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Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Last Seduction

You think about it all the time. In the middle of other conversations, while driving, when you go to bed at night. After some time alone with it, you're spent and exhausted. But you can't wait to go back for more. You don't talk about it much because other people just wouldn't understand. You tell your family you just don't feel up to going to the mall but when they walk out the door, you rush to your computer and open the file, feeling sneaky and guilty.

But moments later you get that high - the high that nobody else can possibly understand. When you're not doing it, you feel a little lost. You scribble notes to it on napkins and shove them in your pockets. You have a secret language that nobody else shares. Sometimes it breaks your heart and doesn't show up. Sometimes it betrays you and you don't even know who or what it is anymore. It's not you, your story says - it's me.

Meanwhile your family returns from the mall, rosy-cheeked and cheerful and they know something is up with you. Something that didn't include them. Something strange and seductive. You smile and ask about the mall. But you're still thinking about it and they know it.

When we talk to other people doing it, we get flushed and excited, as if we've landed on an island with familiar geography at long last. Somebody else who knows the curves of its shape, the feel of it in your hands. Somebody else who knows the rush, the heartbreak and the frustration of doing it.

But often, we'd give anything not to do it. To be able to just quit, walk away and be a normal person again. But we can't walk away from the dreamer's disease; it keeps pulling us back in. We're gonna need a bigger act break.

But are we ever going to walk down the aisle with our writing, getting showered with validation, money and respect? Or is this doomed to be a torrid, slightly debauched affair which will leave us ragged and destroyed, laughing mirthlessly in a gutter, looking up at the ironic stars?

Our writing's not telling. You have no idea, it says, dryly, and smiles at us with a rictus grin - right before it morphs back into a seductive siren, calling to us from the rocks: But I just had the best idea...

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Judith said...

hey Julie,great post.I can totally relate.I work part time (so that I have time to write) in a call centre - horrible job,there are days when I can literally feel them stripping of pieces of my flesh so that the 'square peg'that i am will fit into the required round hole that is provided.Then it's 1pm and time to leave.I can feel my pulse racing,my heart beating,I run home,rush a sandwich and sit at my computer.Before to long...I'm there,in that zone,my heart and soul are at home,I'm writing.It's my nirvana,my hit.I will never again be able to judge the person who rushes to the race track or the slot machines.I do wonder if I will ever walk down the isle with my chosen one,or if it will keep me running,chasing after it.But least it keeps me fit.

NYCWriter said...

Very nice piece.

rachel said...


I blushed with recognition as i read this excellent piece. we are all having affairs with our characters, our stories and our dreams. may we never lose the love or the thrill.

Julie Gray said...

@Rachel - lol, part of the reason I wrote that particular blog entry is that my writing partner and I just had do to a big rewrite on a script that is going to go out after Sundance. As usual, I didn't really have a lot of time to do it, running a business and all, but I found myself completely LOVING it and becoming so immersed in every spare moment that I could find. Plus, when my kids were a lot younger, the mall thing really happened a lot. I was home with them full time and so on weekends I almost shoved them out the door with their dad so I could go do what I REALLY writing.

Christian M. Howell said...

I figure this is either about writing or Self Love.