To Reach The Green Light At The End Of The Pier
FOR AS LONG AS IT TAKES: "We are saving ourselves through the words," says Eleanor, the leading lady of a novel-in-progress. This exploration into the creative process -- which includes plenty of distractions/tangents /thoughts & rants by Eleanor, her Biographer, and selected guest artists -- will continue until Eleanor is certain her story is "right." (But we dare not jump ahead of ourselves.)
There will be the occasional typo (as Eleanor points out), and much of this is intended to be "original draft" -- what comes out of our mouths (heads) first, and then set down in that order. Not all of it will be included in the novel, but all of it is happening in real time.
Monday, June 23, 2008
You Are Here, But Can I Trust You?
a novel by Geoff Schutt
Where is the happy ending? And in that question is everything we’ve been brainwashed with our entire lives. You’ve heard people say it, and perhaps you’ve said it yourself –- that it’s not the destination, but the journey, the there from here. That’s what counts, the journey. But without the happy ending, we lose all of our fairy tales. There’s no closure. We’re just rats racing on a treadmill, getting nowhere. It just keeps on racing, getting nowhere, while all the time, it thinks something different, that by racing faster, it will get somewhere. There to here.
It’s not the journey, believe me. The destination is what you want. You want the happy ending. And right this moment, you are here, nowhere close to there, not yet. But you can take yourself out of the picture and go back to your own life. That’s what I would do. Step back and watch, as if this were a movie or something you could walk away from before the credits are finished rolling. You’re one of those people who stands up with the rest of the crowd and leaves while the credits are rolling, yes? (Or no?) Do I presume too much.
Most of the theatre leaves. There are a few who stick around to see who the grip was, as if that really matters, or the caterer, or for the music credits. But everybody else thinks it’s over and walks out. Where is the happy ending? Does it stop with the final scene, or when the credits finish and the full lights come up while the theatre employees come around with their brooms and garbage bags for the cups of half-drunk soft drinks and popcorn spilled on the seats and the floor.
Is the destination a little bit farther down the road, after the credits are completely done rolling, and the lights are bright, and the theatre is cleaned for the next showing, and you’re outside, in the parking lot? Sunny day, isn’t it, especially after being inside, in the dark for so long. You shield your eyes. But remember, you have already stepped away.
(You’re a voyeur, so you’re watching me. Or maybe I am watching you.)
Where is the happy ending? (We need to keep asking this question, in case we forget where we are.)
As long as you are here, you might as well step back into my spotlight. That’s right. Get inside my head. You can always leave if the going gets too rough. That’s right. You are here. We both are.
Wait -- wait a second. I need to know something. Can I trust you? I let you inside my head, and I can also evict you, back into your own life. We each have power, a say in what happens. How long you can stay. I can’t control your side of things, of course, but I need to know, for my own sake of mind, especially as you’re already inside my head – can I trust you?
Hey, if I sound cynical, forgive me. Trust is just as important for me, and perhaps even more so, than for you, who has no stake in what happens to me. I can be your entertainment, after all. If you decide to stay, you need to make a commitment. You can’t change channels. You can’t walk out on me. I wouldn’t be able to stop you if you did, and that’s why the trust is so important.
You have nothing to lose, except the time you spend inside my head. And I have everything to lose, for caring so much that you're here.
ELEANOR says: "Please turn the page. Keep reading."
For more of Eleanor and her Biographer -- as well as the work of our many guest artists -- check out the older postings. "Everything is part of the process, and the process is the journey," Eleanor says.