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    Writing The Inner Beast

        I wrote the following piece a few weeks ago as an exercise during a writing workshop up here at The Omega Institute. The prompt was: “I don’t want to upset you, but…..”. We had fifteen minutes to write something that somehow incorporated that phrase.
        The great thing about the exercise is that you don’t have time to mind-screw your writing. You just roll with what comes out of you; you tap into your flow, and your unique voice comes through loud and clear. You write from a different place than just your head.
        When I read this piece aloud to the class, I really got into it, and became very animated. There was a lot of laughter. But one woman said that I scared her, in a good sort of way, with my fervor and intensity. That’s great news. It’s important that my writing impacts people, that it evokes an emotional response. It’s not up to me what that response is.
        For months, it’s been crystalizing ever more clearly for me that the performer in me aches to read my stuff aloud; to perform it for people. It’s apparent that writing alone will not quell my creative beast of story. The writing must be there as the backbone, but the rest of animal is growing hungry and must be fed. I need to broaden my output media. And I am.     

           One of the linguistic conumdrums of modern communication is when somebody prefaces a conversation with “I don’t want to upset you, but….” . Are you fuckin’ serious? Why on earth would anybody start a sentence like that? They’re asking to be found guilty before they even commit the crime. Our school system should teach you this in third grade English class. Just come out and say it. Let me ask you: Would you rather get stabbed and slowly bleed to death? Or would you rather just get a quick kill shot to head? Exactly.
           I question the motive of somebody who begins a sentence with “I don’t want to upset you, but...”, because it’s such an obviously moronic and inflammatory thing to say. I would wager that upsetting you is in fact precisely what they want to do when they open up with that. But they’re disguising that nefarious intent by proclaiming the exact opposite. It’s linguistic passive-aggressiveness at its best. Then, after they’ve given you the devastating news, and you’re having a nervous breakdown in front of them, they can cling to “I told you I didn’t want to upset you! Don’t do this to me!” That’s beautiful. You’re headed to the psyche ward at Bellvue, and they’re laying a guilt trip on you.
           Or, another trick is to use that phrase to set you up for something that really sucks, but doesn’t suck quite as bad as whatever your mind is going to make up in the four seconds it takes them to spit it out. They fake high and go low. But a shot to the groin, at least for a guy, can be just as nasty, or worse, than a shot to the head. At least with a shot to the head, you might get a cool battle scar out of it that you brandish proudly to the world. A testament to your toughness. To your manhood. A scar on the face may even get you laid, a consolation prize to the devastation your life suffered after hearing “I don’t want to upset you, but…..”. That’s still better, however, than a punch in the nuts, which could actually severely inhibit your ability to get some tail.
           Getting hit in the face is also preferable to getting a shot to the balls because a strike to your face is likely to create blood. And, I don’t know about you gentlemen, but when I see and taste my own blood, it’s like adding nitro to jet fuel. I get jacked up. I get pumped. I get juiced. The primal “Kill Or Be Killed” instinct takes over, and it’s possible I won’t even feel a shot to the face. Not until much later, anyway, when I’m sitting at the bar, downing shots of Jack Daniels, surrounded by adoring females who are admiring my facial gash and cooing me like the warrior I am. I’ll take that scenario over laying in bed alone with a bag of ice on my balls any day, and twice on Sundays.

    ©2014 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

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