In moments of clarity, we find peace. At least I do. And did.
Following graduation from college, I moved to New York. To be more precise, actually, it was at first Westwood, New Jersey. Then, a few months later, I moved to Bedford Stuyvesant, which is in Brooklyn, just a hop across the river from downtown Manhattan. It was in this city where I found my peace, in one revelatory, awe-inspiring bout of overly-romanticized fervor.
But let me back up for a moment. You may be wondering why I had moved in the first place; and why New York? I suppose the answer is somewhat mundane, considering its inception was concocted in a place only the truest of wannabe writers and musicians and artists can inhabit. My answer to that question, perhaps like the rest of them, was to pursue my passion.
For me, it was writing. However, this passion of mine, as I later realized, wasn’t legitimate. It was based upon a romanticized, overly idealistic interpretation of what being a writer translates to. As I playfully imagined moments in which I was knocking back bourbons with Truman Capote atop New York City brownstones amidst the vibrant hue of another East coast autumn, I was failing to construct legitimate reasons to write. It was all fluffy nonsense. Sure, we all have these romantic notions and winsome ideals, but they don’t really amount to much.
Which brings me up to my moment of clarity. It had been four months. I had just quit my job selling supplemental insurance at AFLAC. I had a little money left in my savings account; enough to live for a few months and write. Write, write, write, I thought. I sat down in a coffee shop. At the time, I believe, I was working on a short story about two suicidal, adolescent young girls. I was sipping my black coffee, munching on a chocolate scone, and it hit me.
Why was I here? Insurance was certainly not in the stars. That made me feel fraudulent at best. It was in this moment I realized writing was more than just some vicarious activity, more than just a melange of fuzzy feelings and romantic notions. It is serious. It is profound. It is inspiring. It is a string of clarifying moments. In that coffee shop, on that sunny summer day in New York City, I found my clarity. And because of that, I found my peace.
Working through the clarifying moments of one Alasdair Galloway. Shamus and Alasdair are about to hit Flagstaff. There, we find magic shows and geriatrics.