Jaded asked me to scribe my life as the prehistoric ones did in caves, and in 2000 years, and from the Little Prince’s point of view as well (both prehistoric and future). I took a little bit of liberty with the prompt, but hopefully you’ll agree that I stayed within the spirit of the challenge. Anyway, give it a read and let me know how you think I did.
If you could close your eyes to all but these words again and picture the wall of my condo, painted a cool cucumber, where I’m furiously etching, scraping and drawing. Stick figures. Stick figures everywhere. I really should have plotted out where each image was going before I started, but, alas, I did not, so floor to ceiling is covered in chaotically spaced markings, jumbled at various angles, and running in sequences that only make sense in context of whichever experience I was trying to convey at the time.
All the key highlights are there, though: the marriage on the mountaintop, the birth of the Little Prince, summiting Mount Whitney twice, camping in Kings Canyon, the trip to Europe… And, let me just say, that drawing Notre Dame was a pain in the anyway, yes, all the highlights you’d expect are there. Take a stroll through the archives in the kingdom and you can get an idea for the sketchings I’ve carved into the wall.
An interesting pattern, however, does emerge, when you step back from the room and view it as a whole rather than one image at a time. I’ve caught a lot of fish. A lot. For every other memory now immortalized as wall art, there is stick figure me catching a fish. That’s a lot of fish. Also, I think we can all be grateful that I didn’t bother commemorating every meal I’ve ever had or every bowel movement, because those things would have taken up rooms of walls on their own.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, and equally interesting, are the things that meant so much to me at the time, and still do, that get swallowed by the enormity of chaos around them. The handful of times I was paid to DJ parties and clubs while living in San Diego are lost in the fray. I had to really hunt to find the one book I’ve published, and if I hadn’t sort of remembered where I drew it to begin with, I’m not sure I’d have ever found it. Just the one book. That needs to change, but even then, as much as writing means to me right now, these little blips will never amount to much in comparison to all the other events drawn out. I’m not sure if that’s sad or not, or if it’s just poetically beautiful that when the events of my life are drawn out this way everything holds the same weight.
The one book I’ve published takes up the same amount of wall as one of the times I’ve climbed Mount Whitney as one of the fish I’ve caught as one of the jobs I’ve held as one trip to the beach… And, isn’t that wonderful?
Okay, you can open your eyes to everything again. I’m not sure if you could really see the wall paintings of my life so far. I sort of took us on a philosophical tangent, and hopefully you are okay with that.
2,000 years from now, you’ll be able to upload my collective experiences into your brain and feel my thoughts and emotions as you scroll through them, as if it were you who had lived them. I can’t decide at the moment if that’s truly terrifying or amazingly wonderful. Perhaps that’s not quite right. It isn’t that I can’t decide, it’s that I don’t want to.
The Little Prince’s interpretation of his life so far is the same for both the prehistoric and futuristic versions, and he has informed me that the only way to experience his vision is through a hands-on application of the following instructions:
1) Find a surface that you don’t mind destroying getting dirty.
2) Procure the artistic implements of your choice. He suggests scissors, glue, and watercolor paints.
3) Make sure no one is watching.
4) Set aside your artistic implements.
5) Pull the Sharpie that was hidden in your back pocket.
6) Draw spiraling circles on your designated surface in at first expanding radii and then shrinking.
7) Then stab repeatedly at the surface until the tip of the sharpie squishes inside the body of the pen.
8) Say, “Whoops” just loud enough for someone to hear.
10) Run away.