My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Aug 8

The story of me

Category: Life

We’re all a story. We wake up in the morning. We have jobs, and hobbies. We have friends, families, lovers, and people we don’t love. We do good things, we do shameful things. We make choices, our choices affect one another. We’re happy, and we’re not. Our stories are connected, they’re collaborative, we don’t have total control over the plot that makes up life. When we die, it all adds up to a story. We get summed up in an obituary, by the people left who remember us.

Lately, I think a lot about Kurt Cobain, Elliott Smith, two people who I completely admire as artists and writers. Two people whose stories did not end well. I like them because I feel like I understand them, because I see myself in them. It’s not that I said to myself years ago, “those guys are so amazing, and one day I want to be a talented, depressed, suicide to be.” They haven’t shaped me into this disaster that I am. I don’t want to kill myself because I listened to Old Age, or Between the Bars. Kurt and Elliott haven’t influenced me, but I think they mirror so much of me. I’m ending up like them, and it scares me. I can’t find a way to be happy, or content. People tell me I’m a great writer, but I don’t necessarily feel good about it. I love writing, I know I have skill in my craft. It’s just that I’m not writing the way I want. I spend so much time writing nothing because I can’t turn off the noise in my head. When I do write it’s often so dark, but I can only write what I feel. I write so I don’t drown in that darkness, because I need somewhere else to put it. I don’t like feeling these things that I put into words so well, it’s exhausting. I almost never feel comfortable, or at peace. At best, I’m a fuck up who’s good at writing about being a fuck up. Elliott has a line, “they took your life apart, and called your failures art. they were wrong though…”  I write because it’s what I adore, I think it’s something I’m meant to do, but I’m rarely proud of anything I put out. People tell me I’m an amazing person, but I’m not. I know I’m not. I’m a screw up who’s just so tired of everything. All the liquor and drugs in the world couldn’t fix me. Kurt and Elliott saw the same thing. I see the way my story is going, and I don’t know if I can write my way out of it. I’m starting to feel tired of trying. I’m tired of lonely and empty, but maybe I’m too far-gone to be anything else. I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll die having nothing I ever really wanted, and that will be the story of me. The only reason I keep trying is because it might not.


6 Comments so far

  1. Alex Carnegie August 8th, 2009 12:57 pm

    This sense of seeing ourselves, our lives, and indeed all existance in terms of narrative is one that I really share. That’s why I love metafiction so much: it brings these ideas to the fore, explores them, and sometimes even tries to make sense of them. Narrative is inextricably tied in to language, which is in turn inextricably tied into sentient thought itself – in a sense then stories literally are what make us human and set us apart from the beasts. It’s this consciousness of narrative, I think, that has a lot to do with the joys and sorrows of the human condition: our sense of how things are, how they were earlier in the tale, what we want to happen next, the story arc that we wish we lived and the one that we find ourselves living instead…

  2. permazorch August 8th, 2009 1:34 pm

    I got nothing to add, except I feel exactly the same. The only thing that keeps me going, is wondering what will happen next. I’m marginally curious. Also, suicide is a bit rude to those who have to continue on, those who love and care about one. Every time I’ve lost a witness to what’s come before, the way ahead is a bit more grim and lonely.

  3. Patrick Sebring August 8th, 2009 1:45 pm

    I grew up in Seattle during the early days of the music scene Kurt, Elliot and a lot of brilliant people that are no longer with us. I, personally, was really inspired by your episode on “This American Life”. There’s a lot of shit out there and fucked up people that, due to their egos, will always be confined to their narrow minds and ignorant views. Regardless of you considering yourself a fuck up I consider you far from it. I don’t know anyone in your situation that has such a voice. In my darker days I used to listen to Steven Jesse Bernstein simply because regardless of how sad I was… I was never close to his dark outlook, and in some way that darkness made mine look more like a lighter shade of grey. Regardless Mike, please never stop writing.

  4. Sarah August 8th, 2009 4:04 pm

    Dude, if you really believe that, you can be 100% sure of one thing: how you see yourself vs. how others see you (I’m speaking for myself now, and probably many, many others) are worlds apart.

  5. jen August 9th, 2009 1:25 pm

    This is actually what I needed to read at this very moment. Lately, I actually hate myself at this moment right now. Choices? I wish I could undo some of them. Erase them with my eraser and rewrite the ending the way I see in movies, but at least, I undertand what fiction is..anyways. Thanks. At least,when reading this I know under this very hot sun today I am not alone

  6. Susie August 9th, 2009 6:35 pm

    “When we die, it all adds up to a story.”

    I don’t think so – it is all little stories along the way. Take “Great Expectations” for example – great book, and it is great even though the author & the community never really settled on one ending. There is debate about the ending – but the book is great, and there is little debate about that.