I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Gator, an Incomplete Knife, and a Writer.

For proper effect, you should hum “The Battlefield Hymn of the Republic”, “Eye of the Tiger”, or some other inspirational song while reading this. But, not “Wind Beneath My Wings”, cause that's weak.
I became a writer at 12:00 noon, December 16, 2010. That was the moment I showed part of my book to an acquaintance and they assured me that I would never make it. It made me mad. It made me resolute. It made me say, “Oh yeah?! I'll show you!” I was aware a shift had occurred. No longer was I someone that liked to write, instead I was a writer that hadn't made it yet. I felt like Gator. Who?
     In the Marine Corps you meet people from all over. You get to be close with a few of them. You also have a larger circle of friends that you don't necessarily hang out with all the time. In that group was a Cajun dude named Gator. Now I can't remember Gator's real name or what he looks like. (My friend Curtis probably does.) What I do remember is that Gator LOVED to fight. He once fought his girlfriends father and brother, and in one particularly testosterone filled incident in Okinawa, he and several other jarheads from our unit picked a fight with much a larger Recon unit.
     But, the fight that I remember most, is the time he rescued one of the guys in our company. It was after a football game on base, and our guy was drunk and getting roughed up by three other marines. Now, Gator comes along and sees this and tells the bullies to knock it off. Of course they tell him to mind his own business, so he wades into the fight fists a'flyin'. In short order, he beat up two of the guys and was getting ready to dispatch the third. One of the guys Gator had already defeated, got up off the ground, picked up a piece of wood and cracked Gator in the back of the head. Gator's response that day was “Oh, now you F*%#ed up” and he proceeded to beat all three of those marines senseless.
     Today, I felt like Gator. I will kick the crap out of whatever is between me and my goal. (Inspirational music swells.) My whole life I've been someone who doesn't live up to potential. In school I was the proverbial “doesn't apply himself” guy. In the Marine Corps I just got by, and sometimes I'm a sorry excuse for a Christian. I could be a better husband and father. I have never been that dedicated to much of anything. From now on, I will dedicate myself to writing. I will actually learn the rules of punctuation and grammar. I will join the local writing clubs, and get advice from people that know. I will follow through on stories that I have started, I will make the changes that need to be made. And most importantly, I will write. I will get better, and I will write some more.
     Unlike my Father, I will go beyond the good intention stage. My Father was an intelligent man. He was funny and creative. He dreamed big dreams. He was always going to “do” something. One thing that he got into was making knives. He bought shaping machines, polishers and steel. He went to knife shows and got excited when people told him he had talent. He started to make knives. And... that's it. He started. My father never finished anything. He died young of alcohol; a life incomplete, unfinished. I still have one of his half completed knives in my tool box, a “what could have been.” I won't be that, I will be a finished knife, sharp and polished. I will write; and I'll cut a sucka'.