Take A Pike

In the early 2000’s a yellow-paged book came into my possession. “The Last Vampire” by Christopher Pike slipped itself over the backseat of a traveling bus. I retrieved the soft cover novel and started reading about a five-thousand year old vampire, called Sita. In a matter of days the story came to an end. I passed the book back over the seat and waited for the next one to come through. 51WS2P2XR2L

Jackie, my dealer, supplied the novels to several people in class. A small group that used the books as inspiration for their own novels. We traded composition books full of vampires that lived in Egypt during a time before pharaohs, similar to Sita’s background. She lived in India where an evil spirit inhabited her dead friend and started the vampire lineage.

My version mirrored this heritage as the protagonist summons a spirit to revive her dead friend. This started the lineage of vampires to encroach the human world but without the promise of eternal life. A vampire would live the expected lifespan of a human but with superhuman powers, like telekinesis. I gave these stories to friends that gave them back with confused looks.

“If they don’t live forever then how are they still alive?” they asked, flipping to the front page of  my story. I saw that it began in modern day times with the same character that lived a thousand years ago. Somehow this plot-hole never occurred to me. I needed to revise the story.

I changed my vampires to infinite creatures of the night in exchange for their telekinesis. This allowed my protagonist to flourish with also a goal in mind. She needed to keep her life eternal while recovering her superpowers. I found something new and interesting about the story that kept me writing and reading stories.

Christopher Pike continued to inspire me as his characters often dealt with deadly matters. In the “Chain Letter” series, a group of friends submitted themselves to a mysterious contract that forced them to commit embarrassing acts in exchange for the send’s silence. This deal stretched over the length of three novels. I finished the last one in my dad’s car while on the way to high school.51YXS2N1PSL

At this point all my friends found different clicks of people to engage with. I ventured into the art department where I found the terror of commitment. Turning in a disfigured still-life embarrassed me more than an incomplete one. I turned in sketches of men with only half a face or two-legged elephants. Although earning a passing-grade they left me feeling ashamed of my inability to complete things, similar to Pike’s characters.

The unknown meant the unwillingness to find out the mysteries ahead. I needed to charge ahead through the gray between contoured lines and blank paper. I needed to stop fear with perseverance. This allotted my imagination to find a balance between the real and the unreal as projects completed themselves. Because the thing about art is that it only exists as it is made.

I still struggle with the ability to sometimes follow a professor’s instructions to finish a story. Sometimes my projects amount to nothing except fine detail and little character growth. These things matter little and a lot. Art needs time to grow , and I’m willing to make more deals with myself and others, in order to see that happen. After all, writers need readers as much as I want the next vampire installment from Christopher Pike.

 

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My Voice

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Essay and Photo by BoyKitsch

I’m trying to find my voice in the bright green trees of Florida. It loves to swing off  one branch and onto another during the day. The woods sigh with delight because no one ever pays attention to them. At least not the neighborhood people.

They sit beside television sets inside of their apartments. I look up into open windows and find blue faces. A cold sensation spirals up my spine. The image reminds me of the curly-haired-boy who once watched Netflix for four hours in my apartment. He felt happy.

A blue light disappears from one of the windows, so I turn back to the trees. My voice rustles the leaves as it climbs higher. The ascension seems easy but that’s because I’m standing outside of the action. I know that when my voice returns it will tell me all about the trouble it got into.

It will tell me about the thug squirrels that hid inside a tree hole. They threatened to kill it if my voice wouldn’t give them a song. My voice shivered beneath sharp claws before  spitting out a rhyme that lifted up greedy paws and escaping to the branches below.

“Sometimes danger happens but that’s how we learn about the world around us,” I will tell it. It’ll stomp and pout around the trees because I never taught my voice patience. When it stops I’ll say, “But most people would rather live through the danger than watch someone else live through it.” It won’t understand and go back into the trees while I listen to the distant laugh of an informercial somewhere above.

 

 

Morning Lion

In my bed I once awoke to find a lion sitting at the foot of it. My first instinct wasn’t to scream as perhaps someone, a less imaginative-someone, might have done. It’s golden mane was unlike any one I saw ever in my dreams. I didn’t want it to disappear so I forfeited sleep and comfort. I crawled slowly towards the beast. The bed seemed longer than I remembered it to be. Through tunnels and mountains my body tumbled. Even through an avalanche of pillows did I not take my eyes off the brilliant beast. It’s pearlescent teeth reminded me of a pirate treasure I buried beneath the ocean when still an adolescent. The closer we came together the more familiar our friendship seemed to be. I couldn’t remember the last time we met but that didn’t seem to be important. I knew that approaching it was not against the laws of nature. So I came as close to it as possible but still did not touch it, for there was still the fear of it being an illusion. I could smell oatmeal in it’s mane, the kind my father served me every morning before school. We talked for several minutes about Kindness before it reminded me that no one deserves solitude. I saw it’s paw shiver and that’s when I noticed the sun was beginning to leak through the blinds. I asked it not to go. It promised to come back. I hope so.

