Guest Post by Andy de Fonseca
Today is brought to you by water. Plain, boring, ever-so-wishing it were something more, water. I realize how dull water will seem to everyone. How bland, how unimpressive, how… not special it is. And that’s where my article begins.
Does every kid go through an “I’m going to be an artist!” phase? I did. I would paint, color, draw, pastel away, thinking I was in the know, thinking I had something others didn’t have, thinking I was special. I was an artist. Not only that, a mother fucking prodigy.
Then I started elementary school and saw that everyone was an artist. Every single one of those god damned kids knew how to paint, and some were better than me. Some knew how to make people look more like actual humans, and not thick stick men. Their suns looked proportionate to the sky their drawings played under. And fuck if ALL they knew how to blend their fucking colors!
Now is a good time to mention that at a young age, death was very real to me, and so the You-Have-Little-Time-Left clock started a good forty years early. The desire to leave my imprint on this speck of dust floating on a sunbeam became my core motivation. Art was a beautiful thing in itself, but I wanted to change the world with it.
So, elementary school was my realization of how boring I was. How bland, how unimpressive, how not special I was. I was just like everyone else, and if books and movies told me anything, “everyone else” didn’t change the world.
I became extremely competitive in all of my endeavors. Not with others, but with myself. I was a damn good runner in elementary track, I won ribbons. But why didn’t I run faster? Why didn’t I pass that broad up there? You’re shit at this, Andy, FIND SOMETHING NEW.
This mental flogging went on for quite a while, from one undertaking to another. Shit was getting hopeless as the years went by, and a desk job as an assistant for the rest of my life seemed imminent.
I can’t tell you the turning point for me, of when I found what I truly loved to do, because it was something I had always been doing. Something I went to every night when the day needed to be forgotten. I went to it in my free time while trying to figure out how to leave my signature on earth, between the old failed ventures and new.
Long ago, I saw the movie Toy Story in theaters, and even as a kid, I realized there was something special about it. They didn’t dumb the movie down for me. It knew my pains. My weaknesses. It knew how to make me laugh from within. It filled me with nostalgia when I barely had a life to remember. This movie was written by people who had really felt life, and remembered every bit, every age of it, and pushed for something more.
And that was it.
Writing. Writing calmed me, moved me, flowed from me. It was as natural as breathing to me. I didn’t do it to leave my name on earth, I did it because I knew nothing else. I did it when I had nothing else. Letting my fingers fly across the keyboard or scribble a note for later was cathartic. I could mold a being into someone you love, who will betray and destroy your faith. Carve a knight who could slay your dragon, only for you to find out later it was the dragon you wanted to win. This I knew, and this I always came back to.
There are stories to tell, specific emotions to pluck, worlds to discover, villains to love, heroes to hate.
I’m not special. I never will be. But there are millions of people in my head who are. People who fly over oceans to be someone new, ruined teenagers who discover a grand truth, old women on the verge of dying who burst forth with the light of a burning sun and swallow the universe whole. Yes… these people are special.
They’ll turn their water into wine.
Andy de Fonseca is a geek. She has always been this way, despite numerous attempts throughout childhood to curb her love of anime, video games, dragons, and the unholy songs of science. She also likes Cheez-Its.
Her book The Cheat Code for God Mode, published by Eraserhead Press, can be found on Amazon.com. If you order it before the end of the year, she’ll send you an 8-bit bead design of your favorite video game character. Because, hey, you deserve it.