I attract weird people. There, I have said it out loud. If there is an oddball in a room, he/she will find me. Every strange, creepy character will undoubtedly seek me out. Some might call it my curse. As a writer, though, it has been more like a blessing.
If I want to write about a crazy ex-boyfriend who broke into a teenage girl’s house in the wee hours of Mother’s Day for God-only-knows what reason, only to throw himself through a glass door in an effort to escape once discovered…yeah, I’ve got this.
I am well prepared if I need to describe the look of quiet resignation when a man flags you down on a deserted downtown street in the early hours of a crisp spring morning, and then asks you if you can spare a moment–he wants a witness in case the man who is approaching him tries to kill him,
I will have no problem describing the gooseflesh that rises and the cold sweat that flows when you find yet another angry, scrawled note on your car after a late night college course accusing you of leading him on by smiling at him, cursing you for daring to speak to someone else, and promising to keep watching you to make sure you are “safe.”
But the blessing run much deeper than the disturbances that shake the surface.
I have met plenty of people of the “good strange” variety. I have been blessed with a friend who nourishes my creativity and impulsiveness, and who writes with me in comfortable silence as we tap on our keyboards and eat peanut butter sandwiches in the office break room.
I have connected with a talented and generous writer who weaves stories from old wounds and teaches me to persevere with his tales of courage, and strength, and fortitude.
I have received musical nourishment in moments of sadness, endless wise counsel, and a willing ear from some I have never really laid eyes on, but who has seen the pain and doubt that comes with birthing a story and who has selflessly helped me in my labor.
I have encountered a soft soul who taught me the bittersweet joy of shared troubles– and who reminded me of the restorative power of a tale that, once read (and reread), can serve as an anchor in the storm.
And I have crossed paths with a writer whose stories shine with humor, and longing, and promise. A woman whose strength and goodness are as evident as her grace and beauty.
I have known the comfort of being encircled by a few choice souls who allow me to vent, to dream, to try, and to fail–and who love me unceasingly.
I have a long history with one who doesn’t see his own greatness, but who is quick to point out my own promise–never seeing that he is my rock…my touchstone. Nevertheless, he walks forever by my side…never questioning the journey.
I have know the outcasts, the odd fellows, and the outliers. We are bound by our strangeness.