Blogs by William F DeVault
5/5/2005 6:59:00 AM
I have a friend. She's not local, but she's a friend because she hasn't stabbed me in the back yet (my rules: a friend is someone who you can trust behind you with a sharp knife and a good reason. most people fail that, but I always give the benefit of the doubt...long story)
Anyway, I send her a copy of "PanthEon" as a birthday present. Her 20th (yeah, I know, she's young, sue me)...the other evening I was on the web, doing my mail and stuff on city of legends, when I get an email, big purple letters..."I got the book, thanks"...
I fire back "you're welcome"
Immediately I get a second email from her. big purple letters: "get online"
I swing over to aol to find myself being grilled.
"did you write these to a woman?"
gheez, she's a friend and doesn't know the legend of the Panther Cycles, suddenly I felt very forgotten...good thing "The Compleat Panther Cycles" is coming out this summer.
I tell her yes, and explain the backstory.
"Is it wrong of me to feel jealous?"
I had to think about this one. But, truth be told, I remember when the cycles first hit, how the world seemed to go nute...several women thought they might be the panther, despite them not matching any of the description or details...I got a relentless stream of emails containing questions, propositions, nude photos (lost them, dammit) and requests for personal audiences.
I told her it is okay to feel jealous. I know several women who, in the aftermath of the Panther Cycles, left their husbands to seek out someone who would love them like I loved the Panther.
I've been alone for the past year, as I made myself a promise that I would not get stupid again this time after a divorce...and it has been rough on a guy who has largely the libido of a seventeen year old, but it has been worth it to step back, clear my head and refocus on my writings...I'm no longer ballast on the Hindenberg, I'm Prometheus again, Bragi and Apollo.
And, you know, it feels good to be me again. And this time, I won't bend myself out of shape for the whims of an illusion. Damascus was an illusion, this time. maybe it is always an illusion.
But, remember the chilling words that my first great love said to me when I asked her why she wanted me to give up writing: "because poetry will never again be commercially successful, you'll never achieve the recognition you deserve, and you will grow old and bitter and I do not want to see the man I love grow old and bitter and die."
Guess what? I remembered that the other day, fingers inches fromt he keyboard, ready to vent wrath on frail illusions that have laid wounds upon me in recent years.
I promise, it will not happen. I owe debt to God and to those who have crossed my path to still be hopeful and strong. I will die one day. Maybe in fifty years, maybe in thrity seconds, but I will stay on my feet and take the fight to the darkness.
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