Another Kick, Less Teeth

I’ve lived a sheltered life. I never really knew just how sheltered it was. I had a good home, a good parent, steady income, always plenty of food on the table, lots of fun things to do. I easily got into some of the best schools, got through college with my parents’ help, had commencement with no debt looming over me, and was practically handed my first internship in the world of cinema and storytelling.

The me in those days was ever the optimist. He always believed in the best out of people, stood by his convictions, studied hard and did well in school, and was best characterized by an unwavering belief in himself. He knew what his future would be, he was going to be a storyteller, and share his dreams with people the way others had shared with him. When I was that person, I wrote an entire book, I wrote script after script, and couldn’t stop. The keyboard was like the disco stage from Saturday Night Fever. I just wanted to set my fingers upon it and watch them dance.

I fell in love with words.

Those days ended back in August of 2014. I didn’t really know what the real world was back then because I thought, rather naively, that everyone had the things I had. These past two years I met a different kind of world, one where the basic commodities are hard to come by, promises are hardly kept, and writing becomes less a passion and more something to do to keep from going insane. For the first time I realized how lucky I was, and have been having a hard time trying to recapture that luck.

This week, I hit another failure, and with it a big part of me is now dormant. I almost escaped from the hardware store. It wasn’t much, just a movie theater job, but to me the thought of that job was like touching the sky. Every day, I’d be surrounded by stories in one of the best venues to experience them.

The interview was filled with smiles and jokes. I’d not been so confident in months, and upon leaving I was so sure it was mine. The HR person told me they would call me by a certain time if the job was mine. I waited. Ten minutes, twenty, by forty I knew it was done. Later I figured out there never was a phone call planned. That was just a way to get me out of the office.

All things considered, it’s not nearly as serious as I felt about it. People don’t pass interviews every day. You have no choice but to move on. This one, for whatever reason, hit me really hard. Perhaps it was because I really wanted to leave the hardware store, and such a small dream as working at a slightly better part time job didn’t seem like something so hard to achieve.

Yet I couldn’t even do that. To fail at something so simple as getting a job at a movie theater really hit hard, almost as hard as the layoff itself. I haven’t been able to write anything for my book for the past two days. Losing that spark, for however long, is like losing the ability to see, hear, touch, taste or smell, but somehow deeper.

I really don’t know how much longer I can take this. I’m not the kind of guy you want sitting in a room staring at walls with nothing to do. I’ve got to be out there living, not just surviving. Without living, the writing doesn’t come easy.


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