Life changes. Confidence falters, yet the strong remain. To endure, to grow, to exist. To be a better writer, I must not only, practice my technical skills, but dabble in all sorts of ways of expression. Feel free to check out my blog, ask me a questions, explore my writings, learnings, and ramblings.
While talking to a fellow gamer he mentioned writing a story about ‘us.’ While still dismissive to the idea of a relationship, I entertained the idea. I know for him it is a passing infatuation – a fleeting idea, but I saw the challenge. As I wrote the opening, which is a cashier in a bookstore I began to think who this character was going to be.
Amari always wondered what love was. Of the three boyfriends that she has had, she came close to loving exactly one, but even that was a combinations of elements that made the other person feel safe. She wants that moment more than any other, the spark of magic, the click of a lock turning, anything – just to feel love, and not to see a series of logical steps, but that desire for another, a desire born from emotion rather than logic.
And so, she stands behind the fake redwood counter, flipping idly through a book magazine her attention wandering between four customers: a mother of two children all lose in the Kid’s section, a teenage couple necking behind the New Releases display, a older woman on a cane and her husband with a Golf magazine in hand. The older woman talked, he nodded, glancing up with a crooked grin.
The idealistic character is an able-bodied person tailored for the target audience, in this case an ambitious emigrate from a South American country. Race diversity covered, the love interest is the embodiment of the diversity that people demand.
The female is what had me stumped. A true, realistic romance this guy envisioned would be more truth. The character would, have to in some way, represent me, and I am in a wheelchair.
People want the disabled to be this symbol of motivation and inspiration. One arm got bitten off by a shark and I am still world champion! That kind of thing. Do you honestly have a clue how rare that is? How many factors affect what type of disability? And what we have an aptitude to do. I don’t know why, but people expect that.
It is like when you meet a friend of a parent and they gush about how much you look like said parent, and the two of you couldn’t be any more different looking. It is that lie that people carry with them. That smile.
The reality, though, is much different. We, like any person, fight the good fight every day. Living hand to mouth, taking cracks at anything that might bring in cash, and struggling to find our place in society. We have the same fears and dreams as anyone else, but under that is the person-fighting day in and day out just to stay afloat as the world pulls inward and expectation becomes entitlement. People who want, want, want …. The more they take the less there is.
I have a college education and the extent of my job experience in babysitting for my brother, a reference that when apply for a job is disallowed. Brother is family. Limitation based on fear.
The reality is further than that. More of me in puked into this character than I have ever dared to put on the page. The thought process of meeting people, the distrust in kindness that is always present, and as always the weight of worry. Am I pretty? Do I not count in a wheelchair?
That happens more than you think, too. People he either treat you as they would a child or an elder. Or a combination of both like an aged toddler. Either way you are removed immediately from being threatening, intimidating or an sex object. I hear guys complain about being friend zones by girl, but be happy you at least got the consideration.
The endearing names that men call woman never fall in my direction. I being handicapped am automatically in the sister, relative boat. See that cute guy? Yeah he isn’t going to try nor is that girl.
He paid with a twenty, and she fumbled with the change, panicking inwardly as she fumbled with the coins. Her hands shook, and she had to use the center of her fingers to feel the money. The seconds ticked away, each one adding a weight to her shoulders, when she finally had the right amount she handed it back to him, forcing her smile and kind word, the panic faded, draining at her energy, but she showed no outward sign of it. A respond ingrained inside for seven years. She had a wheelchair and a disability, but she didn’t need to lay it on others. They didn’t need to see any more of it than what she couldn’t hide. With a shaking hand she handed him the bag.
She knelt down to gather the magazine after he left. She locked the brakes on her chair while she scooted around to find a safe position to get the magazine. She lifted it by the spine, and, just like that it flew upwards.
One of the fun things about Friedreich’s Ataxia was that objects could go sailing through the room at any moment. Why? Because fuck you that’s why. The more technical explanation was dying nerves misfired and whatever in her hand is propelled or dropped. She didn’t mind it at home, but she hated when people to saw it.
The ideal character would be able bodied or handicapped in a way that makes her physically able enough, but a true character that reflects me would have my same limitations.
Add in my thought process, view on the world and the idealism is torched. Who am I writing this story for? In the end myself, I will clean it up for the guy but I expect his interest to have waned.
I am writing it through, the character complex, the story grounded in reality. I feel like a different writer while I work on this, and I find that the words come easier. I do wonder how long my enthusiasm will last. I don’t have but a virtual support system. No one I really, in person speak too, as more than a passing interest in my stories. Not complaining, but that is the reality of being a writer. I also worry that the anxiety will overcome me, and this story will have nothing, more than this blog spot light.
There is a glimmer of a daydream. If I share and people like it have, I found a new area to write about? Something closer than my other stories? I can think about it, blog about it, but I plan to keep writing no matter where I wind up tomorrow.