RIVER NIGHTMARE

I just saw that as a headline (on a TV new outlet, of course). My first thought was that it was just … well … awful. We’re talking about real people’s lives, not some Sci-Fi (pardon, Syfy) original movie here.

Obviously, I’m feeling surly and I’m also trying very hard to pick and choose where I focus my malevolence. Where’s Pete when I need him?

That said, if you’ve been following this blog long enough, despite its lack of updates lately, I’m feeling normal.

I meant to update sooner. I mean it. I actually had things worth writing about but they’re no longer timely. I did see Bill yesterday, though. He finally had enough leave to come to Virginia and we decided to hang out for an entire afternoon and then get as many people together as we could that evening. It was up in the air for a while, as his grandfather just died, I had to beg to get Saturday off and we both had things to do today. But it was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

I think being away from Richmond makes going back there feel so much better. Either that or it’s just the act of going out and doing something. I can’t wait to have a larger space so I can have a party. As I get older, I’ve realized that I can be pretty quiet like an introvert but I need the recharge of a massive social situation like an extrovert. And I need road trips.

Last week, I drove to West Virginia for absolutely no reason. It was the first time since moving back from North Carolina last July that I’ve personally driven myself out of the state. Other than, I think, between getting my license at 15 and turning 18, that year had to have been the longest stretch I’ve ever had of not personally taking myself out of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

I can’t do that again.

I’m taking my largest road trip since New Orleans in September. I’m driving to Nashville, possibly by way of North Carolina. I’m beyond excited and it’s mostly for the ride itself.

A year ago today, I was wandering around Richmond on foot, anticipating getting my life back together. I still had a few months ahead of me then.

Do you have any idea how odd it is to not feel like yourself for more than a year? That’s what made Saturday so great. I was cruising along Interstate 64. It was a beautiful day. I had all the windows down. I was wearing a seersucker blazer. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Renée was there but she’s about to go to Orlando for fun and, while she’s there, I’m vacuuming the floors, beginning to pack up the apartment and working. At some point we’ll get this whole having vacation days at the same time straightened out. It could have been earlier this summer if I knew I was going to have the surprise 10 calendar days off from work.

Well, it wouldn’t have been a surprise then, now would it?

I can’t remember why I started writing this entry in the first place. I think it was to vent some anger but I’m old enough to know better than to go full rage mode on the Internet. I think the act of writing itself was enough of a catharsis. And using 10¢ words like “catharsis.” And using a cent sign.

I still don’t know the source of my current writer’s block (despite this entry, I’m still calling the well currently dry). I haven’t been taking a lot of photos nor have I been posting to Facebook or Twitter regularly. This has been going on since before January, back when, if I went to a doctor, I probably would have been told I was clinically depressed. That’s a whole ‘nother entry entirely that I put off  because I didn’t want to talk about it then and, when I felt better, didn’t see the point of bringing it up.

But I digress.

Is it even possible to digress in this disjointed mess?

Anyway, I need this to stop. I miss writing, especially since I spend more than 40 hours a week surrounded by paper and ink. I lost track of the outline of the final change I need to make to my novel (remember that I was writing one? and have been since 2007 or so? and it’s still not completed but, in a way it is?) and I really want to get that done. I keep thinking about tricking myself into writing a killer query letter so I’m forced to finish because my future agent is waiting for the full manuscript. But that wouldn’t help anyone.

Especially one of the main characters in it.

For those of you who have read this far, I’m going to share something with you.

I created a character on Dec. 17, 1998. I named him Lorenzo Santiago Williamston because, when I took Spanish classes up until 10th grade, we had to pick a Spanish name to go by in class. I originally picked Santiago but changed to Lorenzo and stuck with it. I fancied an alter-ego of sorts named Lorenzo and I though I coined the last name of Williamston until I saw it was a city in North Carolina.

I first created a universe for all of my writing in 1993 and I ditched it all in 1997. I destroyed every single short story I had then and even considered being a business major instead of an English major. Then Lorenzo appeared and all but the “Asunder” story I wrote a couple of three weeks back have been in his world. Although Lorenzo has become an old friend, I had no intention of him being in my novel when I began it, which may be obvious when you first read it not that I’ve told you. When he did appear, I did decide that it would be the final time I wrote about him. I do wonder that I’m stalling to hold on to my friend a while longer.

But, even when the book is on a shelf somewhere, the story of Lorenzo Williamston isn’t over.

If and when I have a son, his middle name will be Wilson as an homage to my Uncle Wilson. That’s been settled for years. His first name will be Lawrence.

Over the years, Lorenzo has mentioned consequences of being named Lorenzo Santiago and not being Hispanic. I figured anglicizing his namesake was the least I could do as a parting gift.

I think that’s it. Once I hit save for the final time, that 15-year-old kid who grew up with me and became a journalist with me will no longer be mine.

But that’s the point. Unlike this blog, I created Lorenzo for you, not me. The absolute best thing I could do is share his universe.

After 14 years, 7 months, 12 days — 5,338 days and counting — it’s truly the least I could do.

It only took me 1100 words to get to what this entry was about.

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