She sits in her car belting out the words to one of the ten songs they play on the radio. She likes the repetition in some ways. She learns the words and sometimes if you listen more closely, pop music can tell the stories of so many and become beautiful with one lyric that resonates. This happened as she waited for the stagnant sea of red lights, to turn into a fluid stream of green ones, as they do at this time of night on PCH. The hairs on her arms stood up as tall and straight as they could. She loved this feeling. It rejuvenates. It creates an exciting moment within the many dull ones of the day. It forces the recollection of the splendid rather than the mundane. It forces inspiration.
Inspiration creates beauty and beauty creates a world more manageable. This particular girl writes splendor. She turns the images that make her hair on her arms become upright into black letters on white paper that become alive as she reads and rereads and rereads. Those words keep her experiences awake, her brain turned on, her observations acute. Those words force her out of the house each day. Interactions are necessary to write because what she writes is not fiction. It’s truth. It’s her life and the way that she experiences it.
Tomorrow was her birthday. She would be 24. 24. It was a year that scared her. Many would call her foolish. But with each year she gained, a bit of her blissful ignorance faded. Her awareness caused hesitation in her life. She thinks much more about her future rather than her present. She writes to bring herself back to now. It forces her to think of the details of each day. It forces her to find the story that she wants to tell. It forces her to find the story that people want to hear. Because really people are attracted to the details of others. At least she was. She knows the general outline of many people in the world. School, career, love, family.
Once a man asked her, “ Why would you want to travel?”
She responded, “I want to see how others live.”
It was obvious to her.
He answered her back with a blank face, “But everyone …lives the same. They work to get some kind of payment they have a family and that’s that.”
At that time she didn’t know how to respond. She wasn’t good at speaking clearly. She generally fell quiet rather than rummaging through the tangled mess in her brain. She did know she disagreed with him. They did not date for much longer after that conversation.
Because the details of a person’s face or the sky at sunset or the smell you inhale when you step outside or the temperature or the way the buildings all form sharp arrows towards the sky or the white walls in your apartment building or the lines in your hands or the expression on your dog’s face or the simplicity or the extravagance or the textures of your day or the density of the air or your ability to feel emotion or your ability to understand your surroundings or your ability to be alone or together. This all changes. This is intriguing. This is life.
This is why I write.