I am always writing about myself. I need new material. Where can I find a good story?

The newspaper? No—it has been saying the same thing for the last 20 years—and that’s about as long as I’ve been reading the newspaper. If you think it has anything to say, you are imagining it. Movies and TV shows hype the old reporters, uncovering a scandalous story that will pull the curtain on power, and change society forever, but nothing ever changes. Those in power, remain in power, because they understand power. If you can’t get into the game, you won’t learn how to play. And if you do, it’s like a high school kid in PE, stepping into the ring with a heavyweight champion who is deaf in both ears from taking several hits over a long career. He won’t hear the bell, and you’ll be dead. The obituaries are the only page worth reading anymore. A life summed up in 250 words. Graduated with honors, got married, became an engineer, had three kids, had nine grand-kids, died from drinking, was married 60 years.

I am searching for something real. Even though I cringe, when I say it—I tell people I’m a writer.

“Have you been published?” They inevitably ask.

“No—but I’ve been getting favorable rejections.”

They look at me with pity in their eyes, like I have mental problems.

“No really! The last letter said, ‘we really enjoyed your story, but it’s not a good fit for our magazine.'”

“Maybe, you should stop writing? I know several people who tried to get published, and they got the same letter.”

“Do you have any stories?” I ask.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, most people have a story that needs to be told. I want to tell it.”

“Okay. But you give me 50 percent, if it gets published.”

“Sure!”

I don’t tell them, I promised God, I would give Him all of my money from writing, if he would only bless me. He hasn’t yet, but I still have faith.

My father told me, “That’s an abomination! Asking God for success!? God doesn’t want your money!”

Give a writer enough time, and desperation sinks in. Desperation is the seed of inspiration! I always say.

I creeped-out the barista at Starbucks, when I asked her if she had any good stories. I could tell, she was thinking about calling 911—which would make a good story.

“Officer, I swear, I wasn’t hitting on her—I just wanted to rape her mind.”

It sounds awful when I say it, but it’s a dream I had. Am I really responsible for my own dreams? If I’m thinking these thoughts, in my subconscious mind, am I being honest in public? Probably not.

The golf course is the last bastion of hope for good ideas. I paired up with a guy in his late 70s. His clubs were at least 40 years old. I like playing with these types of golfers. They’re trapped in time, like a good story—a story kept on ice. Even if it goes bad, it’s even better. Memories fade, and the imagination takes over. Men over 70 are notorious for catching fish the size of small whales, and many of them are desperate for someone to talk to, someone who will listen, someone with 94 percent recall, who asks them follow-up questions.

“What do you do?” He asked me.

“I write,” I said.

“You look more like a teacher, and you talk like one too.”

“Am I that obvious?”

“Yes. You remind me of my 9th grade English teacher who wrote science fiction stories in his spare time, and read them to our class. We stopped reading after that—and my buddies and I went into Vietnam. It was less traumatic than English class, probably because they let us drink beer, and shoot Charlie. In school, there was no aggressive outlet. We just had to hope our teacher would die of a heart attack.”

“Hey, that would make a good story,” I said. “Care to elaborate?”

5 thoughts on “The Writing Bum

    1. Hi Rabih! I’m in complete agreement with you. I think our friend is using less restrain on words. It’s amusing as of now but bordering on sarcasm might get tricky .

      That’s my observation but please feel free to disagree and share your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey there. I found it really discouraging to see you using the word “rape” in such a casual, sudden way. Stumbling upon the phrase “I just wanted to rape her” could ruin someone’s day if it’s an issue they have personal experience with, even though you didn’t mean it literally.

    Just wanted to let you know how that felt for me. It hit me hard. I hope I haven’t hurt your feelings with this comment. Thanks for hearing me out.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi PauliAtomic, my feelings are okay. Yes, your thoughts are valid. It should cause writers to question how they are making others feel. In society, most of us our careful what we say. We are careful not to offend. As a reader, I want to read something genuine, uninhibited. I guess that’s the writing I like to read, and it’s the writing that I admire. That’s who I want to be. To go backwards is death. I don’t want to be reborn. I don’t want to change. I just want to be me, until I die.

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s