Living American Fiction

February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment


Imagine seeing a cop car or what looked like one because of its light racks in late night darkness. A rectangular bar above the windshield, hints of red and blue as passing cars on a nearby street flicker light onto it, making your imaging of police enforcement clearer.

From there a fictionalized story seeps in as you walk towards your car somewhere in the dark lot ahead.

What next? Fear. A few thoughts and re-thoughts later, this post.

Experiencing my day to day as a “based on true events” narrative readies the mind for my particularly intriguing mindset. Drifts and spurts help focus precise attention to more of the fabulousness of living.

What I mean is, this process of creating fear’s complications where cops in dark and corrupt parking lots wait for their quarry, while I walk to my car and continue creating cinematic scenarios for dramatic effect and either turn something into nothing or the other way around, into a “Pynchonesque” unexplainably complex plot, is fun, and, also, worth experiencing. Here’s a try of “the other way around”: imagined, again, a possible violent life-altering altercation (all fiction eventually because once I came around from another angle to the same cop car with light racks, I saw that it was an imagining completely perceived by fear, with hints of heightened fiction, by the way. Making the scene more “real”. It was really just a juiced-up SUV in shadowy nebulous darkness). Fun, right?

Knowing that so much in our mind is a created story revealed so much. The creative process is a magical thing, almost as powerful as physically living it.

What stopped the fictionalized fear was my self talk. “Keep walking, you haven’t done anything,” I told myself. “If the cops come up to you you know what to say.” Jump cut to now.

Is this a paranoid overreaction, a guilty conscience, or a Black-Lives-Matter equivalent moment, where the culture, history, and/or experience of my role as an American (capital A in this story) differentiates itself from other Americans (lower case A or upper, not sure)?

In my fictionalized story I clearly saw planting evidence and gun pointed at my head within minutes. Would others see the same thing? Pistol held firm, plastic baggy slid under the seat. I don’t know. If yes, then why?

Building a story to explain, justify (and in turn, bring self-esteem and confidence to a certain level where pathos is pushed aside by logos) is a powerful tool. I realize now.

The next question is, is this machination a tolerable threshold?

Perhaps, maybe. Again, I really don’t know.

What I do know, though, is that it definitely ends fictionalized fear. As I break-down the experience I see that what helped was a walk around the lot. Out back and alongside shadowy back entrances of businesses, studios, and storefronts, thoughts slowed down, giving the intimate details a chance to place themselves where they needed to move to before really standing up close to the cop car/SUV, with non existent blue and red light racks a few inches over it’s windshield.

I also noticed that the mindset had already settled before seeing or experiencing. Maybe that truth had overpowered fiction.

“It’s the same vibe after decades,” I also remember telling myself, seeing a 20-something man behind the counter of the studio that I had come to ask about. The same man that I instantly labelled as a “redneck” because of his polyester baseball cap with huge white band and his silk-screened Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

“I’ll be taking a break, bro,” he says, “be bck in a bit.”

Slowly all the pieces came together. Reality over fictionalized fear, again?

Another aside: in my 20-something world the phrase would be “in a minute” not “be back in a bit, bro.” A little understatement to maximize time is what we used. Extending a literal minute to 15, or 10 years, centuries perhaps (if one needed it to be), or just a little later that night. The slang seemed to work best for us decades ago.

Okay: back to the present and this post. We will definitely get back to this weighty subject of personal narratives and their place in who we might be as Americans, people, 21st century human beings. For some mysterious reason everything eventually connects to everything else. Everything.


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