I sit there apologizing to my writing group, the critic inside of me trying to shush what I’ve just read. “I’m sorry, I was really nasty with that,” I say, the ladies all staring at me as I have just eviscerated a newly broken relationship and the person in it. Burnt up in gasoline and flames, the car with the new her in the passenger seat going off in the sunset, him driving with flames chasing after him.
As a writer, the best way to deal with emotions, anger, a relationship that didn’t work, is to curse and write heated things that will tear up or destroy the feelings. For me, I broke the relationship, took a step back, said wait. I thought the two of us would dance around each other at work, and maybe step into something that was good because I still adored the guy. Then he had to go and mess it all up with spending a weekend with another gal I know, one week after I stepped back and we were still flirting like mad. One Week.
Needless to say, I was angry. So, so angry. Sure, I stepped back, but wow. Hurt doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt, partly because I’m looking at the idiot going, you want her? Really? (I have actually had a couple other people go, oh god, when I tell them who he’s with)
I just watched Begin Again, a marvelous film with Kiera Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, and Adam Levine, and in it you have two song writers, one becoming famous (Levine), the other (Knightley) puttering around with it and in love with the famous one. So you have a broken relationship and anger and such and girl songwriter writes this utterly cutting song to guy idiot. It is such an amazing part of the film, partly because it hit me this week as I was dealing with the issues above. And I realized that one of the ways writers deal is to cut down the person we are angry with in our work.
“I have loved you like a fool” is an amazing line. Needless to say, I have some very nice poems that my ladies have sat back going, “It oozes anger. We can just hear your anger.” They also told me to stop apologizing for being a bit nasty. To hogtie and gag the critic in my head.
Granted, writer’s liberties and all, I can exaggerate more than I actually feel. I sometimes want what I write to be more dramatic than it probably is. Am I wounded by the idiot? Nope. In fact, I’m doing really good as I have progressed in my work with him being gone from my life and work. I have had a chance to find myself a bit more. I’ve even found myself more inspired with cooking and life. It has been really amazing. Everyone has told me I can do so much better and I deserve so much better, so that has been crucial. Especially with two amazing people at work, and two really important ladies in the writing group. These people are my close confidants.
‘If a writer loves you, you can never die.’ These words are classic to the memes world for writers. Seriously, you won’t die if a writer loves you because they will have you at some point in all of their work, or you will inspire them, or something. But…. if you anger a writer, well, darling, prepare to die. Or be killed off in some gruesome manner. Or tortured.
Coffeeman has this thing he does at work where he slams his fist into a wall or a counter. There is always some force in it, not enough to leave a mark, but you can see he’s irritated. I always picture a knife in the fist when he does it, partly because that’s how I feel about a lot of things. I do this motion with my hand, sometimes with a pocket knife in it, and out to the right and side, I stab air. It is this motion of stabbing, or would like to stab that is the feeling. No, I don’t want to murder anyone, but… as Robert Bly says
Our veins are open to shadow,
and our fingertips Porous to murder…. Robert Bly
Because I work with knives, it’s so much easier to write about it and use the motion when I’m frustrated.
Now there is a flipside to this whole story. The first part is me getting my digs in. But downside to a writer dating a writer… the other writer has the same opportunity to put in his own digs. One week after idiot guy spends weekend with another, he comes to my writing group as he has been doing for a couple weeks to write. He’s a poet as well. Yeah, that was a hard because one, I was too close to the subject, too angry and couldn’t read out what I had written, angry as it was, and he wrote something that pierced me. It was a dig of his own.
So rule of thumb, which I’ve had is, don’t date a writer. Two, if you are with a writer, prepare for you being written about, at some point. Good or bad.
I’m still angry, writing about lack of constancy and holes being dug with words, creating nasty hurts. Dua Lipa’s IDGAF song is marvelous right now to how I feel. Along with the song above from Begin Again. I highly recommend the film if you can handle the language. It is incredible, and ends marvelously. And the music is great.
But as the song goes… “I have loved you like a fool….”