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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Stealing Inspiration From a Dead Man

While I was in college, I spent a summer working at an amusement park in Ohio.   During that summer, I dated a few girls and left miserable.

I dated the first girl during the first couple weeks of the summer and it was a complete disaster because, well, it just was.  I mean how else do you explain someone who goes out to the bar with you, gets shit faced drunk, grinds all over another guy, then comes home with you to her room only to leave and go hot tubbing with guys in another building for the rest of the evening and into the morning?  

The second was at the end of the summer and I spent the bulk of the gap between those two swearing I would never ever date another girl from that particular room.  I even made a rule about it.   So, we spent the better part of that summer just being lunch buddies and friends and it never amounted to anything else until I was set to leave due to being sick with severe bronchitis.    As the news hit that I was leaving, I realized that she was interested and I asked, "Are you kidding me?  Why am I just finding this out now?"  She said, "Well, you were the one who made the stupid rule."

So, we went out once and it was the date I had been hoping for all summer long.   You see most people at the park called a good date getting completely drunk and hooking up with someone cute.   There was no sense of romantic ideals because you're only there for three months.  Why bother with romance or ideals?   And that led another girl to tell me that I would make a great husband one day.   No 21 year old male wants to hear that come from a woman of the same age, especially one they find attractive. 

When I got back to school, I felt that it would be appropriate, if not romantic, to write her and being the theater major I was, I sent her one of Shakespeare's sonnets in the letter.  Why?  Bitches love sonnets. 

What I didn't realize was that it was completely stupid to do this because for one, she had no clue about Shakespeare as far as I knew and two, I was basically going out to a book and looking for whatever applied to the situation or my feelings and copied it down.   I was leveraging the words of someone else to further my own intentions.   I was stealing inspiration.

If I truly, truly had a sense of romance, I would have come up with my own, but at 21, I was not that clever.  I was half the writer I am half of now and I lobbed a softball of sentiment towards the unsuspecting head of the intended recipient.

But as time has gone by, I've decided to lean on the poets and bards of history as a source of inspiration and citation and not as a spokesperson for my thoughts.   I am fully capable of saying the words that need to be said in the time that they should be spoken.   And one day I will. 

For I am the greater fool who is tired of making stupid rules and I am willing to bend the heavens to prove that ruination is not a permanent state.  I will get the paint to stick if I have to strip the surface of every layer of hate and loathing that has been applied by other tenants.

It's a work in progress... as am I.

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