Saturday, September 12, 2020

Say Something

You say it best when you say nothing at all... Actions are quite often the best way to make a statement. Sometimes our actions aren't saying anything at all though. Sometimes I don't charge my phone or reply to that text before falling asleep. It’s careless but not intended to mean anything. Other times I'm really overbooked and have to cancel plans or forget to cancel plans. It’s not saying anything other than I’m probably not planning my day better when it happens. How about you? 

It's been a while for design and writing although it was not meant to be. I'd never put much energy into the timing of sharing stories or worrying about the mental health of anyone that read or interpreted my work but this year definitely had me pause before posting. Even the thought of Dream Homes or interior design this year seemed quite insensitive when so many are struggling to make their rent or mortgage.  Being aware of other people and the world changes one's perspective.. So while I wanted to share some writing, I felt the timing was not right. 

Anyhoo... this is for those people that feel I needed to say something. It's not what I wanted to share with you but it is new...

Do every one of your actions say something?

Kisses, m. 


Say Something


“Why is that people always want creatives to be saying something? Or their work must instantly be controversial?” 

When I say it, I know it was the wrong thing to say, because the young reporter instantly looks like she wants to jump back inside of her skin to hide. Her face turns sour followed by a long pause of silence that gets awkward about fifteen seconds in. Folding my hands, I offer her a lifeline. 

“Suzy, let’s move on, I’m working on a story about a…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to strike a chord with the great D. Randall … but let’s stay with this. Is it okay if I call you D. or do you prefer Darlin?" 

"Darlin is fine but you'll still call me D." I say with a laugh as she nods but continues on scribbling shorthand notes as if she wasn't really asking so much as telling. With bit of snark I continue, “All acquaintances, fans and journalists call me D., even after I tell them to call me Darlin.”

"Uh-huh,” she’s mostly ignored what I’ve said and puts her pen down, “Now let's continue," she smiles, adjusts her recorder and pauses before starting in again, "Isn’t the juxtaposition of your characters in Leaf + Tree saying something about…?” 

“Look, it’s just a story. It’s lightness. I’m a writer and… I’m trying to keep my work light. I’ve moved away from…” I can feel myself getting nervous and starting to be defensive. 

“The darkness.” She finishes my sentence. “I read the transcript of the unreleased podcast piece for Marigolds and Make Believe with Shosh you did a few months ago before you released Leaf + Tree.”

“How did you…?” 

“Get it? Shosh is a friend from school. I chatted with him and he wouldn’t let me hear it, but… anyway this is how I started the piece on you. I was intrigued about your departure from the darker elements in your writing and the Great Pause.”

I exhale a deep breath to keep from laughing because she’s half lying about Shosh. He has a decade plus on her and she was his former student. I only took the interview because she’s his current sidepiece and I owe him a favor. 

“Actually, I was going to say: How did you like it?” I’m more concerned that she’s about to start questioning my absence than her lying. Since the release of Leaf + Tree, every journalist segues into asking about my hiatus from writing. This so-called Great Pause as the fans labeled it, as if it was a performative piece making a silent statement about the current state of the world. When it’s nothing like that it all. I didn’t even pause; I just didn’t give myself to the world. I still wrote and there was still darkness. However, the fans, they took it as a great sign that I was symbolically protesting civil unrest in the world and used it as a platform for their movement. 

“Can you comment on the social impact of your Great Pause or… let me guess, you weren’t saying anything at all?” 

“I truly am moved by it, but I can’t speak to the impact of my absence. Leaf + Tree has been out for a few months now so I’m no longer on pause. What do you make of the consequences of my hiatus?” 

“Are you really going to treat me the same as every other journalist? How can you say something significant in your work and backpedal your actions? Your last work, Days//Ages was about the power of stillness in the connection of society. What is the explanation for the parallels and timing of your hiatus?”

“Do you think you are special because you know Shosh? Did he tell you what happened? Let me guess… he didn’t. What do you think this so-called Great Pause really symbolizes?”

“I can only guess its significance is explained through the controversial nature of the sub-plot that binds your characters in Leaf +Tree. It further builds upon the theme in your last book and speaks to the very nature of humanity, our collective identity and how people relate to each other.”

“Hahaha,” I can’t stop myself from laughing at her. “Shosh redacted parts of the transcript, didn’t he? You thought you’d uncover this great truth by coming here for an interview.”

“You’re just going to blow smoke and try to pretend you aren’t saying something. It’s pure spinelessness to pretend you… I’m proud to read your work because it stands for something.”

“Fuck Days//Ages. Fuck Leaf + Tree. Take them off the table for a moment.”

"Is FUCK off the record or on the record?” 

“You decide what you want to say when we’re done. Now get Shosh on the phone. On speaker.”

I get up, walk to the window, and open it. Next to the window seat, Shosh left me a package of CBD gummies. I sit and eat one. 

 “Shosh is on the line,” she waves her phone from across the room. 

“Shosh, can you hear me?” I raise my voice but not enough to yell.

“Yes, Darlin! Go ahead.” 

“Tell her about the Great Pause the same way I told you.”

“Are you sure?” I can hear the anxiousness in his voice. 

“Go ahead; you can even play her the podcast when she gets back to your place.”

“Suzy, I love you and we can talk about this when you come by later.” He hesitates but continues gently, “Suzy, there was no pause or silence. She has work but it’s been released under a pseudonym.” 

After he says it, she’s quiet. Slowly her face pales and twists in thought, but she remains still. 

“Thanks, Shosh!” I say to break the silence. 

“I’ll catch up with you later Darlin!” Shosh hollers and then laughs as he hangs up. 

“But I stopped recording!” she wails and pauses. After a few moments, she composes herself and quietly continues, “D., I just wanted the truth.”

“I get that. Oh, but now, you have the truth. All creatives create your so-called controversy.” 

“I don’t understand. You’re a phony! A fraud!” 

“Actually, you see, fans like you, perpetuated this legend of silence, this make-believe performative piece and iconic debate because you needed something to stand on to support your reason for pursuing social action. I didn’t create it, I just went along with it, instead of working under my name. You have to understand, being a reclusive voice of great social impact happens to sell a lot of books.”

“You don’t care.”  

“I do care. I think I cared too much. Or I would have ended this sooner.” I scold her. As I watch her eyes fill with tears, I calm my voice. “I am glad my work speaks to so many, affects and inspires people to live louder and stronger but I’m just a writer. Sometimes I’m not saying anything at all. Sometimes I am.” 

“Now what do I do? What’s the plan?” She bawls and looks like the fragile late 20-something woman that she is, rather than the confident journalist trying to be Woodward and Bernstein, like she saw Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing on the silver screen.

“Well, you can go ahead, publish the truth destroying this mass delusion and ruin the social movement built around my hiatus or, like my friend Shosh, refrain from saying something. Now, do you want to say something?”



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