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Escape Artist

What is it about days that make me long for night? Which, when it approaches, merely brings hopes for the next day and the solace of sleep.

Why is it that words fill my head, painting pictures, so vivid, yet fleeting? Like butterflies that flit in front of me then, just as I scramble to capture their image, they are gone.

I sat, in the early hours, with all manner of notions spinning in my head. Fighting to be first in line for communication. Yet, now that I sit here, poised to share it all with the world, the only thing I can describe is my inability to coax even one of those grand thoughts into consciousness. Every time I think I have a line to write, even now, my fingers hover. Waiting for the signals from my brain to call out each letter. Hoping that, if they just type something, something will come out.

The addict is a chameleon. Sometimes, it is a ferocious, controlling beast. Others it is a charming manipulator. Now, having become acutely aware of the latter, mine is often a petulant child. In any form, its purpose is to defeat me.

This morning, my inspiration was drawn from a candid and poignant musical production based on the escape of another addict under the guise of respite and healing. I know all too well how easy it is to turn anything… and, I mean ANYTHING… into an object of addictive obsession. I swear, sometimes, that I am actually addicted to hugs.

Needless to say, the performance triggered ideas for my own autobiographical productions. I spent several years in 12-step programs. And, I told my story many times in as many ways. Eventually, I realized that, having survived most of my life using music and writing as catharsis, that I could probably tell the whole story in song. Last night, that notion returned. Not as a fleeting thought. A potential reality. Here was a man doing exactly that. And, I was not alone in being moved by his tale.

There is an audience for me. I do not need to question the value of my work. Half of the struggle I have faced here today is the tape that plays in my head every time I sit and “try” to create: “You’re wasting time. You should be…”

The guise of the responsible adult has resulted in far too many temper tantrums. This child needs some firm and nurturing discipline. Not to simply be pushed aside. Neglected. That is why, I have sat here, rambling off and on for roughly three hours. I may not have created much. I have maintained this commitment, to myself and to you, to tell this story as it unfolds. To deny the escape artist another opportunity to “Poof! Disappear.”

The challenge now is to move forward with this work. To overcome the uncertainties. Develop the soundtrack, with brief soliloquies to segue. Perhaps I will throw my name in the Fringe Festival lottery. A true commitment to the project.

Time to spread my own wings and fly.

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