I'm A Rebel And My .44 Pops FarHey there Filthy Monkeys. I wish I could say I was spending my last two weeks in some funky ballet of blood and bullets adventure while driving around in a mid-seventies American muscle car with a sexy but sassy love interest/adversary in a tight latex catsuit, all to a wah-wah guitar soundtrack. Unfortunately, the name on my business card (well, if I had a business card) reads "Marty Stark, Esq. - Contract Attorney," not "Marty Phunkalicious Stark - Pimp Daddy Extraordinaire Yo!" That means I've spent my days researching and writing.
I know I should be doing some novel writing in there, but frankly, pppphhhhht. I outlined my first novel before I wrote it, and the writing went quite smoothly. With the second novel, I decided not to outline it. I wanted it to be more organic. Since it's about a punk band, I figured a structure would be the antithesis of the thrash and energy of punk. Unfortunately, without structure, I've hit themes that don't go anywhere and a lot of navel gazing. So I'm letting the idea percolate more, figure out the intro, the verse and the chorus and the outro. Hopefully, by the end of the week, it will have percolated enough to let me start writing again.
Since I've been neglecting the blog a bit, I might as well make up for it by making this entry a bit longer than usual and get something off my chest that's been stuck in my craw for a while (how's that for mixed metaphors?) While I was an attorney in BigLaw, attorneys were very divided by my legal writing. Some thought I wrote extremely well, others thought I wrote the type of stuff that would come out of a monkey's ass that would be thrown against the wall. I heard praise once in a while, but the one's who hated my writing were obviously more vocal about it. Yeah, so in addition to the long hours I had that negative vibe going at me. You can see why I hated the fucking law.
Anyway, there was one lawyer I worked with who was actually a really good guy. He genuinely cared about how associates were doing, and if he thought they were faltering, he took time out to try to help them with whatever he thought was holding them back. So this lawyer was in the monkey's ass camp, and he tried to help me out. There were these series of motions to dismiss a complaint (we would prevail on parts of the motion, which would force the opposing side to amend their complaint, but not prevail on others so the complaint survived in one form or another) that he and I worked on. I would write the first draft, then he would revise or cut out huge swaths of texts so that the final draft would look almost nothing like mine. Maybe about 20% of my original work would be left. He would get frustated at my work, and I would get frustrated at myself because, unlike the other attorneys who crapped over my work, this guy wasn't a complete asshat.
What I didn't realize until after I left BigLaw to pursue writing was this: on those series of motions, the parts that the court granted were the parts, the 20%, I wrote and that the other lawyer didn't revise. In fact, in the last two court orders, the court copied verbatim in affirming the sections that I wrote and that the other lawyer didn't touch. The court denied everything else, or in other words everything that the other lawyer changed. Yeah, the ABC Aftershool / Hallmark Card moral of this little ditty is that I spent too much time caring about what others thought and not enough taking a look at what's true, boo. I'm glad I left BigLaw on my own terms, but I would've certainly left with less baggage.
Wait, there's more! So people pick up on themes in their life when they start noticing a pattern (I would say repeating pattern, but that's a bit redundant, ennit?) Now, that motion thing has been stuck in my craw for the last couple of weeks and I couldn't figure out why. I mean, yeah, I know my legal writing is the shiznit now. Hell, you don't get two attorneys fighting over your services if your legal writing was something that came out of a monkey's ass. I should just move on. And yet that l'il anecdote stuck with me. I think I figured out why.
Throughout most of my life, there have been (and still are) people who thought the best I could ever achieve in a girlfriend was/is some chunky ass plain Jane in orthopedic shoes. Now, before we get into "Hey you're a lookist bastard", let me say maybe I will meet someone who is a chunky ass plain Jane in orthopedic shoes and fall for her because she has a wonderful personality and sparkling wit. But, well, let's put it this way, if someone you didn't know came up to you and said, "Hey, you'd look good with a fat person/skinny geek/plain Jane/average Joe", you can't tell me you wouldn't be thinkin' of puttin' a cap in his ass. It's not so much the physical qualities as the negative characteristics everyone associates with those physical qualities, the negative characteristics which are then associated with me when someone says, "Marty, you're too picky, you need to settle for chunky ass plain Jane in orthopedic shoes. Someone like this." What they're implying is I'll never pull the even average woman because that is so far out of my league. And why is that so far out of my league? Because I'm obviously lacking in the looks and social qualities that the rest of civilized society has.
Now let's get the Jerry Springer-type crap out of the way. I had a shitty childhood. My dad's, and his dad's, and probably his dad's before him version of childrearing was that you learn not by praise but by shame, shame and a wooden two-by-four if you got too uppity (and by uppity I mean even attempting to question authority). Thank you very much Confucious, I hope there is a hell just so some demon can be using you as a suppository you filial piety little fuck. Earning As got nothing but get a B, out comes the belt. Now, my pop is very Ward Cleaver and has learned the error of his ways, but back then, I'll say I hated him and won't apologize for it. From as soon as I could speak until I was sixteen, I thought I was a twisted little fuck because my dad kept telling me I was a twisted little fuck (well, he didn't say those words exactly, he would constantly say "You have no friends, what wrong with you"). It wasn't until my sophomore year of high school when my family moved to Pittsburgh that I was able to live a semblance of a normal life, start over with people who didn't know me as a weird chunky kid who couldn't make eye contact and couldn't talk to a fellow human being to save his life. From then on, I managed to live a relatively normal life--college, law school, law gig and now contract gig/writer. I have a great group of friends who, for the most part, think I'm a little quirky but for the most part normal.
OK, have people lived worse childhood's than mine? Undoubtedly. I had 3 meals a day plus snacks (hence the chunkified state of childhood Marty), a house with indoor plumbing and electricity and a good education. However, I didn't bring up my childhood for any sympathy yo, just to show you where this yellow brutha is coming from. And where this yellow brutha is coming from is a big hatred for those who would put me down. When I hear that I'm too picky or that I need to settle for what they think is a version of less, I'm a chunky ten-year-old twisted little fuck that my dad tells me I am who thinks the world hates me and I hate the world back.
Lately, I've heard from people who know people who know people that certain people think I will never find a significant other because I won't settle for the chunky plain Jane with comfortable shoes. And, if you can't tell by now, that's bugged the shit out of me for the last couple of weeks. I just envision myself at a bar, talking to a nice lookin' chica and hearing in the back of my head certain people's voices "Hey, this chick is way out of your league. Let's see how long it takes Marty to drop the ball." Fucked up, no?
Now how is this like that overly long story about the lawyer and the motion? Same moral. Who cares what people think. Look at the fucking results. Lawyer hated your work, so what? The court upheld your portions of the motion. Yeah, certain people who know your past can't separate that from who you are now, so they think you're hopeless. So what? The hot number at work (but way too young and in the same office so don't even think about it buster) thinks you're hilarious. NMBL invited you to her Holiday Party (yes, she still has a boyfriend, but if she though you were a freak you wouldn't be invited, would ya). Dubois' Contract Crew, especially the chicas of the group, think you're the man. And there are folks who put you still being single as a mystery up there with Loch Ness Monster and the disappearance of Amelia Earheart.
At the end of the day, so what if there are playah haters out there. They're gonna be like that even if you happen to hook up with Hot Neighbor Chick (oh please oh please oh please). In the meantime, enjoy hanging out with the people who think you're the cat's meow and fuck all to the rest.