I'll be sitting there, writing; anywhere, really, and for that moment--in that moment--everything is aligned; everything is where it should be. The world--my world--feels full of promise. Feels true.

The pen in my hand, the notebook's paper beneath the faint scritch scratch of the nib, slowly filling up with words of a story I will have no ending to quite yet, although there's a scene in my mind that has been there for years that might yet appear in this story, finally.

I write, and the world around me fades away. I fall into the story. I am the story, and thus, when the real world (or this world) intrudes in some way; when thoughts that are not story creep into my mind; when my stomach rumbles, reminding me it's long past lunch; when the phone rings; when I look up at the clock and realize, reluctantly, that I have to get up and go to work the next morning, it is always a shock, a dash of cold water in my face; against my mind, as if seeing something both complicated and simple; beautiful and ugly, for the very first time.

I have a hard enough time living in the world (and perhaps I should use a capital "W", but I bet you know what I mean.) That world of bills and jobs, careers and teamwork; gossip around the coffee pot and whispers in the hall are still alien to me, and I've had a job since I was eighteen.

What puzzles me (among other things) is this: how does someone without a story or art or any other creative pursuit manage to exist fully in this world and not on the borderlands with the rest of us? Perhaps it puzzles me because I cannot put myself in their shoes; I cannot force my mind to see the way they see.

As I grow older, I'm more and more okay with this. I used to try to fit in enough to mass initial muster; I was a fairly effective chameleon. But now, that desire is gone--if it ever fully existed. I've made my peace with the fact that I don't want to be a part of the world nearly everyone else seems to live in. I'll be content here, on the edge of things. Sure, I'll "miss out" on a lot, but look at what I'll have instead. There's something to be said for freedom, and I'd much rather have that.


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