Saturday night I actually did something other than go to a 12 step meeting, or lie in bed and wonder what my kids were doing at their dad's house and if they were ok, or where the hell I went wrong with everything, and what the hell I'm doing with my life. I mean, I still managed to fit those things in over the weekend, but intermingled with my self-torture I also went to see Roller Derby. I wasn't sure if I would like it. I was hesitant about going at first. But when the announcer described the skaters as "a tangle of fishnets and skulls!" I knew I was in the right place.
Really, I thought I would have grown out of my dark side by now. When I was a teenager I painted my fingernails black and listened to Agent Orange and The Misfits, and that was fine. But I never imagined that at 34 I would be sitting in a college gym full of people who still dressed like I did in 1991, AND ME dressing kind of like I did in 1991 with my Creep Show T-shirt and cut-offs, and getting a kick out of watching grown women with names like "John Cougar Menstrual Cramp" knock each other to the ground. There's something cathartic about the whole thing. And the music! I wish I had the soundtrack to that fucking game! They played Agent Orange, Blondie, The Ramones, and The Runaways! That's the music I try to get away with listening to at work! But I don't!
Anyway, my friend Tricia and I came up with our own Roller Derby names, even though neither of us have skated in years and we don't like getting hit in the head. She is The Velveteen Grabb-It and I'm Gen-O-Cide. This doesn't mean we'll be joining the team, these are just the personas that we'll adopt the next time we go to a game.
Then to complete my juevenille delinquent weekend, last night I saw the movie "The Runaways." It is the story of the all girl rock band in the mid 70's with Joan Jett and Lita Ford. I liked.
When I got out of that movie I started thinking. I'm way too cautious with the way I write. In the movie, when The Runaway's bizarre manager was trying to coach the girls in the band about playing like tough-as-nails rock n' roll chicks, he gave them this constructive criticism, "You ladies need to start thinking with your cocks!" I think it's high time I started doing this with my writing. I'm always afraid of pissing people off, or talking about how I really feel about things.
Inside of me there is a saucy, punchy girl. So far the only way she comes out is in fiction, or when I'm playing a part. If I wore scary face paints, called myself Gen-O-Cide and wore a bad girl clothes then I probably stand up straight, talk unashamedly about how I feel about politics, excessive Facebooking, and how I think that Crocks are the ugliest shoes ever made. Also, I would look like an over-30, mother of three who's trying to look 18. But I don't have to disguise myself to talk or write about how I really feel about things and people in my life. I can just go balls out. Most of my friends do this and people still talk to them. Of course, none of them have published their thoughts. For some reason, that's a little different.
Today when I write I'm just letting everything out. I'm a little afraid of what I might say. Perhaps for the first few days that I do this I should wear fishnets, roller skates and a leather jacket. Just to arm myself. That would be an interesting sight for the kids to see when they wake up in the morning. They'll trudge into the kitchen rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, hear the familiar sounds of the coffee brewing and the clicking of laptop keys, and then the quite unfamiliar sight of their mother in a roller derby helmet and leather pants as she writes at the kitchen table. One of them will say to the other, as she shakes her head, "Mom's thinking with her cock again."
What got me about the movie and really made me think about what I'm doing with writing was Joan Jett's attitude towards music, even as a teenager. She knew what she wanted to do and she was serious about it She still is, I read a little bit about her today. That chick is 52 and she's still performinging live all over the world because she loves to play guitar.
I want to write how that music sounds. Raw and alive. I want someone to open my book, rest their ear against a page and hear one wailing electric guitar.