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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Monarch Migration

Maybe we're all so desperate in our daily lives for Hollywood action, we make up vague memories of spaceships, aliens and moving stars. I ponder that often as I go through my own life; a life that I'm told is neither boring nor typical. Even if you take out my own star traveling vehicles what's left is full of drama and bright conclusions.

But I'll tell you a secret.

Your life is exactly the same way.

The trick to it is not in any difference between how I get out of bed in the morning versus how you do the same. The trick is in the storytelling. For instance, I have a very hilarious story about how I almost burned my house down using the same cooking pot on the same burner of the same stove three separate times. It's a true story. It's fantastic. It's entertaining. And it could happen to anybody, and probably has. I merely make it sparkle with the telling.

I have more true stories from my life that are just as full of glitter, but people don't believe me. Such as the time I caught a catfish in my fishing net in the pond behind the house while searching for minnows. The way it splashed in my net and the glimpses of its black glossy hide made me think it was at least a foot long before it managed to jump to freedom. But the ditch was small, and my net was only a little larger than that. So no one, to this day, believes my story. It's the big one that got away.

There are even stranger things in my life people don't believe because they're too weird to be true - to them, at least. But it isn't that the events were strange or impossible; I just have no other way to describe them to you using this clumsy spoken language. But I consider when Turtle Island was first visited by the strangers from far away. "Strange clouds on the water," one villager said to another, describing their mode of transportation. These strange pale beasts rode in the clouds.

... or did they?

No. They rode on sailing ships in the water. But "strange white clouds" was the strange way of telling the tale.

But again, maybe we all just really want to be special that badly. Our media and the world around us is saturated with faked, air brush images of people who we're told are special. They look nothing like us, they act nothing like us, and this means we're not as awesome as they. Then some person stands forward and says "I was abducted by aliens." At first they're made fun of. Then they're believed. Then someone writes a book on their life and they're famous. They're special. And we think: man. Why can't that be us?

And then we fool ourselves.

"I think... yeah... pretty sure I remember that was me, too!" And yes, friends, we can make up memories and lie to ourselves quite convincingly. So much so that a lot of my day is spent wondering when I'm lying to myself and when I'm not. And I worry that I'm telling myself that lie, because I can't see my own sparkle for what it is.

But, and this is important, there is much in my life that is true. In fact I'd say the entire past 40 years really happened, if not more. I just gotta make sure I remember the true parts and dodge the parts I made up.

This blog - this book - might be career suicide for me. But my career isn't exactly the most successful anyway. Someone once accused me of believing I'm in a comic book - he was a jealous lover to a young man I thought was my best friend. I loved my best friend very much - the way I love all my friends - and the accuser was a very manipulative and angry man. No one understood my feelings for my friend - they thought I wanted a lover when I didn't want anyone close to me like that at all - and to this day I still get angry when I think of the little drama queens that came to me for gossip and said I was being led on. I wasn't being led on. I watched in silence in the corner as the two fought, as they almost came to blows, and even handled the police at the front of their restaurant while they threw pots and argued in the back.

"She thinks she lives in a comic book," was the rumor when the accuser found a way to get rid of me once and for all. "And she thinks she's trying to save my boyfriend from me, the evil!"

They laughed at me. They made fun. They thought it was hilarious, and that I was insane. But not one of them thought to hear about the time my best friend asked me to please help him to get out of there. To help him survive. To stay by his side, because he needed a friend.

I write comics, fantasy, science fiction, and whatever other story I choose to weave. I am in them as far as any good writer needs to be: I am the Great Creator. But I don't believe I am literally my own comic book character the way the FBI apparently accused me of when doing a friend's background check.

So then let this book, this blog, be another woven and fantastic tale. Believe or don't believe. Accept the truth of strange white clouds or assume inexperience means nothing less than a lack of wonder.

Know this: I lay in bed a year and a half ago. I was half-asleep. Then the music played. By the time I'd identified the song, I stood up out of bed wide awake. I was full of energy and driven with purpose.

There were two men standing at the door; they wore dress blues of some sort. To sum up the story, for I shall tell it entirely later, they realized I was aware and zapped the back of my head with a tazer.

I know it was a tazer because I woke up with the head wound the next day - and it's a scar tissue wound that didn't heal for at least a year.

It's kind of hard to dream a wound like that into existence.