Famed author, John Cheever, dressed in suit and hat, then with everyone else, rode the elevator down to the lobby. Once there, he’d walk down to the basement, strip to his boxers and write.
Favorite of mine, D.H. Lawrence, was known for climbing mulberry trees in the nude; something to do with the long limbs and rough bark stimulating his thoughts. Hemingway often wrote in the nude. In that state, he’d stand, with his typewriter on the table, waist-high before him.
Even when we step beyond mere writing habits, writers seem to set the bar quite high in regard to being the most unusual of people. James Joyce, author of Ulysses, enjoyed the smell of women’s farts, as well as being spanked. Irish poet and playwright, W.B. Yeats had monkey glands inserted into his scrotum; invigorating both his sex life and his creativity. Its true: writers are very peculiar people. Dare I say – quirky.
Although I do not sit with a desk drawer full of rotten apples, as German poet, Schiller did, I do consider myself a bit left of center. To change that would be to change my view of the world, the angle by which I perceive all things. To change my quirkiness would be to change – me, as it’s a nuance that sits at my core. It’s a systematic condition, but one that plays a large part in producing all of my varying colors. I don’t mind this. And why should I? To do so would be to take myself too seriously. Nothing sinks one’s ship faster than taking themselves too seriously. As I sail from point to point, as I write and move along with life, I do so with unabashed pride in the peculiarity that is me.
I do not see these things as faults. And when one does, it’s a marker of how they view themselves, in addition to how they view life: critically. Just as I marvel at the quirky, odd-shaped, two-headed tomato, I also stare in awe at the flower who’s petals aren’t colored like the rest. The best things in life are those that allow themselves to simply – be. Never curtailing to popular opinion. Never cowering under conformity. The smartest amongst us know: popular opinion changes like the wind. So let it change. And conform only when doing so suits you. As for me, I don’t want to conform. As there is no box, large enough to keep me.
Off I go now, to climb a mulberry tree.
Written to: Oh Love by Green Day