I went looking for Leroy Stacks during my lunch hour last Saturday. I headed downtown because there were places there that looked like places he’d been. Where he worked. Where he had fights with his girlfriend. Where he found trouble. Where his life changed. I didn’t expect to find him- if I do, I know I’ll truly have gone crazy- but I knew that we live in similar worlds and hang out in similar places, although his world is a lot more scary than mine.
Or maybe it isn’t.
Only time will tell.
We’re the somewhat the same, but very different. I grew up an only child with two loving and caring parents, while he grew up in phases- at the beginning, he had both parents and an older brother… and then a parent and an older brother… and finally just a parent who didn’t know exactly what to do with a kid who’d lost half his world. What to teach him, how to make sure he’d be able to get by life. I’ve had more than enough of a foundation- Leroy? Well, he had to make due with what he had. Family leaving, bad luck at every turn, social stupidity around every corner. Leroy might joke about it when he can, but I think he hates that. I think he hates me for knowing about it. Some days I can’t tell.
Leroy and I dealt with some of the same things growing up, but in different ways. An icy, snowy day that led to a sophomore high school me wanting to make it on my school bus in one piece as kids from various neighborhoods decided to fight in the senior parking lot- I was alone, confused, just trying to find bus 765 or whatever the hell number it was without getting punched in the face turned into some weird, nightmarish scene from “The Warriors” for Leroy, as he was surrounded by snow and ice and just trying to survive.
He kept seeing Imps.
He doesn’t like talking about that a whole lot, but I’ll get the full story out of him.
THE BIG PUSH
I’ve been sitting on telling Leroy’s story for a long time now- too long, in fact. It’s been so long that I think he’s starting to get antsy. I can see it perfectly- him pacing back and forth, rolling his shoulders, getting anxious, wondering when the “stupid fucking writer” is going to pull the trigger. Everyone’s starting to lean on me too- “Is the book done?”, “How’s the book?”, “Is there sex in your book?” (my mom asked me that one, which means she cares)… a lot of conversation surrounds “the book”, and you know what?
It’s time to finish “the book”. Once and for all.
With that said...
I’m referring to July as The Big Push.
If I can hold down a full time job and write fifty thousand words in ten days (NaNoWriMo, I miss you), I can finish this goddamn thing in a month. Like John Locke said, don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.
I can get this done, I can get this out of my head once and for all, and I can move onto the next project rattling around in my brain.
I have to.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be my July.
I can honestly say that it is going to be an absolute blast.. and the end result will be worth it in spades.
I have a grin on my face already…