Hustling down the south side of Hawthorne Boulevard, heading west, I met a fellow heading east. His jacket flapped in the breeze and he ambled along easily, seemingly unaware of the bitter cold. His black curls, loose and long, started high back on his forehead. His mustachioed and bearded face held a mild expression. He reminded me of someone.
Much of my walk, I ruminated on my inability, of late, to write. To write anything.
River has grown --expanded, twisted, spread out --so that I no longer feel in control of it. In its current form, what exists of the story is rough. Too rough. Its deficiencies are so offensive to my writer's aspirations that I must daily resist the urge to go back and rewrite what is already there.
The rewrite will come, but for now it is more important to complete the story arc.
It's difficult. Although I have a fairly firm idea about where the story is going, my faith in it --and in my own abilities --is failing.
The unfinished story is the monkey on my back, the glaring light that I cannot extinguish. Failure, with all its sordid affirmations, looms.
Such were my thoughts as I walked. I was nearly home when I remembered who the fellow with the open jacket brought to mind: Dave Kocka.
The way Dave died, the way he went out --God forgive me --I resent him for it. It was such a half-assed way to go.
Dave never tried. He saw himself sinking and he didn't care. His friends cared more than he did and he knew it. He just didn't care. Or, worse, he destroyed himself purposely because he fed on our worry. Maybe he thought it validated him.
Well, there are failures and there are failures.
But I'm not giving up on River.