?

Log in

No account? Create an account

In Another Castle

« previous entry | next entry »
Mar. 31st, 2014 | 07:24 pm

My boyfriend (too juvenile)—significant other (too formal)—my guy—listens to me talk about writing, about wanting more time for writing, about taking a six-month contract with a 30% pay cut and endless open hours of—hopefully—writing.

He says, “If you want to stay here and stay home and be a writer, I’ll take care of you.”

I remember his thoughtful presents, the plane tickets he’s paid for. The way he told me, laughing, “Aren’t I supposed to buy you a new handbag for each outfit? That’s what my ex-wife led me to believe.” I’ll take care of you. He means it.

I think about three weeks at an artist residency where we were fed and housed and turned loose in a playground of studios and theatres and labs to make anything we wanted.

I think about my musician friend and I laughing over tea, “What we need is a patron, some rich guy who loves art and loves us and pays our rent.”

I think about my father saying jovially, “A man’s home is his castle,” and less-jovially, “You wanna know the Golden Rule? He who has the gold makes the rules.” I remember him calling from cities with casinos, “I’ll be home Sunday,” my mother’s mouth folding shut.

I think about my aunt re-sewing her own underwear for her daughters, using her grocery money for their dance classes, not asking for more. My mother teaching aerobics in a jazz-cut leotard and ankle warmers, saving a little bit each time. My mother moving into my room when I went to college. My mother getting her real estate license and her divorce papers and the locks changed.

Last month, I Skyped my guy from the artist residency. “I’m almost done with the manuscript I came here to finish,” I told him, “but the last four scenes are going to be painful to write and make me sad, so I keep putting them off. It’s a monster.”

His face shadowed. “So don’t write it. I hate to think of you doing something that makes you unhappy.”

I look at my guy, the first man I have let take care of me, the first man with whom I can relax, with whom not everything is my job. This is my prince in shining armor, the man who would build me a castle, clothe me in gold. This man wants me to be happy, to have happy thoughts, to never wrestle with monsters. He will put up a wall against the darkness, against the urgency and hunger of write to eat, write to eat, now you must write to eat. He will cocoon me in safety, keep away the dark creatures eating me from inside until expelled in words.

“You don’t even have to publish. Just tell me if you need money.”

Money is a stone wall. I do not know how a grant and a patron and a husband are different from each other. If they are different from each other. What it would be like to have 'grocery money' or 'clothes money' or an 'allowance.' If obligation, write to earn your keep, will crush the hand that holds the pen.

“I’ll let you know,” I say, meaning, no thank you, and I push with all my strength on the windlass while the drawbridge rises up to meet me, protect me, pushing it back down to let the monsters in.


___________________________________________________________
whipchick now wears makeup to bed.




.

Link | Leave a comment |

Comments {50}

Page 2 of 3
<<[1] [2] [3] >>

Bridget Ilene Delaney

(no subject)

from: kagomeshuko
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 07:30 pm (UTC)
Link

i like this entry :)

Reply | Thread

whipchick

(no subject)

from: whipchick
date: Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:35 am (UTC)
Link

Thank you!

Reply | Parent | Thread

The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

(no subject)

from: halfshellvenus
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 07:35 pm (UTC)
Link

I so understand why you would be afraid to take that step. The power dynamic that money introduces into relationships can be very uncomfortable (in your mother's case, scary).

And even if it never became that, knowing that someday the relationship might falter... how much harder to restart your independence and work history when you've let it all go?

Reply | Thread

elledanger

(no subject)

from: elledanger
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 08:29 pm (UTC)
Link

Ahhh the obligations inherent in money. And the dear sweet kind hearted people who don't understand the unspoken contract demand when they offer money that freely.

Though I am glad to see that the potential of that situation gave you the motivation. Things that we want can be powerful motivators, as can things we desperately don't want.

I hope those final chapters were prepared for what they were about to receive.

If I were to offer any feedback, I'd only say that the time skip was a little disorientating - I think because I already viewed 'the guy' as a patron so joking about wanting one threw me and it took until towards the end to make the link back. That may have been your intention, I may just be a bit work-numb, but otherwise, I really enjoyed this.

You have a very clear voice which makes your writing a lovely thing to read.

