and i hate the good times that you wreck
So the last time we were together here, I asked if you wouldn't mind visiting Polite Fictions, where I'd written a little something about a cowboy for the theme this collection of (far better) writers and I are approaching this time, the Alphabet of Regret. I should have chosen cringing as my subject when I learned I was up for C, because I cringe a lot when it's my turn over there. Especially after I also cry and curse and eventually commit to getting something written, drop it over there, and then see it in contrast to the thoughtful and thought provoking works that go up around it by the others.
A few days after I'd finished my effort, I was still dwelling on it - and still cringing - and there were hours throughout the days when something I felt I SHOULD have written about instead would pop into my head. Like crying and how I always (always) stupidly weep because writing fiction is ghastly difficult for me (yeah, that cowboy piece should have had one of those 'any similarity to persons either living or dead isn't so much a coincidence but is, rather, a large chunk of the author's life between the years of 1989 to 2002').
Or I could have written about commitment, because there's some issues there. Craziness. Competition. Cravings. The collection of cassettes I still own but cannot play. Clearly, there could have been better topics than a cowboy.
What I kept coming back to while standing in the shower or driving in the car or making my breakfast over the last week, though, was the topic of courage.
Maybe it seems trite. I know. And why write around the theme of regret when it comes to courage? Well, how about the way I regret how utterly not courageous I feel. Constantly. From the little things to the big. My oldest son talks often about how he can't wait to be old enough to jump from airplanes and dreams of climbing mountains, and I grin and bite my tongue so as not to scream "You'll shoot your eye out!!" every time he brings these ideas to me. Me who is in my house where, according to my future adventurer, there's a steady supply of oxygen and the risk of perishing in a crevasse is minimal.
If I was courageous, I'd have called the doctor about the lump I found under my left breast a month ago and just be assured of what it likely is rather than run my hand over it every night and allow my mind to conjure up what it could be.
If I was courageous, I'd scream that if this is supposed to work (or better yet, last) than someone has to start talking.
If I was courageous, I'd ask you to realize that just because I don't talk I'm not a bitch.
I'd not care so much about what you thought of me because if your head is filled with as much stuff as mine is most days, I know you're not even really thinking about me in the first place.
I'd not panic the way I do every time I have to put myself or my thoughts out there for you to see them.
Or read them.
I'd say yes to everything I wanted to say yes to rather than to just everything.
If I was courageous, I'd not still care so much what she thought.
If I was courageous, I wouldn't have done the things I have to myself.
I'd show you who I really am.
I'd probably know what I wanted to be and I'd be it by now.
If I was courageous, I'd not always make the joke.
I'd ask you how you do it
I'd let you see me weak.
But instead, I wrote about a cowboy. And it's fine, albeit it a little bit regrettable. It's really, really fine.