You’d think I was a supermodel, but they only want me for my money.
In Bali everyone honks at me. I can’t go 20 feet down the street without being yelled at. A taxi driver sees me from a mile away, slows down, and starts banging on his horn to get my attention. On a good day I ignore every single one of them. On a bad day, the attention drives me fucking crazy.
My gut reaction is anger and protest. Usually I just pretend I don’t notice. Otherswise I’d spend 8 hours a day smiling and bowing and saying “no thank you.”
One of my favorite feelings in the whole wide universe is walking into a coffee shop, sitting in the back corner by the window, listening to music and watching the movie of the world go by. It’s the happy place I travel to when everyone’s staring at me.
I try to slow the anger when I feel they’re using me. Why? Mostly because I can’t change anything by lashing out.
But also because these experiences give me sympathy. They give me sympathy for women who are all too used to getting stared at, followed, propositioned. They give me sympathy for people who’ve NEVER been able, physically, to blend into the crowd. They even give me sympathy for rich (by american standards) people, because I’m sure your friends and family know you’ve got money.
When I was at the market last week I few things, among them was a bag of chips. The cashier stopped in the middle of ringing me up and said, “These are 50,000 – is it OK?” 50,000 idk is about $3.50 usd. The cashier was essentially asking me, “are you really going to spend so much money on a bag of chips? That same money could buy dinner for four.”
Inception. The Matrix. Vanilla Sky. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Shutter Island.
My favorite movies are the ones where the bottom falls out of the floor of reality. The curtain gets pulled back and we realize we’ve been deceived all along. The center does not hold.
It’s not always easy to classify these stories into specific genres. They might be action, adventure, thriller, psychological thrillers, mysteries…. they are thick, brain bending, revelatory, uncomfortable types of stories.
I’ll never forget that last scene in “Inception”, where the top is spinning and spinning and it’s about to fall… and suddenly the credits roll.
Lost is still one of my favorite TV shows of all time. It’s popular for writers to turn their noses up to the show, because of it’s complexity eventually got out of hand and the plot couldn’t be tied up in a pink ribbon. But even though I didn’t get all the answers in the end, that show and those characters took me for a wild ride. The ride itself was thrilling as hell. The journey of that show, for me, far outweighed the conclusion.
Right now I’m in the middle of a year long project to blog five days a week and write at least one short story a month.
What I hope this year will start to teach me is…
Where is the intersection between what “readers want” and “what I like to write”.
I have no idea yet. But I know there’s a market for fantasy, and those types of stories seem to be the ones that interest me the most. The only way to find out is to do it.
And I’m excited as hell at the thought of one day finding that sweet spot.