Reply | Thread

A Karmic Sandbox

Nice.

from: karmasoup
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Link

Seems we both found something we didn't think we were actually looking for, but maybe secretly wanted... you a benefactor to your artistry, and me a minion to my plot to take over the world. Congrats to both of us. Now we have to face what remains to us: the work we committed to ourselves we would do if only these things would fall into our laps. Here's to ya, sister. See ya the top of the world.

Reply | Thread

drwex

Money and I

from: drwex
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
Link

have a ... fraught relationship. Much too long to write here, but I think I will write an entry for my own LJ.

Reply | Thread

sarah

(no subject)

from: ghosted
date: Apr. 1st, 2014 10:55 pm (UTC)
Link

You have to write the painful things! I hesitate to say "they're the important things" because I believe we should all be able to live a life of the least pain possible and feel no guilt over that. But I know my own writing thrives on my extremes, and negative extremes tend unfortunately to be a little more durable than positive ones.

Sounds like a really great guy, though. I hope you keep making each other happy.

Reply | Thread

gratefuladdict

(no subject)

from: gratefuladdict
date: Apr. 2nd, 2014 04:17 am (UTC)
Link

This was my thinking, as well. I can't help but suspect that anyone who wants to shield a writer from risk and pain and challenge doesn't understand their nature at all. Being a new parent, I feel this desire to protect and smooth the path on a daily basis. I just keep reminding myself that's not the way to help a person thrive.

That said, I think the intention is beautiful, as well as the lack of expectations on you. It just comes down to whether or not the rules changed imperceptibly down the line if you failed to meet an unstated expectation - maybe one that even he doesn't realize he has yet.

Beautiful piece.

Reply | Parent | Thread

Cos

(no subject)

from: cos
date: Apr. 2nd, 2014 01:54 am (UTC)
Link

This conveys, to me, that he wants what he thinks is the best for you, but doesn't really understand you or what you want. Did you mean it to convey that? (I don't know if that's the reality)

Reply | Thread

i_will_not_say

(no subject)

from: i_will_not_say
date: Apr. 2nd, 2014 02:57 am (UTC)
Link

This flowed well, and it made me think.

Money has so much stuff attached to it -- at least, it seems that way to me sometimes.

Reply | Thread

Laura, aka "Ro Arwen"

(no subject)

from: roina_arwen
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:53 am (UTC)
Link

He sounds like a great guy, good luck with everything, especially those last four scenes!

Reply | Thread

Jemima Pauler

(no subject)

from: jem0000000
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:57 am (UTC)
Link

Good luck! *hugs*

Reply | Thread

tatdatcm

(no subject)

from: tatdatcm
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:03 am (UTC)
Link

There's an implication (or perhaps an inference on my end?) that having someone take care of you comes with some sacrifice on your part. His care is sweet and lovely, and OMG "security" is such a big thing, but so is being yourself and doing what fulfills you, even when it's painful. Finding that balance between the two is what we strive for, I think.

I really liked this.

Reply | Thread

bewize

(no subject)

from: bewize
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 03:49 pm (UTC)
Link

God, I love this one. This spoke to me at high volumes. Writing for a living (which is part of how i earn my keep) can definitely take a toll. Being reliant on someone else to pay the bills takes one, too, I would assume.

Finding someone to support you and take care of you is both a blessing and a conscience awakening experiences, making you wonder where the point between accepting the blessing and taking advantage of someone is.

Sorry I rambled. :)

Reply | Thread

adoptedwriter

(no subject)

from: adoptedwriter
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:30 pm (UTC)
Link

Beautifully written. AW

Reply | Thread

C.x

(no subject)

from: itsjustc
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
Link

This is wonderfully written.
He sounds a great guy and you are very lucky to have found him.

It makes me realise what a great guy I have too. My part in the relationship is that I make humourous comments about him but reading this I will admit wat a brilliant person he is!

He has just rung me and asked if I was coming round for tea. I said 'I've just got 3 more stories to read and I'll be round' He said 'OK finish whatever you've got to do and I'll see you in a bit' :)

Reply | Thread

blink

(no subject)

from: yachiru
date: Apr. 3rd, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
Link

Reminds me of Harper Lee? I think. Her coworkers/friends gave her enough to take off from her job and work on her book for a year.

I wonder what it would be like to write just that one great book and be satisfied. Here, you think. Here, is my masterpiece. All else is chocolate cake and bitter almonds.

Reply | Thread