Whimsy Week

On writing on whims: The hardest thing to do sometimes is just to write. Making mistakes on my own isn’t shameful or embarrassing, in fact I take pride in fumbling. Writing a bad piece for everyone to see though is like exposing acne scars or a mole that looks like the Sara Palin (I don’t think anyone would want to show that). But with publishing the worst pieces I can hope they make the better ones that much shinier.


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This week school is in full swing with the syllabuses put away and the homework out. It feels good to be on a role again however I will admit there is some mourning going on. No longer can I afford to spend two hours writing short stories or take my time going to the gym. Every day is like a march where I’m planning the next step.
However, yesterday I had a great adventure with my friend M. We ran around the park, shared a smoothie while talking on the park bench, and ending the evening with sushi. This all took place after my day at school and the gym. Needless to say I was tired but there wasn’t any place I’d rather have been. The weather was beautiful with the sun setting and sexy gay men running past us. We talked about our lives but how he reminded me of all the ideals I had before moving to Orlando.
“It’s hard to want something back when it feels like it never exited.” I told him on our walk back from the restaurant. He agreed before advising me to just jump into the adventure. Some of the experiences I wanted were:

  • traveling some place for the pure thrill of culture
  • figuring out my politics
  • dance lessons
  • trying out being a vegetarian
  • theatrics

While the list goes on those are my main ones. So between classes I’ve been researching my new life and how I want to sculpt it. It’s very humbling to think about all the things ahead of me. All the things I don’t know. And that’s what friends are there for: to help fill in the blank spaces.

This is sure to be a good week.

Stepping Out Part Two- The Trying Beginning

An artist, to me, is someone that desires to create no matter the expense both physically and mentally. Why? Because it feels good to having created something that didn’t exist before. It feels like magic. Somewhere along the way though the magic is tainted.

I remember being in school drawing when a stranger would ask to look at my work in progress. I’d politely say no. Their reaction was to be offended when really I was offended. I didn’t ask to look at their math equations. I didn”t ask to listen to their rehearsal. Drawing is something I did because I loved doing it. Not because I wanted to share it, at least not until it felt completed

Somehow and somewhere along the way people thought that art was only worth doing if it got the creator famous. I never wanted to be famous for my artwork. I solely wanted to take the world apart so I could put it back together again. In the end it took me apart. I remember the frustration to want to create something wonderful but I didn’t see the point. I had applied to schools in New York and didn’t get in. My quest seemed over so I decided to switch majors. I became a Creative Writing major for half a year. In the end though I still felt empty because this wasn’t the place I wanted to be.


When I first dropped out of college I just laid in bed all the days. I often stared up at the ceiling feeling empty. The world was meaningless. The past three years had amounted to nothing. I did the art. I tried the writing. It seemed that the simple truth was that I wasn’t a creator. I didn’t want to be famous and I didn’t feel good creating anymore.

So I watched TV. Lots and lots of TV. My favorite show though was Glee. I watched as many episodes I could until I felt  inspired. Music always inspires me but what it works better in a story line. At this point, to me, I was a loser that wanted to feel special. I watched clip after clip until suddenly I remembered something. I had always wanted to learn to sing and dance. The past was the past so why not try something new?

My first dance class was Aerial Dancing. It took place in a studio half way across town, a distance that required me to wake up at six in the morning. I felt elated that morning while driving through the misty fog. It seemed that the rain had fallen and left clouds everywhere, new dreams.

When I arrived there was a woman unlocking the door. She had with her a girl of about ten that was wearing a tutu.  They both welcomed me inside with warm smiles. The dance studio was small with polished wood floors, tumble matts, mirrors, and silk ropes hanging from the ceiling. Immediately, the little girl started climbing before anyone else arrived. Meanwhile, the woman and I began to get acquainted. I told her this was my first Aerial class, first dance class in general. She was very excited and impressed. I felt embarrassed but she went on to say that people usually get intimidated by new things, especially adults.

That’s when everyone else began to file in. Small girls. A tall boy and several teenagers. All of them expressed that they had been dancing for years. In fact they had just been in a show! Suddenly, I felt nervous and intimidated. I began to wonder if I had made a mistake…(To Be Continued…)