I don’t write to be famous, I don’t write to be known, I write because I am and I want to be read. How sad to fill a room with paintings no one sees or play music no one hears. Writing is talking without sound, singing without score and dancing without movement and yet, it is all of them. It is a solitary art conjured from thought and expressed by the need to communicate.

HEAD SLAPS, SPEED BUMPS and LIGHTBULBS, one woman's WTF, oops and ah-ha moments of life.

They were published once, and as every writer knows, once is not enough.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Wuff...I saw them naked and it hurt my head

We went away on a well-planned fly by the seat of our britches mini-vaca, to a nearby historical site. Settled into a nice room, third floor view of the lake, had a great dinner, took a walk and sat by the lake to watch the sunset. Behind us, on one of the balconies we heard some loud voices and assumed the revelers were part of a wedding that was being celebrated. As we walked back to our room, past the noise, we realized that the commotion came from one couple having an argument. Once back in our room we could still hear the arguers because when we went out on our own balcony theirs was directly below ours.

It was funny at first, voyeuristically listening to the couple, until the depth of what they were revealing stripped away the giggling humor of our eavesdropping. The specific points of the tirade, he wanted her to do things with random pick-ups, which she did want to do, she cheated a year ago, he bought her expensive gifts,  she hated her body, he wanted his money back, blah, blah, over and over again.

We left our room, to have a drink at the bar, and get away from the noise. Who walked in, yup, the bowling ball and ten-pin couple. Now we had two faces to accompany the tirade. We downed our drinks and left for a few minutes of quiet on our own balcony. I felt like I should have warned the female bartender, he was into random encounters. It didn’t take long for the couple to return to the balcony below us and to continue and escalate their arguments; their time at the bar greatly loosened their already flapping lips. As the voices raised and became beyond disturbing I called the front desk to complain. The desk-man apologized and said they’d take care of it. After fifteen more minutes of loud toxicity I yelled, “shut the fuck up,” slammed our slider and went to bed.


The point of all this, I bring it up because of another writer’s recent blog post about honesty.

How honest are we willing to get? How revealing, how open, how naked in a room full of readers?

That couple didn’t care who heard, who learned, who shared in the moments of their train-wreck relationship. Maybe they got off on it. It was so nasty at first I thought it was a spurious attempt at drama. But I believe now it was real. I write real, but not the nasty part, I’m open but I remain private, and does that matter? This veiled honestly, is it courage mustered or is it a fake sense of trust between writer and reader?

I’ve heard other people argue and have disagreements, and I have forgotten the voices and faces of all of them, but the one last weekend...I will never forget them because it was so raw. Maybe that’s the answer, we forget ordinary and remember raw. After I yelled at the couple and slammed our door, we heard nothing more. I will always wonder what happened to them but really, I don’t care because their honesty, though interesting in a voyeuristic way, was toxic.

I never lie but keep my honesty tucked tight; I use it wisely and release it to the hounds sparingly.  How much do you take out of the bag and feed the pack?


  1. I wonder sometimes if our neighbors want to yell, "Shut the fuck up." I've even gone so far as to close open windows so as not to embarrass myself.
    As a writer I think you need to expose yourself in ways you may not always feel comfortable with. Can you imagine Stephen King if he became intimidated by the subject matter?

    1. I agree with the comfort thing, but the whole reveal, oh boy I don't think I'm up for that.

      To me there are two kinds of honesty: truth in writing what you know, about yourself and the world, and the personal autobiography kind of revealing truth. The first one I adhere to always, the second one, nah...who wants to read about my foot fungus if I had one.

      Stephen King, the master to whom I bow down is the talisman regarding both.

  2. This brings to mind several things...about public displays of anger and the like.

    First to answer your question, like you, I don't lie, and I also don't say every single thing twirling around in my head, especially if it would hurt the other person and not serve any purpose.

    I cringe at any sort of public outburst that involves me. There are two occasions I can think of where this happened and I was so mortified, so humiliated that I picked my things up and left. Once was in a restaurant and another was at a wedding party. Both involved my husband. I HATE being looked at like we're having "issues," because our marriage is solid, and sure, we have our fights, but the idea of anyone seeing us fight just puts us, our relationship into a weird category. I've never been mad enough not to care what people think about us. Is that weird, or what??

    1. My mother would say anything to anybody about anyone to everybody. The censor humans have to cull through hurtful language and edit, she didn't have that. If we called her on it she always said, well that's the way I am, get over it.
      So...I am very careful.
      If I act like an ass in public, at the expense of someone else, it's because I'm an idiot with a knee-jerk reaction that buries my foot in my mouth to the knee. I try hard but often fail. It's in my DNA...that's the way I am, hahaha, I try to get over it.

  3. I think there's something to be said about a certain veiling of the naked truth when writing. I'm not big into censorship or any of that, but take YA books for example. There are many students who do not want to read the swearing or "realistic" scenes that pop up often in YA books nowadays. And many parents get angry when others (such as teachers) recommend books with scenes like this in it. It would be nice to have books that take you far enough to understand what's going on, but not push the issue so far it's all hanging out there for the world to see.

    Make sense?