Today, an old, stubborn gentleman asked me a very puzzling question.
“Why are you a writer?”
I was stunned. I was shell-shocked. I couldn’t believe it. Besides the fact that nobody has ever asked me this question before, I looked at this guy with a befuddled look. I wondered what was going on inside this man’s head to constitute such a stupid question.
Was he on crack?
Did he fall off the wagon?
Did he forget to take his Geritol this morning?
My curiosity wanted to ask these questions to him, but at that particular moment, I knew it was very inappropriate. I figured it would also be very inappropriate for me to kick him in the nuts. He could have ended up in Timbuktu, but I am a very nice person. He would have shunned me afterwards, but it would have made a very interesting story.
I answered him appropriately, confessing that I love to write. But for some reason, my response wasn’t enough for the lad. His facial expression towards me was so dazed and confused that even if I had said, “I flipped a coin one day – heads, I’m a writer. Tails – I’m a pickpocketer. Thankfully, heads won,” it still wouldn’t have made a difference to him. What did he want from me? To unveil my deepest and darkest secret?
Ok, I’ll fill you in on THE secret: next to George Clooney and a plate of my mother’s homemade pasta with red sauce, writing is my first love. It has been there for me in good times and in bad. Writing has put me in trouble, but it has helped me gain recognition.
I think about it every day. I dream about it every night. It is a drug that I cannot let go. No twelve-step program or rehab facility could quell me from it. I got hooked on it when I was four years old, at the time I was crafting letters. Watching the evening news with my Italian-born parents instilled me the pleasure that I have today.
Some people drown their sorrows in alcohol or get high on crack cocaine and other stimulants.
For me? I am not afraid to take pure pleasure just having my plethora of pens, notebook, a laptop, and a creative mind, and I’m in the zone.
When I’m in my zone, I don’t want to be disturbed by reality. My imagination takes over, and I’m snatched away to a far place where there are no limits. Anything is possible, and I hold the golden ticket to what happens next. One could say it’s fantasy, but I call it heaven. As the pictures in my mind formulates into words and sentences, my left hand suddenly gets jacked up and the rhythmic fluidity of my pen moving puts me into complete ecstasy. I cannot stop. When I am done, I smile. I am satisfied. I slowly return to reality.
I wait until the next day, when it starts all over again. And that’s why my friends, I am a writer.