Friday, September 9, 2016

"An Inexpressively Gratifying Moment"

Which I shall now attempt to express. 

Just lowering the bar.

“For an ‘inexpressible moment’, he was reasonably successful.”

And off we go.

Visiting Toronto not long ago, during a conversation concerning my blogging activities – I cannot be more specific about the details because, as usual, since I was unaware I would be writing about it later I paid insufficient attention to the circumstances – I mean, it’s not like I’m on full-time “Recording Myself For Posterity Alert!” – what kind of “Ego Person” is that?

I mean, the presidents do it, but that’s history.  I’m just living my life here.  But then afterwards, recreating, “How exactly did that happen?” I have no subsequent recollection, the surrounding circumstances of the things I end up writing about being as irretrievable to me as the surrounding circumstances of things I end up not writing about.  At the time, they all seem the same – the dispensable soundtrack of everyday experience.


We are conversing about my experience – what I write about and what I don’t – when a friend – a very dear friend, as will be evidenced by his upcoming pronouncement – proclaimed, loudly and confidently:

“He can write anything.”

That was extremely gratifying to hear.

It’s not true… but still extremely gratifying to hear.

(Making me kvell – luxuriate inwardly – although externally, I was too emotionally moved to acknowledge it.  It’s funny.  I have a functioning “Poker Face”, but only for the good stuff.)

I can’t write anything.  (Though it is great someone believes that I can.)

I cannot write what does not come to my mind.  (Though it might come easily to somebody else’s.)

I cannot, as I have frequently confessed, write fiction.  (Fearing punishment for pretending a story is real when it is demonstrably made up.  Also, lacking the enforcing boundaries of biographical reality, I am literarily at sea.)

I cannot write “mean.”  (At least not for too long.)  I cannot write devious.  I cannot write manipulative.  I cannot write sexy.  And I can barely write romantic.  (My cheeks reddened typing the word.)

I cannot write provocatively.  (Although there are provocative thoughts clamoring for attention, set aside for being overly preachy or “too hot to handle.”

What can I write?

An idea floats into my consciousness, I find an appropriate structure for the narrative… 

And then I’m good. 

(Freudian Slip:  I just typed “And then I’m god.”  How embarrassing is that!”)

For some reason, I am an unreliable discriminator between my better posts and the “Lesser Earlo’s.”  I truly cannot tell the difference.  They seemed equally okay to me at the time.  If one didn't, I would keep working on it until it did.

I tend to perform in various styles – not various writing styles; an interested satirist could easily parody my habitual patois – but in gradations of seriousness.

My personal favorite, I think, since I did not go back and read them all before venturing this pronouncement…

… is when I make something out of what appears to be nothing.

What comes to mind is a post I wrote a while back concerning the trepidation I felt standing in the bathtub, holding this gigantic (and heavy) bar of recently purchased shower soap, fearing it would slip out of my hand, drop down and fracture a tiny bone in my foot.  

I enjoyed that story, derived from actual experience and rendered with minimal exaggeration. 

I felt genuinely jeopardized in that shower, not, I believed at the time and later chronicling the story, without reasonable justification. 

Shower soaps not infrequently slip out of your hand.  And if this humongous one did, it could do serious bodily damage.  I had experienced small bone foot fractures in the past – once when I stepped into a sidewalk pothole in Manhattan and again when a cabinet drawer I pulled out too far tumbled down onto it.  With these cautionary misfortunes in mind, a possible “Re-do” with the giant shower soap seemed neither bizarre nor theoretical.

I think that one worked out. 

(Except for the title, which, like the majority of my titles, is so tangentially unilluminating, I am unable to “link” you to it so you can read it for yourself.)

(Assuming I know how to “link”, which I don’t.)

If an idea sparks my interest and I determine a strategy for structuring the material, then I am – risking a retributive “whammy” for saying so – generally on my way. 

I mean, look at this.  (He bragged unappealingly.)

I made an acceptable blog post out of 

“He can write anything.”

1 comment:

JED said...

You may be talking about this post:

My favorites of your posts were your series on your time in London, your fictitious interviews with bit players in Western movies and your trip to Paris where you met the "attractive dark-haired girl" playing pinball.