There are numerous occasions when I find myself attempting to explain how my imagination works. It’s always difficult. It’s always for different reasons. It usually comes out in a jumbled babble and I have the other person staring at me wide-eyed. There’s always that question on their lips.
Way back when I was in high school, I got in trouble in a geometry class because the teacher believed I had been cheating on one of the tests. This was because I hadn’t shown my work to arrive at the conclusions to the problems – the right conclusions. It wasn’t until the next year, when I had the same teacher for Tech Math, and he was forced to see how Machine Trades students instinctually did trigonometry in their heads, that I was able to explain how I had passed his geometry test. It was simple for me to imagine a three dimensional block of wood in the specifed shape floating beside me, surrounded by glowing numbers, and the object getting dissected as need be. This was about 4 years before the film The Matrix appeared on screen.
Today, I’m sitting at my dining room table, at my macbook and listening to 65DaysOfStatic. The epic, post-rock electronica conjures certain emotive sensations and I can weild them in my imagination. Music is important in my imagination. Today, it helps me form vistas of a distant post-apocalyptic future over-run by a rouge science that looks a lot like magic. This is easy. The music is loud, and the beats and textures aid me. Into the blankness, I drop the ruins of skyscrapers and shattered electronic billboards, a clear blue sky above and knee-deep flooded streets below. Windows are blown out and a few cars still smolder, a pack of predator cats growl in the dark recesses of a cellular store and automatic gun fire echoes in the distance. The track changes. From the tallest remaining building, a whitish-purple lighting crackles up and around the structure, while a flock of creatures far too large to be birds take flight from its windows. The ground shifts, and under the tepid water where lines used to dictate traffic patterns, there is a massive crack. It builds, it grows, and something massive come crawling out.
The other night my girlfriend had a nightmare. She briefly told me pieces about it, and I found myself typing away for hours as I listened to A Perfect Circle. I imagined a suburban setting and created the details to a very normal American home. I described the young boy and his older sister, their parents and the things that were to transpire. In my head, I watch as the boy (who really wasn’t a boy) ripped out his own teeth with needle-nosed pliers once used to construct model airplanes and hacked away at his fleshy pink gums with an exacto blade so that he could cram in his collection of shark teeth. He had wanted to be a “shark monster” for Halloween, you see. Chomp, Chomp! All good lil’ goblins wish to be something properly scary.
Perhaps it’s one of the reasons I don’t care for Stephen King’s writing. I don’t need three pages describing the shutters on a house. If you tell me it’s a “Haunted House,” my imagination has run through two dozen variations before you’re on to the next word. Of course, I also know that I’m the weird one, and that I’m going to have to describe my version of a Haunted House to you in detail. But I suppose that’s why I’m a writer, to give you my take on things.
I’m here to entertain with my imagination. I’m here as a storyteller, here to use my fluid take on reality to alter your day a bit. That question on their lips? Granted, sometimes it’s “What the hell is wrong with you?” More often than not, however, it’s “Why?”
Why? Because it’s who I am.