I really want to write about my growing up stories at the southern border of Mongolian Steppe, and I have attempted several times, but only to “tear them up” afterwards. Of course I didn’t really tear up anything since there was no paper involved. Rather I just tucked them away into the pile of digital drafts, which I hope I would never go back to dig them up. The reason I had to “tear them up” is that they just sound very mundane, very non-story like, very boring. If I am the reader reading it, I wouldn’t like to continue. That’s how bad these things are.
Actually I have a beautiful cousin who said the most narcissistic lines that her mother taught her to say, which were also approved by my other narcissistic relatives. I mean the whole situation was so comical. I mean my whole narcissistic family dreamed that she would be a great actress someday despite the fact that the family’s traditional values are very much against a girl becoming an actress. I tried to present this story several days ago, but it didn’t come out as I expected. There’s nothing tragicomical in the story. None of the ridiculousness that I felt as a teenager came out in my storytelling. I was actually a little shocked that story is quite devoid of irony, even though I felt and still feel the irony very strongly in my mind.
My parents’ bitter fights present the same problem. I just can’t bring out the sense of sad comedy that’s intrinsic in their relationship. They fought so hard and so acrimoniously against each other, but still they thought they had the best family and they deserved everybody’s admiration. The two of them were rather average looking, but they considered themselves the most handsome in the community and they thought they were the authority on beauty. They presented so much psychological material for me, but I can’t write a good story about them. I just don’t have the wherewithal to do it–I’ve never used the word wherewithal before, and this is the first time. Whenever I write their story, it doesn’t come out right. It’s often too sad, which I’ve never intended it to be so. OK, supposed it is a sad story, but it should be a comically sad story, but it doesn’t come out as it is supposed to come out. It just doesn’t have the verve or the gusto, with which my parents tortured each other. There was a devilish delight in their conflicts and a relish in their hatred of each other, which just refuse to come out in my story. I don’t know why, but this is really driving me a little mad.
Today, when I was driving home, passing the haunted bridge between Edison and New Brunswick, I suddenly had an epiphany (another word I’ve never used before) that I should practice my writing more and stop lamenting on my lack of skills. I can read more, write short passages to emulate what I read, and investigate what is baffling me–why can’t my writing brings out what I want it to bring out? I mean I just do what I can while trying not to get frustrated with the lack of result. Don’t know if I can achieve that though.
Or probably my parents’ ghosts (since they both died) are trying to prevent me from writing about them. That’s a possibility too.