Not because I’m going to save the world. Not because I have anyone to impress. First and foremost, I write for myself. I try and create – or recreate in story form – those things that mattered to me.
Not all of my motivation comes strictly from other writing. I did not read anything and think “I have to do that” although certainly – love of the written word is a factor.
Here, in no particular order, are some of things that I think about when I write – thing that motivate me to tell the story and to finish it.
Bad Latin: Teo te absolvo. (Or is it Te absolvo?) Teo te adoro. (Or is it Te adoro?) Di absolvo? Di Adoro? I forgive you. I love you. Do you forgive me? Do you love me? Cute. Cute Latin is bad Latin. But my sentiments are genuine. We all want to be loved; we all need to be forgiven by someone.
- The word “deliberate”. It shows purpose, restraint.
Breathing as a metaphor for life.
- Hands and mouths. Mouths not lips or tongue or teeth, all of which are mere anatomy.
A girl kissed me once.
Can’t remember exactly how I met her – she was friends with this Elaine who was friends with this Judy. She was the third girl in the car, Elaine and Judy’s friend. Elaine’s dad was a Freemason. I never met him.
I remember her giving me her phone number in the Sandman Inn 7-11 parking lot. I liked her – she was very bold, she smoked and swore.
I never called.
She called me from time to time. One day she finally told me to take her to a movie. We went. I forget the show. I forget who else came – there was a group of us. I took her home – she said goodbye and gave me a kiss. It was an awesome kiss. Really, the best I have ever had and totally unexpected. It was … unchaste. She had beautiful brown eyes, eyes that shined. Her lips were very soft and tasted of whatever lip-gloss she had, and her mouth tasted of licorice and smoke. I have never tried heroin – never needed to – ’cause she kissed me with a kiss like poison and I would always be able to feel it in my spine. Heroin.
Since then there have been hundreds – well, no – more like … tens of women – but I never forgot that feeling.
Anyways we never went out again. I never called. I lost track of her after that. I had this mason jar by my bed I kept girl’s phone numbers in – numbers written in pen, some even written with eye-liner. You know how it is. I eventually chucked all of them more than 3 months old and then all of them. Many years later I took a computer course at the college – she and her mom were in it. She never spoke to me. She had gained weight and didn’t look happy but her eyes were still beautiful. I remember what I remember the way I remember it so I write.
- Derketa, the Blue Goddess of the Mediterranean before the flood, with her hennaed hair hanging in ropes like the Medusa’s serpentine locks.
Rock Music. Hard Rock. Metal. Blues-rock. Guitars and drums and bass. Some guy in a leather jacket shouting. Punk rock too. Downstroke guitar fast and furious 3 minutes max.
- Tattoos that have a story, scars that tell stories.
The art of Martin Emond.
- The art of Richard Corben.
Fernando De Felipe’s “Museum” – both art and story.
- While I am at it, Frank Frazetta.
The Story of My Life by Social Distortion
- Cowboy boots. I have a custom made pair of black ostrich motherfuckers. $1000-dollar boots. Do I feel good wearing them? Yes I do.
- Cubic Inches
Bell’s Theorem. Go on and explain this to me if you can.
- “The Blood of Heroes” with Rutger Hauer and Joan Chen
“Mad Max” and “The Road Warrior” – but not “Beyond Thunderdome”.
- Victor Hugo. I personally like “The Man Who Laughs” – which was out of print for years – the best of all of his works. Sure – it’s flawed – his digressions on the abuses of the English peerage system veer towards being a polemic more than fiction, but from the discovery of the confession of Hardquannone – “He alone who knew all of the operations of Dr. Conquest – including the Bucca fissa usque ad aures …” – this is an epic tale of misery. There are few that can compare.
Hemingway, always always Hemingway, hunting the elephant in Africa in “The Garden of Eden”.
- The Great Gatsby. I too, have loved from afar, with no reward but rejection, no solace save having loved. At least, I feel like that when I read the Great Gatsby over and over again.
Kundera and Marquez, so much more clever then I.
- The works of Umberto Eco too, too clever by half.
Those stockings with the lines that run up the back. To quote David Lee Roth, “No, no, no, don’t take ’em off – leave ‘em on.”
- The stars and the planets, the sun and the moon. The precession of the equinoxes, which is time itself.
Dreams. Last night I dreamed of a spider. I dreamed I was back in the place where I was raised, walking along the highway in the setting sun of the early summer when the days are still getting longer, my shadow and the shadows of the trees growing tall towards the east. I made a story from this.
- Borges – “The End of the Duel” and “The Library”.
The Lord of the Rings – the appendices.
These are just a few of my things.
My name is Steve Passey and I write fiction.