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, April 12, 2010
Love Hate Pain Joy
Eleanor: You must follow instructions. First, find a plate of glass. Now, place your hand on one side of the glass. I will place my hand on the other side of the glass. Spread your fingers, just slightly. Cover my hand with yours. Is the glass too cold for you? (Just be patient, please.)
Eleanor's Notes, From The Underground: My Biographer says to me that I need to be some kind of inspiration. I tell him that I am no one special. But I also tell him that I want to speak for all of the people who are also no one special. If you are no one special, I would like to speak for you. I would like to -- I mean, I need to know your thoughts, what you are thinking, what you feel, what you want. I need to know if you feel alone right now. I need to know if you are afraid. Is your hand still on the glass? We are separated by glass, but our hands, the heat from our flesh, is warming the glass. Can you feel this? Are you afraid?
If you are afraid, I cannot cure you. I cannot make you special, you know that. I don't know what it takes to make somebody important. I don't know what it takes to make somebody famous, or charismatic. But I can speak for you. I am not special. I am not important, not in the big scheme of things, see? I am here, in the underground, below the surface. You have discovered me, and maybe you think you know me, and in either case, you are welcome to stay with me. However, I must inform you of one thing. I do not know any more than you do. Except what I've already said. Even my Biographer cannot help me here -- he's waiting for me to make the next move, so we can move forward, so we can move on, so we can finish -- you know?
Once upon a time there was me.
Once upon a time there was you.
Things are changing all of the time.
I don't mind that things are changing.
What I don't understand is why nobody tells me why.
One reason why they are changing.
Once upon a time, we sat, down by the river. We sat, and we waited. There was a girl, not much older than me. She was with a boy, not much older than me. They walked down the steps and sat a few feet from us. They talked loud enough so we could hear them. They were in their own little world. We didn't matter. What I mean to say, is that being able to hear their words didn't matter.
Girl: Oh baby, you want to talk to me? (she is speaking in a maternal way, her arms around the boy, who is just sitting like he's frozen in place, and the girl, well, her tears are falling onto the boy's shoulder.)
Girl: He's a failure, three strikes. You think that when he gets out of prison, I'm going back to him, that I'll break up with you? You think I want to go back to that kind of life?
Girl: I love you. I want to be with you. My girls -- I've sent for my girls. They'll be with us. We can be a family. I won't go back with him. I want to be with you. How can I make you understand this?
Girl: I love you. Are you even listening to me?
Girl: Are you breaking up with me? (she puts her face into the boy's shoulder. he doesn't make a sound. he's listening, of course he is, but he doesn't make a sound, like he wants her to suffer through this or something, like this is important to him, to make her suffer through this.)
Once upon a time, we sat, down by the river. We listened to a girl and a boy try to figure out if they loved one another enough to keep on loving one another. There were all kinds of complications, to be sure. But today wasn't about those. Today was about the love part. Once upon a time, we sat, down by the river. We tried to pretend we were invisible. We didn't need to pretend. We were invisible.
The girl and the boy -- they got up, they walked up the steps, and away. They were gone. We will never know what happened to them.
Are you afraid? Are you afraid of the future, of what might happen next week or next month or next year? Are you afraid to say something sweet and kind to somebody you really care for? As in, I love you. Are you so afraid to say that?
I am not special. I am nobody of consequence. But this gives me freedom, doesn't it, because I can go anywhere and be anyone and NObody is going to give me a second look. Yes, I am invisible. Maybe you are, too, and maybe not. But if you are invisible with me, we can say what's on our mind, even if we aren't special or famous, or important in the big scheme of things. We can say what's on our mind, and listen to one another, and not ignore one another.
This is what I will tell my Biographer. I will tell my Biographer that by being nobody special, I am somebody. I stand out. The crowd will part for me. I will be seen and heard. People will stop talking when I walk close to them. People will want to touch my face, my arms, my hands.
Keep your hand on the plate of glass. Can you feel the warmth? It's almost time to go. We have to leave soon. Our bag is packed.
Go ahead now and take away the glass. Throw it against the ground, or the wall, or anything hard enough to make it shatter. Now, place your hand over mine -- this time for real. Clasp your fingers, over my fingers. Feel me. Be with me. Tell me what you think.
Tell me -- tell me. I won't leave you. I promise.
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.