Wednesday, December 9, 2009

happy and half empty

I'm halfway through my life, and I'm halfway through a short story, and I'm almost finished drinking this cup of hot chocolate right now.

I've been worried that the things I am putting to paper are too filled with tragedy, too mired in the musings of Melpomene. I read somewhere that a story should not depress the reader. Most people who know me will agree that I love to laugh and joke and be silly. Why then am I so focused on pieces of puzzles that don't quite fit, with mirrors that have lost their shine and people who exist only because they woke up in my mind?

When I was very young a snow storm came to the town I lived in. I grew up in a south so deep it can be called the northern end of the carribean by anyone who has been there, so snow was an unatural, almost mystical event for me.

My father decided to walk up the neutral ground of the boulevard we lived on to get to the store on the corner and buy something that was so important we could not have gotten through the blizzard without it. I asked to go with him, and as we traveled the short distance from our house, the storm increased in it's intensity, the crystal drops stinging my face and the lack of color in the world wrapping around me. I lagged behind and my father walked forward. I called to him, but the wind carried my cry away from his ears and his shadowy form disappeared and I was alone in a bubble of pure white and cold pain.

The future is like that storm, it envelops us, makes our focus disappear, separates us from things we love and leaves us with stinging feelings we can either enjoy or deny.

Is a flower less bright because of the sadness in the world, or is that why they have any color at all?

I think about the stories I am writing and I believe they are about hope. About that moment when the world has stopped going wrong and something happens to make you believe that something else is possible. That is where this emotion lives, and only there. Everything afterwards is just greed and avarice, wishing for the half empty glass to keep filling itself up.

When my father finally realized I was no longer walking behind him, he came back to the spot where I sat, building a snowman in the middle of the blizzard I had lost myself in.

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