Rainy night

Background lights reflect off watery pavement

Watery applause

filters through my window;

an atmospheric

stream of consciousness,

rafting my mind

to memories thought lost,

of friends, of love,

of pain, of loss.

Flushing rivulets

clear out the old

to make space for

sunnier days ahead.

Heavy rains make for sodden cycling

Heavy rains make for sodden cycling

Rain drops in such profusion that ripples annihilate ripples

Rain drops in such profusion that ripples annihilate ripples

Web sights

Kevlar strands of extruded protein

Home and snare in one

Patterns of neglect woven by time

Forgotten relics of a life now gone

Dusted, drowned and swept away

Urban renewal for insectine lives

Know when it’s over

Writing a screenplay or novel is a lot like being in a long-term relationship as you largely go through the same steps.

At first, you’re unfailingly passionate about your partner, flush with love for an incredible idea. You dive into her with a zeal you have never felt before and are certain you will never experience again. You embrace every inch of her, her very essence and when finally forced to surface, you just want to show everyone how happy you are.

As time goes on, however, the initial zeal diminishes, if not in scale, at least in monomaniacal focus. You become more comfortable with her. You spend more time contemplating her rather than just diving in. You are caring, loving, nurturing. And even if not everything proceeds as smoothly as it once did, those are just the little maturities that slip into life.

Eventually, you grow into each other. There is love, there is care, but it’s mellower, more set in its ways. She isn’t as all-consuming as she once was, but you’re both okay with that. You might spend time with other couples, sharing common bonds and then making fun of them on your way home. Life is good, it’s right, it’s comfortable.

Now, if you’re fortunate, this goes on for the rest of your time together. You mature with each other. You fulfill her needs until that fateful day when she passes on to the other side. You’re wistful, but satisfied that you had a good life together.

Not every couple is so fortunate, however.

Sometimes little inconsistencies or minor difficulties can inflate in importance. What was once just a tiny tic, becomes this really aggravating feature that just drives you up the wall. Oh, you try to work through it. You try to convince yourself it’s nothing, that you’re just being paranoid, but after a certain point, she just seems to do it all the time and damn it, on purpose.

You soon find yourself coming up with excuses to go out for a little bit to clear your head, but the moment you leave the house, you find your mind wandering off to sexier screenplay ideas. You’re fantasizing and you can’t help it. And damned if, the minute you walk back into the house, there she is, staring right at you like she can read your mind.

“What do you expect?” you scream. “You knew I was an artist when we started.” And she just lay there, letting you stew in your self-incriminating guilt. It’s the silence, the inertness that just gets under your skin.

If you’re lucky enough to calm down, you may decide that you just need a little time apart. Both of you. A little time to remember why you came together in the first place. A month, six months, a year later, maybe those petty little problems won’t be so big. Hell, you might even have found a way around them. But right now, you just need some space.

Time goes by and maybe you do get back together to solve your differences. But maybe you don’t. It’s tough, but you realize it’s over. It’s time to move on.

It’s okay. You’ll live. You can’t beat yourself up over it. You tried and it just didn’t work out.

You may not think it right now, but there’ll be others. You’ll try again and maybe that one will work out differently.

You didn’t fail. You’re not a bad person. It just wasn’t meant to be.

You have to know when it’s over…but nothing says you have to know any sooner than is absolutely necessary.

 

PS If screenplays and novels are long-term relationships, I guess that makes sketch comedy a quickie in the alley. No wonder they’re so much fun, but rarely fulfilling.

Hephaestus lives

There is something magical about fire. It destroys. It cleanses. It rejuventates.

Few other media seems so alive and yet have no life. It has an almost palpable need to fight for its existence.

A few years ago, I was awoken by bright light through my bedroom window, which would have been fine, but the clock said it was only 4 a.m. Rising from my bed, I drew back the blinds and the room was suffused by the yellow-orange glow of a fire that raged in the next building. The rooftop patio of the club across the alley was aflame.

I was transfixed by the flames that shot higher and higher, dancing across the wooden frame and sending its embers out in search of new sustenance, dancing on the breeze the fire itself created.

Luckily, no one but the club owner’s bank account was injured.