Just Me and Peter Pan.........and The Loser's Club!
That sums it up so perfectly, so succinctly, that I almost don't need to write any more. However, I love the sound of my own voice.....so I will continue. I'm feeling the vibe tonight and going with the flow.
I'm not a Peter Pan guy. Don't misunderstand; I had a childhood. It was a damn fine one in many respects, but it was very unorthodox. I missed the boat on Disney. I'm not sure I would have dug it anyways. There's this little anecdote that my Mom loves to tell about her sweet little boy who, as a toddler, drew everything in black crayon and with an eye for the dark and scary. What can I say? I was a joyous and wonderful child.
I waited to start carving things up until my preteen years. I still love knives, but I digress.
My Peter Pan, my Snow White, my fairy tale didn't come from the mind of Walt Disney and his team of animators. It came from the mind of the Master of the Macabre aka Stephen King. That most wondrous of magical tales was the 1986 masterpiece, "It".
I tore through that one in the 4th grade, which (judging by my teacher's response to my book report) is a very young and inappropriate age for that particular novel. She did give me an A+, though. She couldn't say that I didn't know my shit. Good work is good work, inappropriate or not.
The funny thing is that while I love all of the horror and nastiness on display (and it is one of the most frightening things ever written in any language), that's not where the book really shines. The strength and beauty in "It" resides in the theme of the power of BELIEF. Belief is the single most powerful force in the universe- that's what screams from between the lines. Those children are able to drive back an ancient evil as children and ultimately defeat that evil as adults through the power of belief, trust, & sacrifice. The Loser's Club of Bill, Beverly, Ben, Richie, Eddie, Stan, & Mike see the world with the clear vision that only children truly possess.
The lessons of childhood trauma and the way it echoes into adulthood had a powerful effect on me. The way that power of belief, trust, & sacrifice helped the Loser's Club to get through their epic battles with It spoke to my keen mind's eye and damaged heart in a strong voice.
I already knew that the world was a hard place that wasn't going to do you too many favors. I knew that most adults were just getting by doing the best they could.....or flat-out faking it. I also knew that one day I was going to be one of those very same adults, and I wanted to be different. I BELIEVED that I was different. I TRUSTED in my ability to ultimately make my mark. I knew that SACRIFICE was part of the deal and was prepared for it.
So why do I sit here and babble about the lessons to be taken from an 80's horror novel about a shape-shifting clown who eats kids? The answer is simple: it's all about that belief.
Belief is ludicrously powerful. Hell, it's the bedrock that faith is built upon, and faith is the cornerstone of billions in this world. There is so much power in belief. You can't have that fabled "faith that moves mountains" until you believe in that higher power.
In this context, however, I'm speaking of belief in yourself. I'm not trying to enter a spiritual debate. That's a subject for another day.
I believe strongly in myself. I've been blessed to have a loving family around me also believe in me and have my back, but I don't need that to know that I will achieve my dreams. No offense to my support system, but I am not a blind servant to fate. I will be writing this particular story the way I want it to go.
Will there be setbacks? You're damn right. There have been plenty and will continue to be. What are my odds of "making it" in a business where your writing skills, gift of gab, & creativity are your only weapons in a crowd of other talented and ambitious writers? Pretty damn slim. Am I scared? Bitch, do I look scared?! Get out of my face with that shit.
I'm not cocky. I believe. There's a world of difference between the two.
I've found a partner in crime to travel with me through the trials to come. I met this man a thousand miles from where I was born and raised while working a bullshit 2nd job. When we both realized that we had a common goal and the same drive you could almost hear the puzzle piece click into place. That's a nice feeling.
Is failure a possibility? Of course it is. I think we've established that the world is nasty place that feels no qualms about chewing you up and spitting you out. But you've gotta believe, baby. That's how it works. That's the only way it can work.
I started off with that fantastic J.M. Barrie quote from "Peter Pan" and I finish by making it my own: The moment I start to doubt whether or not I'm a bad motherfucker is the moment I stop being one.
It's time to play the game.