Sunday, April 28, 2013

I Could Tell You Stories.

Oh, I could tell you stories.
Broken bones and battles lost and victories. I could tell you stories.
To impress, digress, or suggest – action stories, traction stories – how that time I almost slipped.
I could tell you stories.
How one of the neatest things I learned in college was a new way to tie my shoes. How the night city looks from the plank-platform in the tallest tree hidden in the neighborhood. How it feels to sleep next to a soulmate – then move 2,000 miles away.
I could tell you stories.
The teller wrestles with a curious why-mind. Where to go from here? Too much to siphon through – clogged filters just dirty water. No sense in trying to impress. Who likes to be impressed, anyway? Counter-girl won’t bat a lash for the holes in shoes. Nobody likes a show-off. Shove off, show-off. Yer kind ain’t welcome ’round these parts. I could tell you stories – but what’s a good story? Pin the tale on the Don Quixote. A good story needs reality, not facts. A connection. A laugh. A moral. That’s that. Tell me what made you laugh – and how it got you chortling.
One of my best friends I’ve ever had writes sentences on any sort of pad about anything that’s in his head. Later, he rearranges them into some sort of half-rhyme tale that tricks you into connecting. Tricks your mind into inventing timelines. Caffeinated nonsensical sentences blend together into metaphor and imagery. Emotion breaks through. A laugh, a nod, a cheer.  A new understanding, borne by the audience, alien to the creator. A religion – began and lost again in a moment. Amateur poetry can be the most sincere.
And the next time we’re there – we steal a goddamn pillow because it had the exact same pattern as his only shirt. Red and white flannel. That square pillow was three months of laughter. I can’t recall the words written or spoken, but I’ll always remember that dumb pillow. It wasn’t me, officer. It was we. We regret nothing!
Maybe the real purpose of writing is to weave together like-minded troublemakers. Maybe the words don’t even matter. Matter the words don’t even, maybe. So probable that it’s probably so – I could tell you stories. So what?
So could anyone. So can everyone.
The real trick is making stories. The real trick is living them.

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