What I Learnt From Charlie & Lucy

Whiling away the time outside, before this big storm comes in tonight, reading my ebook, enjoying my little secret space in-between.

I had earlier in the week been drowsing through some prize winning novelist us intellectual sorts are suppose to fancy, and not feeling the love, so I went hunting for something alittle different, and I found it.

Yet my after work eyes that stare at a screen all day began to droop, so I’m laying back, in a kind of meditative state, mesmerized by the zig-zag of the leaves overhead, and I realized that I take on the persona of whomever I happen to be with. No idea where these thoughts sprung from, in subtle ways of course, but it happens. Probably things only I even notice, but I’ve noticed it over the last year happening more and more.

I do this with pieces from women, as well as from men.

Not so much likes and dislikes at all, but subtle things, like mannerisms sometimes, or perhaps just the pace at which they walk, or the way they hold a wine glass. It struck me… that as well as these gestures, come THEIR fears, and THEIR dreams, and THEIR drama, which is what these little scraps I collect really represent. In time I abandon myself, like a unwanted cat by the side of the road.

Somewhere out there, I wonder if there is some being that has been constructed of all the pieces of myself I have cast-off? Walking around, being the person I could have been, wanted to be, was afraid to be? Like my shadow, but more real, more solid. Not dark, but light, and powerful.

Damn. Interesting, that the one thing too I’ve always wanted, is of course the one thing that has always been my downfall, and still has remained that one elusive desire.

It’s not a bad thing to care, but I wonder if I instead just ingest some of their anxieties, their fears, their loves, their desires, and it goes down in clumps, and like a hairball, it gets caught in my gut, and so I muffle my own inner voice.

I’ve hidden it away, smothered it within that shallow grave I dug. And with the burial of my fears, so I as well discarded my deepest of desires.

And please, don’t judge the book I mentioned, regardless of my harshesque critique, its actually not a bad read. I am enjoying it, maybe I need a bit more of the frivolous in my life. And I like the fantastical storyline, and the underlying kitsch to the thing. Even with an arguably adolescent storyline, the author has managed to retain a certain edge of sophistication. I also enjoy the fact the book is not all full of itself, like the other lofty writer. And the story is told, and it makes you smile, and you enjoy the ride through the authors imagination, and those are the best sorts of books.

I find lately I read as much for research, as for pleasure. Examining an authors structure, their perspective, their characterization. How they develop the story, and even simple stuff like dialogue, and creating atmosphere. I’m being honest with what I like, and thus be inspired.

Ok, sorry, interlude of a creative mind, getting off track.

Anyways, so, yeah Mom, I’m beginning to see that I take on too much of the people around me. Which I would think is why I become so introverted. Makes sense, when I acknowledge how exhausting it is dragging around everyone else’s crap, and not leaving room for any of my own shite. In fact, its like I ingest bits and pieces of all these random bits of emotions, all the scattered feelings, broken on the ground aspirations, and I become overwhelmed with someone else’s sack of woe. I’m fine I say, but I’m not entirely. Not whole-heartedly.

I’m not sure this is making sense, but tangled up in that is the solution to both my current dramas (for lack of a better term).

So, in other news, I’m writing stories. No, not family stories, but fictional stories. Currently in a kind of piecemeal fashion, as I carve away at the chunk of ideas that have followed me around the last few months. Dirty rotten scoundrels…have all these tales they babble on about, but when the time comes to create, they are gone with the wind.

Don’t get me wrong, I share some of the responsibility for sure, but curse it, them, whatever. So instead of going at it directly, I decided to sneak up, sneak around, do it differently, somehow.

See I have this theory Mom, that in the past, every single goddamn time I tried to go towards that which I happened at the time to desire, when an idea began to flourish, or a career begin to blossom…they snatched it up (they, as in the devil is in the details). And I find, again, like Lucy and her goddamn football, pretty much every time I go for it, and like poor old Charlie Brown, I go for the ball as if THIS time it will be different. And it never is, ever, cause I kept doing it the same way, thinking that THIS time, Lucy won’t be Lucy.

Lucy and Charlie have a complicated relationship. Charlie, for whatever reason, trusts Lucy. I mean, she’s his psychiatrist, after all. I’ve read before in the older version of The Peanuts that Charlie would even read to Lucy. I think when I look at Lucy and Charlie, it’s like they are two half’s of a whole, that somehow lost touch with themselves.

Charlie, in his masculine pride, and boyish charm, naively believing that the feminine self will not pull the ball away, again and again and again. We are who we are though, and I for the longest time self-identified with poor Charlie alone, and never could admit there was a Lucy. I understood his sense of betrayal at being the dull end of a prank. She bullies him, and treats him horribly, but he still trusts her. I did though often wonder why; hopeless unapologetic romantic I suppose, as am I.

Lucy only does it though because he lets her. He allows her to bully him, he allows her to prank him, over and over again. As we often do to ourselves.

So this time I’m not writing a book, I’m not maybe even writing a short story, I’m merely writing. That’s it. Its like I’m sneaking up on it. I’m doing it differently, and as some character in a book once advised, I am not “playing the music the same way”, so as not to attract the attention of whatever it is that blows me off course. I’m not listening, I’m not falling for the same, again and again.

And Mom, whilst gazing up into that big Black Walnut Tree earlier, I also realized that I need to continue to write to you, cause I almost was about to stop. I realized with all the stuff that lays inside, all bottled up, and with all the stories and bits and pieces of other people I somehow manage to gather, I need you, as I have always needed you, to just listen. Maybe to help me sort the bull from the shite.

So this week I just wrote. I wrote what I wanted, how I want, I felt my way along the wall, and I let go, I let go of my anxiety, and the genies of inspiration that live in dusty corners may whisper their tales, or not. If those daemon’s, or ghosts of ancient bards, have something to say they know where to find me.

I imagine you maybe nod your head (I often picture you, sitting silently across from me, watching my every word), and in my mind I’ll know what you would have said to me, if you could. And that’s enough.

Perhaps I’ll learn, as Charlie never seemed to, that Lucy will always be Lucy. We are who we are, and nothing, no amount of wishful thinking, or good intentions, is going to change that fundamental core of who we really are inside. Perhaps the higher lesson is that doing the same thing, again and again, but expecting a different result, is kinda stupid.

Always,

Paula

Book Reviewed: ‘Ghost And The Graveyard’ by Genevieve Jack
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