Bleeding Out

I’ve had a lot of nightmares lately. No, scratch that. To really let you understand, I’m going to need to channel Coop here and say I’ve had a metric fuckton of nightmares lately. Far more than usual. Far more brutal than usual. I’ve killed everyone I know. I’ve been killed a few dozen different ways. I’ve relived parts of my life that I’d rather not remember. I’ve imagined things that would make the cenobites proud… or jealous, I’m not sure which. I’ve slept for shit and felt it in the morning.

“Write what you know.” “Bleed a little into the pages.” Good advice. But like all good things, it should be taken in moderation. Too much blood. That’s what I’m blaming.

I once begged an author not to include something in a book. It was too real, too fresh, still dripping. I was not only ignored, I ignored my own advice. Age doesn’t deminish some things. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. And some things should be left to rot in our brains rather than relived through writing. Even with the use of metaphors and name changes and slight adjustments to make it “not quite real”, it can be too much.

Because we know.

We know how much of our blood is poured into each and every story. We know which characters are real. We know which situations actually happened. And yes, we know whose fictionalized punishments are just wishful thinking on our part. The reader doesn’t know any of this. And if, when it’s all said and done, the reader is affected to the point of discomfort, or nightmares if you really score, then it was worth it, right? It was worth reliving and remembering and giving voice and time and energy to those things that make up the darker half of ourselves. Those bruises that we covered in butterflies and lollipops to make them look better, or at least be able to live with their scars.

Too much blood. As long as it doesn’t ruin the words, as long as it is finally released in some cathartic manner, it’s ok to bleed out… right?

Damn it. Hand me a band-aid—no, a bucket—so I can finish this stupid thing and be done with it!

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