My oh my, where has The Ghost been? Where has his insightful rhetoric and unsolicited references to his favorite music gone? Perhaps he has died. Perhaps he is out adventuring through the wilds of Bora Bora. Perhaps he is erecting a new panda conservation site, dedicated to the revitalizing the population of those monochromatic bears.
While all of these are great guesses, they are a far cry from reality, and the circumstances surrounding my absence are a bit less dramatic. Honestly, I have been focusing on my fiction. Specifically, I have been working on getting my fiction published. It is a harrowing endeavor, and I feel like a post is due.
For as long as I can remember, I have been writing. In fact, some of my earliest memories are of me writing with a Mickey Mouse pen in a plastic-bound journal and typing at my parent’s computer desk at their bedside. In fact, I can remember the first story I ever completed as well: “Bob the Monkey.” It was a rather surreal tale, by all intents and purposes, an epic origin of the titular Bob arising from the issuance of a broken soft-served ice cream machine. It has been difficult accepting the fact that I peaked so early in my life, but such is life.
Regardless, my thoughts have been consumed with kissing the asses of an innumerable amount of literary agents in hopes of one day finding my name sitting on a book shelf. In light of this, there has been an alarming dearth of things that I feel need to be said here on Transient Talk, but I have come back to you again. Fret not, dear readers.
All this hubbub concerning correspondence with agents hundreds of miles away has been a roller coaster of mostly silence. There is so much empty space. It’s hard to stomach at times, frankly, because the only thing worse than someone telling you to fuck off is them thinking that you aren’t even worth a reply. I understand that these people are busy, endlessly trudging through mountains of query letter slush, but damn. There are a lot of similar parallels between this process and dating.
The more I look at it, life seems like one immeasurable string of sales pitches for one’s self. “Like me because I’m honest and kind.” “Like me because I feel like I write well.” “Like me because other people like me.” It can seem pretty vain at times, but it’s unavoidable, I reckon.
All of these things are swirling around in my big, dumb, ghost head, and I’m just baffled at how others manage to catch their dreams. How does one reach into the murky waters of their desire and pull out something more substantial that a soggy boot? This lead me down an analogical rabbit hole that eventually ended with a margin of closure.
When we cast our dream catcher net, it won’t catch everything. Nets are, by nature, more empty space than anything after all! They are filters. They are intended to allow most things to pass through. We know so many people whose dream catchers are more like dream buckets. They scoop into the tide and pull out a lot of substance, but just because there is something in their bucket doesn’t mean that there is real value there. The fisherman with a bucket of water may never thirst, but he will starve. What value is there without scarcity?
I think I am finally beginning to intimately understand that the best fishermen aren’t the ones out on the water with buckets. The best things in this life don’t even necessarily get caught by the best nets, but damn do you not even have a chance if you don’t cast a net out there. We have been taught to need immediacy. All of us, not just millennial. We all want what we want, and we want it now. You know what? That’s not all that bad, because it leads us to cast out our nets today instead of waiting until tomorrow… and then the next tomorrow.
I may never get published. I may never really connect with another romantic partner again on a serious level. I may stay in the same routines that I am now. Who knows. I don’t! I have no idea, but I have cast a net of my own fashioning. I’m not going to settle for smaller fish or the water they swim in. That’s valuable to me. That’s comforting to me, to know that I am doing the best that I can even if to everyone else it just looks like I’m a lonely man on a boat.
This time is not wasted, though. I am waiting for my dream catcher to fill up, impregnated with a glittering, unexpected haul. To you, dear reader, I hope you do the same. This life this is hard. Fishing is hard. It’s messy and damp and, at times, filled with solitude. Be patient with yourself, because your dream catcher is sprawled exactly as it should be, and it could fill up at any moment, even in your sleep.
Thank you for your patience during my absence. You are lovely. You are transient.