About me.

Broken? Well, yes, sometimes I think so.

This is difficult, because this is not what the blog is for, but I feel I have to address it somewhere, as it's rattling too hard around in my head for me to get any peace.

If someone asked me how I saw myself, and I wasn't up to lying, I'd probably say "broken." Or rather, "busted," a word Anna [innocently] introduced me to, which I find particularly appealing here because it not only means damaged, but also ugly, even sometimes abhorrent. It also pleases me, in some small way, to use a relatively shallow term to describe something I feel so personally -- I once tried to use it for a small project I was working on, a movie idea that wasn't much of an idea at all, really, just two pages of notes, and a lot of scribbling in the margins. While "Busted" the project never got off the ground, the idea, the new definition of the word has stuck with me strongly, so strongly, that rather than using it in the physical sense, I identify with it in a more figurative sense. A mental sense, I suppose, which strikes me as a contradiction of terms.

I'm wandering. The point is, I feel busted, broken. And its hard for me to feel that way, not just because it's hard to feel that way, which it is, but because I don't really think I'm justified in feeling that way. There was never a single blow that destroyed me, I never felt anything I would equate to a truly, epically tragic loss. Yes, my father drank. Yes, my parents got divorced. No, I never truly found a groove with my stepfather. Yes, I've had my heart broken a few times. Sure, I've lost a loved one or two. I'm twenty-three, for God's sakes. Odds said some of these things had to happen. But none of it was uncommon, and no blow struck me down completely. I was always loved. I have friends. I am not William Maxwell -- I have never been devastated.

But I still feel the way I do. Busted. And it's annoying, because isn't it so cool to be "tortured," another angry young man. I have so much more respect for the man who laughs. And I'm afraid, afraid I took this "identity" upon myself, because of my time spent in nineties, when apathy was cool, because of my hero from Aberdeen, because of all those Gin Blossoms songs that painted a romantic picture of heartache and defeat.

I hope, sometimes pray, this isn't the case. That feeling like this wasn't a choice, isn't a choice as some would tell me. At least, if it were thrust upon me, it wouldn't have to be my fault, only my problem, a much larger comfort than most would think. But I have time to split these hairs. To think about why I feel so bad, so often, and feel worse for it.

Perhaps I am a strange factory reject, one that came off the assembly line with the plastic not molded quite right -- but passed too loose of an inspection, only to be that child's toy who's head turns differently than the rest, who can't quite stand without being leaned against the others. Disappointing, but not enough to discard.

I suppose that could make it clinical. There would be some comfort in that, I suppose, though I don't know that I'd be willing to medicate it away. I don't know why, though. Sometimes I think me is supposed to be me, even if that means being depressed. Does that mean I don't want to be better? So not only could I have caused this, but I also might not want it to go away?

Maybe it's just a phase. Or an affectation. But it feels too overreaching, too real, and it colors everything I remember. I can't find joy in happy times, oh, sure, I can think back to a conversation, or a friendly smile, or an accidental midnight rendezvous, and I smile. And then I feel like my heart is breaking. And I don't know why.

Perhaps it is as melodramatic as I treat it -- perhaps nothing can stay beautiful, and nothing is good or perfect. When I was younger, I had a few perfect memories, one, about a cabin, possibly my first memory, where I burned myself while making marshmallows and fell out of bed, but found ultimate comfort for the first time from both of my parents. Aware, not only of the world, but of the safety that came instinctively before I could recall... anything. And being taken outside, under the stars by them [sometimes Mom, sometimes Dad, sometimes both -- I never remember it exactly the same], and finding there was no hurt that could not be healed by the arms of those you love around you. Years later, I'd find out that very night was the beginning of the end of my parent's marriage, and as much as I'd like to be better than that, my perfect memory was never the same. It hurt to touch again.

Oh, and that, in case you're wondering, is not my origin story. There are several other instances like this, some predating that ruination, some after it -- toast sneezed on a dashboard, an awkward kiss, a mix-up at an airport gate, a graduation. All perfect memories. All painful for me to take out of their boxes, especially when I need them the most.

Again, I'm wandering.

The point, if there is one, is that I am up again at 7:00, and despite being oh-so-close to slipping away to dreamland, there is no sleep for me tonight. And that is disappointing, because part of me thought all these odd hours and erratic naps, as well as the return of my nightmares and the insomnia, was because of the script [Re: The Trendsetter], and my compulsion to get it done. My process has always been hard on me. But no, I am exhausted, and while there is still work to be done on the script, I feel satisfied with how it is at the moment. A kind of finished. And yet I'm not sleeping. So I am, again, annoyed, and sad. Because this is not that, it's what it has always been. That busted feeling.

The upside is, sleep will come. I'll pass out or black out before it's over, no worries there. And I have a new project, my next quarter-life script, which yes, I know, I'm doing to death. But god dammit, I'm not good enough yet to go with anything but my strengths.

So next up is "Assisted Living"... which is probably going to be a comic, since in my head I can see the cover and Page 1, but honestly, I think I might work it just as well as a pilot or a film. Decisions, decisions. Does anyone have Alan Moore on speed-dial? I suppose it could be more than one before I'm done. But one thing at a time.

And yes, "Assisted Living" sounds a lot like it'll deal with old people too, which it looks like it might, I'll also be up front and admit "Reading Turgenev" might be more than just a fleeting influence on the final work. And if anyone wants to beat me to combining all those things, I welcome you to try. Three hours in, and even I'm thinking I'm crazy. And that I have a million-dollar idea.

If I can make it work. We'll see.

More later. I have something far more upbeat to share.


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