A sweet rose.
I'm in the middle of a great run. All in the last week or so, I signed a contract for a novel, accepted an offer to direct a play for a community theatre, worked out a deal to revise a film script, and won a writing contest. I realize I'm not Stephen King or Steven Spielberg, but we have to take these things in stride. There's only one Stephen King. Only one Steven Spielberg. The rest of us are playing catch-up.
I'm a late entry into the game, I think. Although I've been writing and performing for as long as I can remember, at 46 years-old, this has been a bit of a break-through year for me. I think two choices are most responsible for my good fortune. I attended the World Horror Conference in Atlanta in May and auditioned for a role in a local production of Urinetown last summer. Both of these events enabled me to see the world beyond my recliner. The real world. The one that's not on my television or in my iPhone. I established relationships, connected with professional artists, and learned an invaluable lesson. Life is too short not to appreciate beauty.
You might think Drago's gone crazy. Fallen off his fucking rocker. Maybe I have. There's a lot of shit going on in the world. I know it. But, I also think it's very easy to fall into the trap of despair. That's why I write horror. It's easy. Misery loves company, after all. Simply put, I think the media dwells so much on the negative that it makes it convenient for all of us to do so. The same is true with social media. I make an effort to keep my posts positive; I don't always succeed, but I get so tired of reading the rants of those upset about one political issue or another that I can't force myself to join the conversation. It's exhausting.
I choose to embrace beauty. For every crazy lunatic plotting to kill and maim, there are thousands of others we never hear about struggling to do good. To be good. To elevate humanity. These people come in all walks of life. You know who I'm talking about. There are the obvious ones. The nurses, the teachers (fuck, yes, there are amazing teachers), social workers, firefighters, soldiers, etc. The ones we always talk about every day. But there are others. The ones who'll let you merge lanes in traffic or give up their seats on a crowded plane or hand over their shopping carts when you have too much to carry. I don't believe altruism starts with charity. It's easy to give when you have something to give. It's tough to give when you don't. That's selfless. I think it's called sacrifice. It's beautiful.
Don't get me wrong. I'm still as intolerant as ever. I have no patience. I'm completely neurotic. Paranoid. Frustrated. Those personality traits will never go away. I'm grateful my wife and children tolerate them. But, at heart, I'm a hopeless romantic. I try to do good things. I search for beauty within nightmares.