I’m in the process of doing sound edits on my radio play, Unfortunate Demonic Incident No. 271. Despite all the giggling during rehearsals, it’s had me thinking about the inner voice, and what happens when it slips out.
What’s the meanest thing you’ve ever said to someone? Think back. Think hard. For me, the most brutal, arrogant, awful thing I’ve ever said to someone is, “I, like the universe, don’t care if it’s hard. It’s gotta get done.”
This precipitated a breakup, and rightly so. When he needed my care and support most, I slapped him with that. Emotional broken-jaw.
Sometimes our cruelest impulses, our cruelest characters and situations, are really telling about our nature. As writers, all of our synthetic situations come from organic material. All our thoughts and feelings, our views of good and evil, and everything we believe in permeates our stories. The things that shame our characters are things that would shame us. When our characters laugh, or pull that last spark of strength from within, it’s because we are capable of the same thing.
Our stories tell us, just as much as we tell them. If we’re not careful, one of the ballsier people in our head will learn to operate the mouth. As much as I shouldn’t have said those words, as much as I will regret their delivery for the rest of my life; I cannot deny them. They are a core truth of who I am.
“A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.”
– Rainer Maria Rilke
“How frail the human heart must be – a mirrored pool of thought.”
– Sylvia Plath