My former teacher, Mike Davis, wants us to get out of our cages.
I took a couple of courses with Mike Davis, and we were on good terms. I enjoyed our interactions, and I learned a lot. The classes were online, so all of the interactions were online. We kept up for a short while after the classes were over, via facebook, or via the comment section on his blog, and I still read his blog, as you can see.
But I imagine that Mike Davis doesn’t like me.
More likely, he doesn’t think about me at all, cause I don’t mean anything to him. I’m fine with that. I know I am irrelevant. I should be. We’re not friends, and I don’t want to be.
I admire the guy. He taught me, and he was a good teacher. He was actually the best writing teacher I ever had, which, ok, admittedly, isn’t saying much. But it’s something.
And I like what he’s trying to do.
I imagine that he doesn’t like me, only because I am the kind of person, I imagine he doesn’t like.
(Yes, I’m making it all up. That’s what writers do – but it could be true, because we have gifted insight).
A person who won’t get out of his fucking cage.
Why should I bother saying that I want to be a writer, that this is my aspiration, that someday, yes, algun dia, I will visit America. If it’s just a dream that will never happen, then you’re full of shit. You either do it or you don’t. You get no credit for saying you want to.
This is why I think he doesn’t like me. How can I be inspiring, in a cage? Why would you want to surround yourselves with people like that?
I want to be a writer but I am an accountant. I want to be a writer, but I travel a lot, and have a nice house and cars and fine dining experiences and furniture, and an under-funded pension, and a lot of other expenses. I want to be a writer but I am a husband.
And I eat too much.
You know, whatever.
I am in a cage.
I can’t make different choices (except maybe that I could eat less).
I can’t sell our house and all our stuff, so I don’t even have to pay to store it, and move only what we need into a cheap apartment. I can’t decide we don’t need cars, because we won’t work, and we can uber if we really need to get somewhere or rent a car twice a year for a trip, and walk everywhere else, or ride a bike.
I can’t live frugally enough to retire, now, or even in three years. I can’t change careers, or move to another country.
I don’t have that freedom.
Not that I would want any of that.
But I want to be a writer. I’ve pretty much always said, effectively always, that I want to be a writer. And doing some or all of those things would help.
I know I’m not going to do them, but can I write from my prison cell?
That’s a kind of freedom. To write the truth. Can I do that? I would need to free myself from another cage. I have to escape the past. No simpler way to say it. I think that’s what Mike Davis is talking about.
I mean what that means for you, escaping the past, may be different than what it would means to me, but it is a very broad all encompassing statement. So, probably it’s true for everyone.
Maybe for her it’s a trauma, maybe for him regrets, maybe for me it’s just the expectation that I will stay the same as I have always been. How do I escape from the expectations people have of me that I, myself, have nurtured and established?
I don’t know. But this is why I write now. Whether I post it anywhere or not, writing is, for me, the means by which I am going to attempt an escape from prison. I don’t know if I’ll be successful. We can never know. But I believe I can prevail. So, I’m working on the locks.