. See our daughters faded drawings on the fridge. See our breakfast dishes still in the sink. My staircases are only narrow, but you’d have me think they were just corridors in your mind. You say you can’t exist here/ If you can, climb them, mind the creaking fourth stair; what do you see? There’s my daughter’s room and there’s my bathroom, there are fresh towels in the airing cupboard. See where the staircase leads- it isn’t to some cloudy sky or rooftop. This is the home I have made for my family.
Fantasist, tell me where this house is in you. Is it a malignancy causing cardiac tamponade? Is there too much blood building up around your heart?
Open the window, let the air in. Watch the dust float in the air and let the room breathe. If I could reach your stuck fast heart- if I could share what I have made here, because I am rich where you are poor.
You cannot say that /love/… did not build this.
This is kinda screwy and I’ve never been a big thinking kind of guy. If this was gonna be my big thought, I’d wonder who the hell was dreaming up my life and making me wanna look around corners. What’s the point of making any decisions, might as well sit on the sofa and catch the end of the game, stop going to work if some person in the sky was sending me crazy customers to ‘move the plot along.’
I may not be that quick, but she’s gonna have to come drag me out of this chair. Come here, have a drink. I know she’s kinda independent, and I like that, but I’d like to do the kind of stuff I know she’d hate, but would make me feel all puffed up, like I’m taller than all the other guy as she writes.
I saw a thing once, I’m not that good at explaining this sort of stuff, it was like, anyone can be anything, like, you’re a blank sheet of paper, you might be flimsy right, so you can fold into tight little corners but standing up all stiff isn’t your thing. Sorry, told you this wasn’t my strong suit.
It’s kinda weird, right? Comparing yourself to paper? But I get it, the folding, flat, right. I failed college so I couldn’t tell you much about right angles and all that stuff.
I wonder what type I am. Red maybe, dunno if you’re allowed to pick a colour too.
Listen, you don’t need me slowing you down, you’re real smart, I think you’re turquoise.
For an all seeing thing, person, God? You’re not that bad. Wait, that means you see everything, like, thoughts and stuff? Crap. You wouldn’t judge me right? If you made me? Some people can’t help what colour they are. He’s not that bad, just… You love people anyway, but I guess you know that.
Klara? I get her. She’s the part of me I can’t look too long at. She watches me and knows why I do what I do, because she’s done it too. Don’t watch me; blindfold me, and I’ll say what you can’t.
What are your limits? Come on, curl down here with me and maybe I’ll sing something to you real quiet. Want me touch you, prove I’m real? I don’t have your inhibitions. What are /my/ limits? I’ll let that sit with you a bit.
Lay yourself out I won’t stare if you don’t want me too, you just have to get comfortable in your skin. I know, yeah, I’m one to talk. I stretch beyond this skin, I go all out, into your mind and back into mine, and it’s crazy to think about. I go near ledges that you won’t.
Sir, Ma’m, what should I call you? I can take orders real well. Come on, what are you capable of? Or are you dying to be comfortable?
I’m parts of you that are too shy. You live through me but I’m in you. I’m deep back here, down in your cranium, I’m who you go to when you clamp hands over your ears and go underwater. I’m bone deep, pardon the expression. I’m in the marrow.
So you want me to call you Ma’am? Wanna role play and I’ll say it real pretty? Way I see it, we’re both in it deep. No use pretending unless you want to play.
I know what I’m worth.
See that un-formed thought; that amorphous blob? I’m bleeding at the trim.