10.14.2004

Escape Velocity
Those of us aspiring to be authors are all familiar with the cliche of the writer/drunk, pounding out pathos just as quickly as he pounds back shots of whiskey. Some of us may have even tried to imitate it. Maybe right now.

Drinking and writing has never worked for me. Mostly it just makes me sleepy. (What a dork, eh? :) ) Maybe I'm not cut out to be a writer, or maybe there is something else at work here.

Ever since H left to teach first grade in Colorado, I've been spending more time skating. A lot more time. I get home from work, put in a few hours writing, then hit the streets. Midnight rolls around and I'll be found in an empty parking lot by the Cellular One store, drinking a gatoraide and nursing new bruises.

The emotional attraction of skating is that it doesn't give me time to think about anything else. If I do, I fall down and get hurt. Every moment is spent paying attention, and reacting to, what is happening right then. Past? Future? They don't matter, and if I start daydreaming about Heather or all the problems in the world, I'll incur some negative reinforcement, right pronto.

So, for me, skating is an escape from thinking.

Sorta like drinking.

Sorta like fantasy fiction.

I don't know enough about the psychology to claim that what makes folks want to write also makes them drawn to escapist addictions, but in my life there does seem to be some parallels.

Or so I tell myself at midnight, while sitting in an empty parking lot.

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