01:53:52 pm, by Orullian , 797 words, 4798 views
Categories: General Updates
I noticed this first as a young boy exiting the Saturday matinees that played in the summertime at our local theater, called the Villa. It was a grand palace of a place, which–in the new area of multiplexes–has become Habib’s Middel-Eastern Rug Emporium or somesuch title. But back then, as I squinted my way back into the bright sunny afternoon, a pain of separation touched me. I didn’t really want to leave the world of the story. I’d given myself to it so completely, bringing it to life, that I felt a bit lost for a while when it was over.
Same goes for great television.
And especially great books.
I often find it somewhat amazing–and thoughtless–to hear others talking (even if they’re trying to talk to me–maybe espeically then)–while I’m reading or watching something. Don’t they know I’m in the world of the story. I don’t want the illusion broken. I’m there for a reason. Leave me the hell alone. It’s not meant to be interruptable. Or at least, I’d prefer not.
And the thing that’s happened to me is that this has spilled over into much of life. Re-entry into the day job is bumpy, too, after a long vacation like the one I just had to Yellowstone. I settle into a pattern of life, where I write and dream and look at the stars, and then it ends, and I’m always a bit shocked. So much so that after the first full day back, I can almost convince myself that it’s not permanent. It’s not that I don’t like the day job; it’s that living close to story has been inside me since I can remember.
I don’t mean to over-romanticize it. That’s not the point at all. Rather, I mean to add my voice to a sentiment I first heard expressed by Clive Barker at a reading in the Pike Place Market Theater, where he said that as a reader of his work, I co-create the story with him. Clive nailed it! He wasn’t being falsely-magnanimous to his audience; he understood what I’m describing here about re-entry. He understands that the story lives because of the one experiencing it.
Real writers write because they must. That’s why, despite the ever-increasing number of books published each year, there are vastly more unpublished manuscripts than you’ll ever find at your Barnes and Nobels.
And just as writers write, readers read. They make the journey. And it takes a toll. I often have to pause mid-sentence to consider the sheer weight of what I’ve just experienced. Often, I’m left emotionally spent after a session. Or energized. Or angry. Or … you get the point.
But they are still sometimes painful moments. I’ll have an opinion challenged. Or one confirmed. Or I’ll witness something so beautiful or awful or mind-stretching that when I’m done, I’m not the same. I always remember the line from Stand By Me, the movie adaptation of the novella The Body by Stephen King: “The town was different somehow. Smaller.” If memory serves, that line doesn’t appear in the story, but it’s there in spirit, if I might be so bold as to say so. And it illustrates the same point.
The four boys who left Castle Rock to find a dead body re-entered their sleepy smalltown lives and found they didn’t fit the way they had two days before. Their experience had stretched them. The story’s uber title (if you will) is: Fall from Innocence. I guess that’s also what I’m trying to say. Going back to the life or “reality” you enjoyed after being in a fine place, be it tragic and dark or otherwise, after being in a fine place of a story … well, it’s painful re-entry.
Not a bad kind of pain exactly. Maybe not pain at all, come to that.
But enough of a change that you sometimes wish you could just turn around and go back in.
I know I do.
Comment from: D [Visitor] · http://Stickymantis
My aunt shelly has turned me on to your page and I'm glad for it. I can't wait to read your new series. re-entry is bitter sweet.
Permalink 06/04/10 @ 20:05
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