NaBloPoMo #8: but you know I left first

This write comes from a short workshop I did in my friend Sade Huron‘s class at AI of San Francisco, introducing their directing and filmmaking students to the process of freewriting. We did several quick (5 min.) writes, which was intended to help them get their ideas flowing freely before they started to write about the sort of film they wanted to make.

One of the prompts I offered was Pat Schneider’s “In this one you are” visualization…

Here’s what came up for me this time around:

In this one you are still alive. You are holding my hand. You haven’t gone yet, nor have I. In this one you crawl around on my body like I am a jungle gym. In this one, I am safe ground for your exploring. you haven’t gone away yet. But, of course, I was the one who went first. I went first. I keep these pictures on my mantle now, on my altar, by way of apology or wish. Maybe someday I can go back there. Maybe something in me can tough the hands use used to have before you used them to tie something I’ll never be able to see into a noose around your neck and then let go; you let all of yourself go. I have no photo of your death, only of your beginnings, so many of your beginnings, when you were a skinny boy with too much hope and fear in your eyes, when I was still something steady, before the ground I was to you stood up, shook you off, and went away.

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