Saturday, May 17, 2014

That Sweet Lightning

It's that gorgeous girl you've always wanted from afar, ready and willing at your doorstep. She didn't knock. She didn't need to--you heard her saunter up the steps, can feel her boiling expectation when you wrench open the cumbersome barrier to meet her face to face. And in this encounter, you're not clumsy. You don't trip over words. You know what she wants you to say when her lips breathe it into yours, and your synchronous delivery pulls her in tight, her momentum feeding your own till you forget your name, your station, every worldly shackle, and awaken clean, weightless.

It's that secret trail splitting off from steel and stone, past buzzing hives of insult and injury to a place you've seen in a thousand short blinks but never touched. And when you get there, you know there's nothing to follow back the way you came, no prints left behind you'd recognize as your own.

It's that supercharged current lifting you from stifling repetition, careening you crisp with hairs on end over the erected hedges of routine to see an untamed frontier at your feet.

Maybe it strikes so erratically because, were it to become a common, predictable thing, it could be purchased, sold, cheaply induced. Maybe it seeks us when we haven't sought anything in a long while, and the repressed soul, demanding to be heard, sparks and brews the beginnings of a storm.

Some of the most satisfying pieces of dialogue I've ever written hit me in the middle of a monotonous day job. Characters I'd loved and cultivated for years had met hundreds of times in this vivid, clear-cut vacuum to which I could never lend proper sound. And then, one day, as I was pushing around a mop or picking up trash, the lines just came, rhythmic and lyrical with force that refused to be forgotten.

The words were there, buried in fully-fledged throats aching to be coughed free, and only needed me to allow a bit of thunder in to crack the silence.

And, as quickly as it swoops in, it dissipates, leaving you to ride the ebb and flow of new waters that babble in laughter while you search for its immediate return, instead of searching here, now, so far from where you were.

It will be back, when the static is palpable and your inner clouds take on a restless sheen promising to burst.

It will be back.


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