With respect to Socrates, my unexamined life is not worth living. The front room is the face we show everyone but we hide our true self in the back room.
Like most writers I get inspiration all the time. I am often scribbling down notes on whatever I have available just so I don’t lose it.
My memory cannot be trusted.
I have whittled down notes and story ideas for years. Some have been transcribed multiple times and still have not come to fruition. Pictures have followed me for years and helped inspire me.
The Back Room?
Sometimes I’m overwhelming good reason and storming my own brain…
At my discretion I present ideas, thoughts, mental possessions, keeping complete control. There is something sneaky, surreptitious, and obsessive about rummaging through my mind.
Though I personalize it, The Back Room is meant to represent the possibility, the freedom to share, honestly share their secrets and lies with someone else. Only someone who shares my mind could know the true origins for the title. Most would assume it has something to do with the back room of the store.
The surface dialogue daily shared is pabulum, baby food for adults. People always want more options. Yes, the participants may say uneasily, we are willing to accept what you present. Not necessarily agree but accept the existence of an opinion.
Now, I do like this idea, even if The Back Room has a darker connotation for me. I think there’s a reason we trade in surface speak.
It’s safe. We don’t have to face uncomfortable truths in our real life.
So we save it for our fantasy. For our movies and TV. The darkness, the midnight of our subconscious intrigues us. What may be so dark in real-life is acceptable on TV.
The Back Room is taking what is acceptable in culture and asking us to share possible ugly truths in real life.
We can still be humans without the misconception of being nice.
In the brilliant TV show “The Sopranos”, one of my delights were the dreams. Tony had crazy dreams and through an episode or episodes its arc revealed profound truths. As if creator David Chase was a psychoanalytic genius.
The best thing? Chase admitted to making up the crazy dreams and then trying to write an explanation for it. Figuring what may have driven Tony helped the audience to identify with him even more. He was just as confused as the rest of us.
And in the show that begat “The Sopranos”; the seminal “Oz” with its creator Tom Fontana found a similar predicament. Fontana would start the season and say, okay, so here’s Vern Schillinger, the head of the Aryan Brotherhood in prison, and this is where he’s at right now, Point A: in his power, in his relationships, and in his soul… and by the end of the season I want him to be this, Point B: in this new place of power with a new sense of soul. How do we get him from Point A to Point B? Let’s figure this out as we go.
Wow. Something so thrilling about discovery. Creation.
A giant thump inside my brain.
The dream about the murdered/ disappeared girl and then two weeks later in the fall of 2000, a chance viewing of a cold case in New York. And every time I try to write the story of the girl I get stuck. Sniffing down the wrong trail.
I know if I could get out from under the cloud my voice would be different than others. And late at night the truth consoles me.
And it gives me nightmares. This week alone watching “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” on Monday and a creepy and harrowing finale of TV show “Criminal Minds” on Tuesday (both during the day at my patients’ behest) later that night led to a dream with a pond filled with miniature baby heads, and a murdered blonde girl underneath; hair matted, her face a twisted grimace forever trapped in sustained hysteria and drove me to breathless, sweaty, upright crying out terror.
Where is David Chase and his cunning storyboard when you need him?
You know I don’t like talking because (I write about it often) and I don’t ever say the whole truth, and so feel confederate in the plotting of my deception.
Reciprocity is what I seek. Reciprocity or nothing. Why would I want to get trapped in inconsequential surface conversations that keep the ball in play for a very boring game?
Give me a wildly different perspective. I’m not intelligent… I’m hungry.