I have a foot full of holes.
Why? Because I shoot myself in the foot many times a day.
Like yesterday. Yesterday I aimed a Tommy-gun at my foot and pulled the trigger, writing a scathing post about the Parisian and his somewhat strange attraction to my bedtime stories. I was hurt, I was angry I suppose. So I wrote a post and published it on my blog heralding his odd behavior. But his behavior wasn’t odd. It was full of caring. But why couldn’t I see it, or hear it, or feel it? Because I was being selfish. And arrogant. And anything but humble.
A dear friend of mine in Chicago, Richard, reminded me that discovering intimacy with honor requires a great degree of humility. Humility? What about my needs? What about my desires? Why can’t I feel the brushiness of another man’s face on my own; why can’t I taste the day on his lips; feel the humidity of his breath on my ear; or, open his shirt as though I were cautiously opening an envelope to withdraw a letter I’ve yet to read?
But somewhere in my befuddled mind, I lost track of the Parisian’s true intention. He found me, me and my writing, my writing as an extension of me, so alluring, so captivating, so inspiring, that he couldn’t contain his opinion: “You write so beautifully. That story you read me last night, “The Other?” You didn’t just have them chat, you described little details that made me imagine I was one of those men and you were the other. The way you described ‘us’ and ‘our’ thoughts was unbelievable.”
What an old, arrogant fool I was. Using a public forum to herald my upset because a Parisian wasn’t interested in kissing me, but was so enamored by my writing. And isn’t that precisely what all writers desire? To be seen by someone, anyone as a writer? A wordsmith? A person capable of creating whole, independent worlds in which readers submerge themselves in like a warm bath?
“Promise me something,” my Parisian asked during breakfast this morning, “Promise me that you’ll write a novel and get it published. Because you’re that good. I know you are. Promise me, Harlan?”
Oh, I promise.